Trustee Exchange 2018

26 April 2018 London

Raising the bar for charity governance

This event is now sold out! Please e-mail [email protected] to be added to the waiting list.

Find solutions to shared charity governance issues at this essential one-day conference for chairs, chief executives and trustees.

Returning for its eleventh successful year, in 2018, Trustee Exchange will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel on 26 April. The ethos of this essential one-day conference remains the same. Trustee Exchange has always been produced by trustees, for the benefit of trustees.

Download the brochure and booking form



26 April 2018

  • 8.45AM - 9.20AM
    Registration, refreshments & networking
    Registration, refreshments & networking
  • 9.20AM - 9.30AM
    Chair's welcome
    Tania Mason, editor, Governance & Leadership
  • 9.30AM - 9.45AM
    Opening Address: Tracey Crouch MP
    Tracey Crouch MP, minister for civil society, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • 9.45AM - 10.15AM
    Plenary: Making boardrooms places of harmony & collaboration
    In this inspiring yet practical opening keynote, Nada Kakabadse will share key insights from her co-published report into boardroom dynamics. She will outline the findings on what factors contribute to good governance, offer tips on how to capitalise on ‘constructive tension’ and demonstrate that conflict is not only inevitable, but plays an essential part in building the most effective boards.

    Nada Kakabadse, professor of policy, governance and ethics, Henley Business School
  • 10.15AM - 11.00AM
    Panel discussion: The diversity deficit – what can charity boards learn from progress outside the sector?

    As a sector we champion diversity, and yet fail to demonstrate this in practice with many boards and leadership teams remaining largely comprised of older white men. In this lively panel discussion, experts from business, government and the health service will share their tips and techniques for improving diversity at the highest levels of organisations – including some surprisingly easy wins.

    Chair: Ken Olisa, chair, Shaw Trust and deputy chair, Institute of Directors
    Panellists: Mark Lomas, head of equality, diversity and inclusion, HS2; Melanie Dawes, civil service gender champion; Paul Deemer, head of diversity and inclusion, NHS Employers and Rachel Osikoya, head of diversity and inclusion, Maersk Group

  • 11.00AM - 11.30AM
    Networking and refreshment break
    Networking and refreshment break
  • 11.30AM - 12.15PM
    1A. GDPR: Demonstrating effective data governance
    This session will serve as an essential update for any trustee with questions or concerns around the incoming GDPR Regulation. Attend this interactive session and bring any questions you may have for Ardi Kolah LL.M., who will cut through the fog of confusion and provide a clear view as to how your organisation can comply with the new data legislation, as well as create a framework that will unlock the opportunities for building deeper digital trust.

    Ardi Kolah LL.M., executive fellow & director, GDPR Transition Programme, Henley Business School
  • 11.30AM - 12.15PM
    1B. Unitary boards: The new model for governance?
    In April 2017, the board of rights charity The Advocacy Project voted to change its constitution to allow its chief executive to become a trustee and to pay its service-user trustees for their board role. A year on, Judith Davey and Kate Ferguson will share learnings from their journey while Michael Hagan and Adam Antonio will offer insights into the unique perspective that they bring to the board as service-user trustees.

    Judith Davey, chief executive officer, Kate Ferguson, chair, Michael Hagan, trustee and Adam Antonio, trustee, The Advocacy Project
  • 11.30AM - 12.15PM
    1C. Financial literacy: Advanced
    The board is collectively responsible for the charity’s finances – the tasks involved go well beyond reading regular management
    accounts and signing off your annual report. What do you need in place to have effective financial management and governance? What key questions should trustees be asking? This session will consider these questions as well as addressing the impact on financial governance of the new Charity Governance Code.

    Judith Miller, partner, Sayer Vincent
  • 11.30AM - 12.15PM
    1D. Personality matters: Building better teams
    This session will explore the interplay between different personality types and interpersonal styles in order to build boards and senior teams that are more compatible. Drawing on her extensive experience as HR director across various organisations, Helen Giles will outline why the best and most effective teams are those who have managed to successfully incorporate diverse individual personalities. She will offer insights into how different types of people can work together more harmoniously, and what you can do as a leader to foster collaborative relationships across your senior executive teams.

    Helen Giles, executive director of people & governance, St Mungo's
  • 12.15PM - 1.00PM
    2A. Action for Children case study: Driving impact and efficiency with digital
    In 2016 Action for Children partnered with the technology giant Fujitsu to digitally transform the charity’s entire case file library. By leveraging this support to revolutionise their back office functions, they have been able to unlock opportunities to accelerate their impact and reach even more young people. Vivienne Hoskins will outline the motivation behind the partnership and some of the challenges faced, including the process of assessing risk and scrutinising progress. She will share some of the key impacts this project has had to date and will suggest practical tips on how to effectively increase your organisation's digital capacity.

