Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2011
Update April 2012
In January, I began my practice-based research project with Social Investment Scotland, the only accredited Community Development Finance Institution in Scotland, managing the Scottish Investment Fund (around £30m of Scottish Government funds) which invests a mixture of debt, non-repayable strategic investment and risk capital, as well as a separate loan fund. I have been looking at the social finance marketplace in Scotland and providing advice to the CEO and Board on the role that SIS can play in that, linking with wider UK initiatives such as Big Society Capital.
In January I also joined Standard Life to work on their Charitable Trust, set up in 2009 and funded mainly from their Unclaimed Assets Trust (currently around £40m in shares). This work is focused on the Charitable Trust operating model, including issues of governance, project generation, overall Trust management and links with the Sustainability agenda of the core public limited company business. I am working directly with the senior executive team and Board of the Charitable Trust and also building relationships with a wide range of external players in the Trusts/Foundation and social finance worlds.
My work as a charity Trustee is interesting and challenging in these tougher financial times. It is an excellent way of deepening strategic management and governance experience. The Board has recently taken on four new members so there is much to gain from being part of this restructuring. I have had several approaches about taking on further Board positions and am reviewing my options in light of the time I have available.
In addition, I continue to work with a growing organisation – ‘Scottish Changing the Chemistry’. This is a network of senior women from all sectors, especially the private sector. It aims to support more women into non executive directorships through a series of initiatives, including mentoring, networking and events (I co-lead the latter initiative).
Support from the Clore Social Leadership Programme and from Fellow colleagues remains invaluable. The Action Learning Set, last held via Skype, continues to be a great source of support and advice. I look forward to growing our Fellowship beyond the scope of the Programme – our year of Fellows has set up a new network organisation to support this.
Overall, the opportunities opened up by the time and ‘weight’ that the Fellowship brings, are immense and limited only by imagination and time. I look forward to further ways in which to develop these opportunities over the rest of 2012.
Current principal role: National Head
Current principal organisation: BBC Children in Need
Other leadership role 1: Trustee
Other organisation 1: Social Enterprise Academy
Research: Shining Armour or Sheep’s Clothing? Views on social investment in the UK
Research topics: Finance; Social investment;
Secondment host: Standard Life plc