Keith Rovers
Partner, Sydney
As a partner in MinterEllison’s Corporate & Capital Markets Group with a finance and projects background, I have extensive experience across the financial capital spectrum, acting for sponsors, intermediaries and funders in many industry sectors, including real estate, infrastructure and technology.

I bring this background to my role as leader of the firm's Pro Bono & Community Investment Group and our leading Social Impact practice, supporting the growing social enterprise and business for purpose sector and in the ESG Advisory Practice, where the convergence of business and purpose meets and I focus on sustainable finance.

My commercial experience and interest in social justice issues and broader notions of sustainability help inform my current work with corporates, not-for-profit, social enterprise and for purpose business clients. I enjoy collaborating across the corporate, government, not-for-profit and education sectors working with others to develop innovative shared value approaches to tackling social and environmental issues and the mobilisation of human and financial capital to achieve positive social impact, recognising the importance of business as a catalyst for the development of social foundations within ecological constraints (in line with Doughnut Economic principles).

I lead the MinterEllison Pro Bono and Community Investments programs and in this role, I develop partnerships with government and corporate clients who are seeking to amplify their social impact through engaging with charities and social enterprises, working on social business models, impact investment and social finance and developing cross sector collaboration.

We work with a large cohort of for purpose business and social enterprise clients on corporate and financial structures and transactions so that they can take advantage of capital and funding streams and corporate and government partnerships. We are active participants in the social enterprise and impact investment ecosystem and seek to build sector capacity through our work. I sit on ISO and Standard Australia’s Technical Working Groups for Green and Sustainable Finance, which enables me to provide clients with up to date information about sustainable finance, local market and global trends and am part of RIAAs Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) working group.

ESG considerations continue to be mainstreamed as society and business recognises ethical and sustainable operations across upstream and downstream supply chains – as impact investment becomes investment, social procurement becomes just procurement and sustainable finance, becomes finance.

Career highlights

  • Heading up the Sustainable Finance team, acting on sustainability linked loans, green loans and other themed products and funds, including product design and review against impact frameworks and standards
  • Impact investing initiatives, including Social Impact Bonds, Payment by Outcomes contracting, Impact Investment Readiness grants, B Corp advice, Crowd Sourced Equity Funding and other capital initiatives
  • Supporting over 100+ social enterprises and indigenous business, including formation and scale up initiatives, M&A and financing, including Jigsaw's $3m syndicated facility; acting for Social Enterprise Finance Australia, Many Rivers and First Australians Capital on its financing transactions; and establishing social enterprise precincts across Australia.
  • Social and Affordable housing and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) projects with Community Housing Providers, including Ability First, Mission Australia and others and working with Social Ventures Australia on 10 year loan facility for SDA acquisition and development, as well as Build to rent joint venture including SDA components
  • Establishment of Social Enterprise Australia, SECNA (Social Enterprise Council NSW &ACT); SENVIC (Social Enterprise Vic) and working with other peak bodies on governance and capacity building initiatives, including Social Traders and Social Impact Hub.
  • Supported RIAA with establishment of Australian Sustainable Finance Institute to roll out the ASFI Sustainable Finance Roadmap and on AFSL advice in relation to product and fund certification and ratings. Supporting Climate KIC on Climate Measurement Standards Initiative, Small Giants with Regen Melbourne; STREAT and others with Moving Feast and Open Sauce initiatives, as well as many other collaborations and alliances
  • Capacity building programs, including Westpac Board Observership Program mobilising human capital support to the NFP and social enterprise sectors, with Westpac and MinterEllison members supported through a leadership development program
  • Worked on landmark real estate projects that are changing Australia’s city skylines, including King Street Wharf, Central Barangaroo, Luna Park and World Square in Sydney, and Melbourne Convention Centre
  • Assisted with market-leading transactions, including Morgan Stanley’s $4 billion takeover of Investa, the Melbourne Convention Centre public–private partnership (PPP), the South East Queensland schools PPP, the sale of Macarthur Intermodal Shipping Terminal to Qube Logistics, and major shopping centre developments, such as Top Ryde and Claremont, WA
  • Advised on major corporate financings, including Singtel Optus’s $1.5 billion syndicated Sustainability Linked Loan financing; Brookfield’s C$360 million syndicated financing; and Alliance Pulse Processors Inc.’s C$363.5 million syndicated financing and related Canadian dollar bond issues
  • Work with leading not-for-profit clients such as Adara Group, Mission Australia, and, and corporate client foundations such as the Westpac Foundation, AMP Foundation and family offices on governance and grant programs
  • Combined my passion for football and law by serving on the Sydney Olympic Football Club board for many years and Football NSW’s Legal and Regulatory subcommittee, as well as work for Football Federation Australia on Women's Football Business Case

Current board positions

  • Westpac Foundation, a leading foundation providing scholarships and supporting social changemakers
  • White Box Enterprises – chair of leading National social enterprise incubator and advisory business
  • MothersBabies - acting chair of a health promotion charity funding research with the Microbiome Research Centre and UNSW into the microbiome and impacts on the health of mothers and babies
  • Constellation Project – a charity founded by Australian Red Cross, Centre for Social Impact, Mission Australia and PwC and incorporating the Business Alliance to End Homelessness, aiming to end homelessness in a generation
  • Humanitix, an on-line event ticketing platform for good (established as a public benevolent institution)
  • Plus One - company secretary of a platform which provides corporate learning and development opportunities to emerging not for profit leaders
  • Social Traders Expert Advisory Group
  • Football NSW, Legal & Regulatory Board sub-committee
  • MinterEllison Reconciliation Action Plan Steering Group
  • Member of International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and Standards Australia Technical Working Groups on Environmental Management Systems and Green and Sustainable Finance and Investment