    Vivienne Hoskins, operations transformation manager, Action for Children
  • 12.15PM - 1.00PM
    2B. Mencap case study:  The role of the trustee board in a crisis

    Last year, Mencap was staring down the barrel of insolvency after HMRC demanded £20m worth of back pay for their employed carers on ‘sleep-in’ shifts.  While the charity awaits legal clarification of the issue, Oonagh Smyth will tell the story of how Mencap’s board responded and impart some top tips on how trustees can best support their executive leaders in a crisis, particularly the importance of flexibility around the strategic/operational split.

    Oonagh Smyth, director of strategy and influence, Mencap

  • 12.15PM - 1.00PM
    2C. Trustee liability: What risks do I face and how can I manage them?
    This session will be a practical update to help you understand and manage the legal risks you may face as a trustee. Am I liable for decisions taken if I wasn’t at the meeting? In what circumstances might I be taken to court for my decisions as a trustee? How far can trustee indemnity insurance protect me? What do I do if I have concerns about my charity's governance? Con Alexander will answer these questions and more, explain the personal liabilities associated with trusteeship and outline how best to mitigate against personal risk.

    Con Alexander, partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
  • 12.15PM - 1.00PM
    2D. Chair’s Corner (Conducted under Chatham House Rule)
    This interactive session offers a confidential environment for chairs of any size organisation to come together to discuss challenges and share best practice:
    • Managing the relationship with your chief executive
    • Ensuring your charity is financially sustainable
    • Managing difficult relationships
    • Trustee recruitment
    • Chairing effective meetings
    • Ensuring your charity is compliant
    • Setting the vision, values and goals of your organisation
    John Williams, vice chair, Association of Chairs
  • 1.00PM - 2.00PM
    Lunch and networking break
    Lunch and networking break
  • 2.00PM - 2.45PM
    3A. Developing a proactive comms strategy
    Reputation is arguably a charity’s most valuable asset and for a sector so often in the public eye, an effective comms strategy should be held on a par with operational, strategic and even financial risk. This session will outline the key approaches and considerations for developing a focused, deliverable comms strategy, giving real-world examples for both established and smaller charities, including: agreeing priorities, stakeholder engagement, maximising resources, protecting your brand and how to exploit opportunities to enhance your reputation.

    Peter Zarko-Flynn, director of communications, Cancer Research UK
  • 2.00PM - 2.45PM
    3B. Stepping up: How to bring the new Charity Governance Code to life
    The new Charity Governance Code has been widely welcomed by the sector, with the Charity Commission even withdrawing its
    own ‘Hallmarks of an Effective Charity’ guidance and pointing boards towards the Code. But how easy and effective is it to use in practice? In this session, Delyth Morgan will share Breast Cancer Now’s experience of implementing the Code, while the Code’s architect Rosie Chapman will talk about next steps for its development.

    Rosie Chapman, chair, Charity Governance Code Steering Group and Allison Howe, company secretary, NSPCC
  • 2.00PM - 2.45PM
    3C. Setting your investment policy
    With charities facing increased financial pressure and scrutiny, it is vital to effectively safeguard and promote your organisation’s
    financial health. This session will explore the responsibility of a charity trustee in helping to shape a robust investment policy. Kate Rogers will outline the vital questions trustees must consider when investing for the longer term, and will impart practical tips on ensuring sound financial governance of your organisation’s investment assets.

    Kate Rogers, head of policy, Cazenove
  • 2.00PM - 2.45PM
    3D. Creating a culture in which people’s minds thrive
    A large and growing body of research indicates that healthier, happier staff drive long-term business performance through higher engagement and increased productivity. How can you as a leader help create an effective organisational culture in which people thrive? Drawing on insights from neuroscience, psychology and real-life examples, author Andy Gibson will explore how to maintain mental health at work, and how the trustee board can influence organisational culture. Join this session to hear tangible solutions to take back to your own organisations to build happier, more effective teams.

    Andy Gibson, head gardener and chief executive, Mindapples
  • 2.45PM - 3.15PM
    Networking and refreshment break
    Networking and refreshment break
  • 3.15PM - 4.00PM
    4A. British Red Cross case study: Safeguarding your fundraising
    Charities are facing unprecedented pressure to demonstrate transparency and ethical assurance over their organisation’s
    fundraising practices. The British Red Cross has responded to this challenge by establishing a committee to provide oversight of
    fundraising activities, highlight areas of risk and ensure the organisation adheres to the highest standards. Join Keith Shipman & Hilary Douglas who will outline the framework, as well as some thoughts on what this model could mean for the sector.

    Keith Shipman, trustee and Hilary Douglas, vice-chair, British Red Cross
  • 3.15PM - 4.00PM
    4B. Mosaic Clubhouse case study: The board’s role in conquering adversity
    Seven years ago, Mosaic Clubhouse’s main funder presented the charity with a long list of virtually impossible changes as a
    condition of renewing its contract. Instead of giving in, the board and executive team met the challenges head-on, and over
    the next few years completely turned the charity around. In this session Maresa Ness will reflect on the journey undertaken
    to transform the fortunes of the organisation: she will discuss the role of the board in dealing with unprecedented change, including how to effectively manage risk, and will impart practical tips for leaders who want to ensure their charity not only
    survives, but thrives.

