This fall, Coast Funds welcomed Zahra Laarif to the staff team. As the Director, Finance, Zahra leads on accounting and budgeting, financial reporting, and disbursement of funds, ensuring careful stewardship of funds for First Nations’ conservation, sustainable energy, and economic development projects.
Zahra is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA) with more than 15 years of experience in financial management, accounting, and economic development. Prior to joining Coast Funds, she served in senior financial roles with Musqueam Indian Band, the Heiltsuk Economic Development Corporation, and in the non-profit sector.
“Through my career, I’ve seen how communities and organizations use their finances to achieve their missions and demonstrate their values,” says Zahra. “At Coast Funds, I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply my skills and help deliver financing for First Nations’ investments in stewardship, sustainable energy, and local economies.”
“Zahra has the skills and training to manage a complex financial portfolio, along with experience working in community, serving First Nations along the coast,” says Eddy Adra, Coast Funds CEO. “We’re fortunate to have her on the team.”
In her new role, Zahra will work with the CEO and board of directors to continue to evolve, implement, and track Coast Funds’ socially responsible investing strategy. Over the last decade, Coast Funds has advanced its investing practices, prioritizing Indigenous rights and values along with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measures.
Investments can be a force for change.
“Investments can be a force for change,” says Zahra. “By making socially responsible investments, using our shareholder voting power, and screening out investments in companies with poor ESG practices, Coast Funds is aligning our investments with the values and priorities of the First Nations we serve.”
As a member of Coast Funds’ leadership team, Zahra will support First Nations in fulfilling their visions for sustainable, coastal economies that are grounded in traditional values. Through their investments with Coast Funds, First Nations are building a conservation economy that blends stewardship and ecotourism with community-owned fisheries, forestry operations, and renewable energy projects.
Since its creation, Coast Funds has delivered $109.2 million in financing for 439 Indigenous-led conservation, sustainable energy, and economic development projects. These investments are building diversified local economies and creating family-supporting jobs in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.