As we’ve seen through our advisory work with investors, banks and other portfolio-based institutions, investors and lenders are uniquely positioned to advance business respect for human rights – and they progress further when they work together. Practice Groups are an opportunity to strengthen capacity to manage portfolio risks and impacts on people, grounded in reality and guided by peer insights into best practices and challenges.

This year, Shift is piloting practice groups with committed practitioners to dive deeper into some of the thorniest issues facing investors and lenders when it comes to embedding respect for human rights into business practices. Over a six-month period, participants will take part in virtual workshops with peers, one-on-one engagement with Shift, and thought-provoking institution-specific work, to progress their efforts around business respect for human rights. In a Chatham House setting, practitioners will be sharing pre-competitive approaches – and challenges – to develop their capacity to integrate a risks-to-people lens across their portfolios.

Groups will be facilitated by Shift and expert guests. As members, participating institutions will also have access to Shift’s bilateral advisory support.

Numbers in the practice groups will be capped (4-8 institutions) in the first year.

Shift has worked with investment managers, asset owners, managers, commercial banks and real economy companies for almost a decade. In that time, we’ve developed a nuanced understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities faced by investors, lenders and their portfolio companies – what questions to ask, which levers are catalysts for business respect for human rights and where organizations must push the boundaries to meet their responsibilities and commitments.

As the leading center for expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we also support ministries, regulatory agencies, intergovernmental organizations, reporting standards bodies and multistakeholder initiatives to translate considerations of impacts on people into standards that drive business behavior. 

Fees vary by Practice Group – please download the respective brochure for details.  

In keeping with Shift’s mission orientation, we are purposely selective about who we work with – so we’re looking for organizations that can demonstrate a genuine commitment to sharing their challenges and successes with their peers. If you’re interested in being a part of this year’s Practice Group pilots, please contact Ashleigh Owens (Financial Institutions Lead) at

Financial Institutions Practice Groups


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February 2024

Portfolio Approaches to Human Rights Issues: Applied Learning for Investors

Through a series of in-depth virtual peer-learning workshops and dedicated advisory support, this six-month deep dive will help investors identify and manage human rights issues in a portfolio context.

February 2024

Just Transition: Applied Learning for Investors and Lenders

Over six months, through virtual workshops and one-on-one engagements, Shift will work with a community of portfolio-oriented investors and lenders to take practical steps forward on the human dimensions of climate change and the Just Transition.