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Interim manager for charity whose trustees received Russian-related sanctions

16 May 2022 News

An interim manager has been appointed by the Charity Commission to Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) after its trustees were made subject to financial sanctions relating to Russia.

The charity provides grants to new and existing projects that aim to advance Jewish communities and engagement with Jewish heritage and identity.  

Three out of the four founding trustees of the charity have been named designated persons and added to the list of people subject to sanctions by the UK government relating to Russia.

Emma Moody was appointed as the interim manager twelve days after a statutory inquiry was launched into the charity. 

Moody, an experienced charity solicitor, is a partner and head of charities at Womble Bond Dickinson, a London law firm. One of her tasks will be managing the funds in the charity’s bank account. 

She will be working with the only remaining trustee, Gennady Gazin. 

Russian oligarchs disallowed from acting as trustees

Individuals subject to sanctions relating to Russia cannot undertake their duties as a trustee, the Charity Commission has ruled. 

This has led Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman and German Khan to be discharged from acting as GPG trustees. 

Aven and Fridman are Russian oligarchs and billionaires who are believed to be close to President Putin, according to reports in The Times

Khan is a Ukrainian-Russian oligarch and billionaire. His wife has also been sanctioned by the European Union (EU) due to their connections with Russia. 

All three have had their assets frozen. 

The inquiry

A statutory inquiry was launched into GPG on 16 March to examine whether it can still operate. The regulator also froze the charity’s bank account so no transactions could be made without its consent. 

The charity was registered in 2018. Data for the financial year ending June 2020 recorded its total income as almost £900,000.

Its expenditure for the same year was recorded as being spent entirely on charitable activities and totalled just over £877,000.  

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