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CFG co-founder Adrian Randall passes away

Rohan Hewavisenti, Keith Hickey, Sally O'Neill and Prof Adrian Randall at the Charity Awards 2011
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CFG co-founder Adrian Randall passes away3

Finance | Tania Mason | 25 Apr 2012

Professor Adrian Randall, the esteemed charity finance expert and instigator of Charity Finance Directors’ Group, has died in Barbados where he lived since 2004. He was 67.

Prof Randall was nationally recognised in the UK as an authority on charity financial matters, and held a number of leadership posts in the voluntary sector throughout his career.

After growing up on the Caribbean island where his mother was headmistress of Queen’s College, Randall moved to the UK. He spent a number of years in finance roles in the private sector before landing the job of director of finance and resources at Cancer Research Campaign, the precursor to Cancer Research UK, in 1987.

A year later he co-founded CFDG, now CFG, and chaired it for its first four years until 1992, when he took up the chair at the Charities Tax Reform Group (now Charity Tax Group).  In 1993 he joined the Charity Commission’s Charity Accounting Review Committee, and remained a member until 2006.  In 2004 he became an external examiner for the MSc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management course at Cass Business School.

In his day job, he stayed at the Cancer Research Campaign for seven years before becoming charities partner at BDO Stoy Hayward for a further six years. From 2000 to 2004 he was an independent management consultant to the sector, until a trip back to Barbados saw him offered the chief executive post at the Barbados Heart and Stroke Foundation, a role he filled until retirement in 2009. He remained vice-president of the charity until his death last month.

Randall also wrote several books and publications that became bibles of charity finance, including The ICSA Guide to Charity Accounting (2001), Financial Management in the Voluntary Sector (2001) and The Role of the Charity Finance Director (2008).

Charity Finance editor Andrew Hind paid tribute to Randall as “one of life’s irrepressible forces”.

“Without Adrian Randall there would be no CFG today,” Hind said. “When a small number of us first came up with the idea in 1987 of a mutual-support group for FDs, which could also serve to raise standards of financial reporting in the sector, it was Adrian's driving force and enthusiasm that turned the idea into a reality.  It was he who got the ICAEW to support the proposal and offer a venue for the first few meetings, and it was Adrian's office at the then-Cancer Research Campaign which provided all the initial admin support.

“People like him make things happen. He contributed a huge amount to help build public trust and confidence in the charity sector over the last 25 years, and we are all greatly in his debt.”

The image on this story shows Randall, far right, at last year's Charity Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

Randall was widowed 18 months ago but leaves two daughters and a grandson. His funeral has already taken place in Christchurch, Barbados. According to the Eastern Daily Press, another service to commemorate his life will be held later this year in Cromer, Norfolk, where he and his wife Jenny lived from 2000 to 2004.

John Weth
Chairman
Association for Charities
26 Apr 2012

Andrew Hind writes that we are all greatly in Adrian Randall's debt - a view I wholeheartedly share. From 1997, when Adrian was appointed by the Charity Commission as Receiver and Manager to the Little Gidding Trust, we had many contacts, particularly after he was relieved of his Receiver and Manager appointment in the early 2000s.

Without breaking any confidences from these private contacts and conversations, particularly following his release from the Receiver appointment, Adrian clearly had a difficult path to tread; not least when the Court of Appeal, in 1998, ordered the Commission to produce to me forthwith a copy of the report he had sent them, which they had refused to release - but upon which they claimed they had relied in taking the actions they had taken, which were the subject of trustee appeal to the High Court.

It was a measure of the honesty of the man that he withstood pressure from the pre-2004 Commission management to comply with an Order about which he had come to have serious reservations. How great a debt we owe to Adrian will, I believe, become more evident as the years pass.

His family remain in my prayers.

John Weth

Ian Allsop
25 Apr 2012

I worked for Adrian at BDO many years ago and he was a good boss. I particularly remember a great day out at the cricket, of which he was an ardent fan, in Southend with Richard Corden and James Brooke Turner also in attendance.

Even when he moved back to Barbados he maintained a keen interest in UK charity matters. He certainly contributed to my own career in and around the sector and will be greatly missed.

Eric Marsden
Senior Administrator
Association of Charity Independent Examiners
25 Apr 2012

As well as the work listed above, Adrian was also the Vice Chair of ACIE (the Association of Charity Independent Examiners) during 2003-04, and remained a Fellow and keen supporter of the association even after his move to Barbados.

Our thoughts and best wishes to his family.

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