United Church Funds (UCF) is pleased to welcome Matthew J. Illian as its new Director of Responsible Investing. Illian comes to UCF from the Virginia-based impact investment firm VestedIn – where he served as Impact Finance Advisor since 2016 – as well as the Virginia Impact Investing Forum, of which he served as Executive Director since 2018. Earlier in his career, Illian worked for nine years as a Senior Wealth Manager at Marotta Wealth Management. He brings broad experience in capital markets, personal financial advising and impact investing.
“Responsible investing is central to our mission of helping our client churches and organizations uphold the values of the United Church of Christ in making their investment decisions,” said Charles Buck, UCF President & CEO. “Our vision is investment that creates a just world for all. And Matthew’s rich experience and expertise in the SRI/ESG world, combined with his passion for social justice, make him the ideal person to shepherd our social responsibility program, especially as the need to create a just world is more urgent now than ever.”
Illian said, “The commitment of UCF to putting faith values into action is what drew me here. I look forward to working with this team and their clients in seeking in a more just and sustainable future together.”
UCF utilizes a number of practices in order to achieve socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) accountability through corporate engagements and resolutions, proxy voting, screened portfolios and a commitment to address racial equality in investment managers, among other measures. UCF works in collaboration with key partners, including the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
As well as managing 13 investment funds for its 1,100 clients, UCF recently introduced the Just World Fund – an impact investing fund that will enable churches and faith-based organizations to leverage their investable assets to address global economic justice, fair housing, human rights to water and nutrition and solutions for environmental security. Illian will play an essential role in ensuring that this fund and UCF’s other socially responsible investment funds have a maximum impact on communities and individuals most in need.
Download the press release here.