Charity Commission appoints new board members and changes governance

06 Dec 2018 News

The Charity Commission has published an updated governance framework and announced the appointment of new board members.

As part of the changes to its governance its chief executive, Helen Stephenson, will join the board. 

Three new board members include a former chair of Barnardo’s, one of the founders of the Financial Conduct Authority and an intellectual property and technology lawyer.

Previously sector leaders have expressed concern that the Commission’s board lacks sufficient experience of charities and regulation, but on this occasion the appointees have extensive non-executive expertise of the sector.

‘Committed to transparency’ 

The Commission announcement said that the chief executive had joined the board so that her “role as accounting officer is more clearly represented at the highest level of corporate decision-making” and that this “brings the Commission into line with recommended governance practices of other similar bodies”.

It also sets out the role of the board, the chair, the directors' group and how they should interact with each other.

“As a public body, the Commission is committed to governance excellence and to being accountable and transparent for its decisions and activities,” the framework says. 

New board members

Two of the three new board members replace Eryl Besse and Tony Leifer and the third fills a vacant slot on the board. 

They will take up their positions on 1 January 2019.

Tony Cohen 

Cohen was chair of Barnardo’s for four and half years and until May this year. 

He has also served on other not-for-profit boards including the Arvon Foundation, City of Westminster College and the RSA. 

Professionally he worked as a journalist in the UK before running a television company in the US and becoming chief executive of Fremantle Media, an international television production, distribution and rights company. 

Nina Hingorani-Crain

Hingorani-Crain takes over from Besse as the board member with particular knowledge of Wales. 

Having worked in corporate finance for over a decade she joined the Financial Services regulator and was involved in the creation of the new regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority. As part of this she undertook a six-month secondment at Age UK to understand consumer needs. 

She is a director on the boards of the Monmouthshire Building Society (the second largest building society in Wales), Achieving For Children (a community interest company providing of children’s services) and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust (a mental and community health trust). 

She holds professional legal and accountancy qualifications and recently completed a Financial Times non-executive director diploma. 

Ian Karet

Karet is a solicitor and partner at Linklaters LLP and specialises in intellectual property and technology and is also a qualified arbitrator and trained mediator. 

He is has been a trustee at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew since 2014 and chairs its finance committee. He is also a member of the Civil Justice Council. 

Baroness Stowell said: “They were stand out candidates from a high quality field, and each bring valuable skills and strong leadership. We have defined a positive new purpose and set an ambitious strategy for the next five years - I am confident each will make a hugely valuable contribution in the months and years ahead. I look forward to working with them and all members of the Commission to ensure that charity can thrive and inspire trust and deliver as much benefit as possible back to society.”

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