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james palmer

Chief Executive Officer
Community Finance


James started his career as a lawyer, specialising in finance, commercial and property law and the not-for-profit sector.  In November 2015 James was appointed Chief Executive of Christian Savings, New Zealand’s only charity that is also a licensed non- bank deposit taker, growing it to manage almost $250m.  

James established Community Finance in 2019.  After only one year, Community Finance became New Zealand’s largest open impact investment intermediary.  Given the acute housing crisis present across the country, Community Finance is engaged in facilitating investment into the supply of new affordable housing.  Community Finance manages almost $100m in loans to not-for-profits around the country.  Community Finance launched The Aotearoa Pledge in 2021 and has already secured $71m of impact investor commitments for further projects.

In 2021, Community Finance won the Sustainable Business Network Awards for Transforming New Zealand and for Outstanding Collaboration and Mindful Money Best Impact Investment Fund award.

In 2021, James launched Positive Capital, which will manage the Positive Property Fund, providing an equity impact investment, and a shared equity programme for Community Housing Providers.  It has received $100m of investor commitments to date.

James is the 2021 INFINZ University of Auckland Business School Emerging Leader.

In April of this year, Community Finance was named an INFINZ Finalist in the Fitch Ratings Innovation in Financial Services.




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