    Maresa Ness, chief executive (and former chair), Mosaic Clubhouse
  • 3.15PM - 4.00PM
    4C. Financial governance 101: A guide for non-finance trustees
    Ensuring your charity is financially healthy and will remain so for the foreseeable future is one of the key duties of trustees. But
    it can feel like a minefield to those without a background in finance. In this session Sam Coutinho will outline what good practice looks like in the relationship between the board and the finance director – including the questions trustees should be asking and the key financial risks all trustees should be aware of.

    Sam Coutinho, audit and advisory partner, haysmacintyr
  • 3.15PM - 4.00PM
    4D. Promoting controversial causes: Leading a charity in the face of negative headlines
    Many charities work hard to further worthy charitable causes that sometimes attract criticism or controversy. Islamic Relief
    Worldwide, for instance, has achieved a record income while battling Islamophobia and media hostility on a regular basis. In this session, Naser Haghamed and Lamia El Amri will share their advice for dealing with opposition from a variety of sources, including how to maintain staff morale, what the board can do to help, and also the steps that Islamic Relief Worldwide has taken to promote diversity and build resilience within its own organisation.

    Naser Haghamed, chief executive and Lamia El Amri, chair, Islamic Relief Worldwide
  • 4.00PM - 4.40PM
    Closing address: The next phase for the regulator

    In this closing address, the Charity Commission's director of policy and communications will share her thoughts on the future relationship between the sector and its regulator in the post-Shawcross era, and on how charities should respond to modern challenges and opportunities.  

    Sarah Atkinson, director of policy and communications, Charity Commission

  • 4.40PM - 4.50PM
    Chair's closing remarks
    Tania Mason, editor, Governance & Leadership
  • 4.50PM - 6.00PM
    Networking drinks reception
    A chance to network and reflect on the day.

Sponsors & supporters

With thanks to our conference sponsors:

Cazenove 2017


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VWV 2018




With thanks to our conference supporters
Cazenove 2018


Edentree 2018


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Sarasin 2018




VWV 2018


Waverton 2018





Very useful networking with charities big and small and the commonalities
Janet Bloor, Action Duchenne

A rare opportunity to meet enthusiastic committed expertise from many walks of life Jane Flint Bridgewater, Cardiovascular Care Partnership UK

Very well structured with topics covering all aspects affecting trustees in the charity sector
Jeev Sahoo, Three Cs Support

Great day, wide ranging topics, just need to prioritise my actions now
Stephanie Maurel, Concordia

Excellent - critically important for getting up to date information direct from the 'horse’s mouth' in many cases
Duncan Bridges, Malvern Hills Conservators

Excellent day - thought provoking
Debby Webb, International Cat Care

Very valuable introduction to the role of the trustee on a charity board and excellent networking opportunity
Ian Judson, Sarcoma UK

Extremely relevant to my role as chair. Some new perspectives and reminders offered
Andrew Johnston, C.C.I.L

Great networking opportunity to identify common issues in the sector and how others have dealt with them
Wendy Bosler, Cats Protection

Very useful way to spend a day. Much food for thought and a good mix of tactical and strategic issues to discuss
Susan Griffin, The Donkey Sanctuary

Excellent breadth of information. Stimulating plenaries and workshops - Sandie Keene, Langley House Trust

An excellent one day opportunity to refresh my thinking on governance and test it with peers
Greg Holder, Pepenbury


(booking made by 16 March)
Bookings after 16 March
Small charity rate (<250k income) 199 199
Charity delegate 249 299
Charity extra place(s) 149 199
Charity team ticket (up to four places) 599 749

All prices excluding VAT

To purchase additional delegate places, please contact [email protected]


The Royal Garden Hotel
2-24 Kensington High St
W8 4PT



Terms & Conditions

Please note that speakers and topics were confirmed at the time of publishing, however, circumstances beyond the control of the organisers may necessitate substitutions, alterations or cancellations of the speakers and/or topics. As such Civil Society Media Ltd reserves the right to alter or modify the advertised speakers and/or topics if necessary. Any substitutions or alterations will be updated on our web page as soon as possible.

Substitution and cancellation policy: On receipt of your booking form, your place is confirmed. Delegate substitutions are allowed. Refunds on cancellations will only be issued (less a 15% administration charge) up to and including 14 days prior to the event. Refunds will not be issued after this date. Confirmation of cancellations MUST be in writing and sent or faxed to Civil Society Media at 15 Prescott Place, London, SW4 6BS 020 7819 1200 (fax: 020 7819 1210).

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