THURSDAY 3 AUG 2017 2:45 PM


Last month, nine people set out to conquer the 73 mile stretch of Irish Sea from Fishguard, Wales to Rosslare, Ireland in a four-person Celtic longboat. The team, which included BNY Mellon’s CMO Anne-Marie McConnon and head of internal communications Asmita Kapadia, raised £50,000 for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for the 15-and-a-half hour row.

McConnon introduced the challenge as part of CASCAID, a new group she helped found in the investment banking industry that aims to raise £2m for CRUK this year. The group drew the industry together as participants set out individual or team challenges – ranging from cake sales to sports tournaments – to fundraise for the charity. McConnon took inspiration from BNY Mellon and Newton Investments’ sponsorship of the Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race.

“We’ve had that partnership for five years now and I thought it was a really good opportunity to engage even more with the sponsorship,” she says. So, the avowed non-rower, took to the rivers with a team of nine, including former Team GB and long-distance specialists. But there was a personal connection for McConnon too. Not only was the Irishwoman rowing toward home, but the 73 miles represent almost each day her father spent undergoing treatment for stomach cancer.

Successfully completing what turned out to be a gruelling row on rough seas, the CASCAID team represented the efforts made by the investment banking industry to support CRUK. The need for companies to have strong social purposes is only increasing. McConnon says, “Organisations like BNY Mellon and Newton have roles in society; much bigger roles than providing investment products. And I think if you look at organisations that have a clear purpose, and more broadly, a good social purpose, from a business perspective, those companies can hire the best employees because they feel like they’re coming to work for a reason. They achieve higher return from shareholders overall.”

The partnership with the CRUK is going strong as CASCAID events continue to fundraise throughout the year for the charity. With a little less than five months to go, the group intends to raise an additional £540,000 to reach its lofty target of £2m for CRUK.