Annual Conference 2015 - London

Wednesday, 13 May 2015, 09:00 - 17:00


CFG Annual Conference 2015 - Driving performance and growth

CFG's Annual Conference is the must-attend event of the year for all finance professionals working in the charity sector.

Building on the success of last year's Annual Conference, we've put together a varied and engaging programme for 2015 covering key topics, such as impact reporting, internal audit, KPIs and benchmarking, strategy, business continuity, decision-making, and much more!

As usual are five seminar streams enabling you to tailor the day to best meet your objectives. This year the streams will cover:

  • Income and Investment
  • Reporting and Inspiring
  • Management and Strategy
  • Governance and Risk
  • Leadership and Change

Don't miss the opportunity to gain practical advice from our expert speakers, hear insightful charity case studies, browse the conference exhibition and network with your peers. And after the conference, why not join us at our drinks reception?

CFG's Annual Conference is kindly sponsored by

Grant Thornton

The drinks reception is kindly sponsored by


Exhibiting at this year's conference are:

Aberdeen Asset Management plc
Advanced Business Solutions
Allen Lane
Baker Tilly
Baring Asset Management
Blackbaud Europe
BlackRock Investment Management 
Brewin Dolphin
Cazenove Charities
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)
Charity Financials
Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP
D E Ford Insurance Brokers
Diversity Travel
Ecclesiastical Investment Management
Foster Denovo
Grant Thornton UK LLP
Hays Accountancy and Finance
HSF Health Plan
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW)
Kingston Smith
Lake Financial Systems
MHA Macintyre Hudson
Morgan Law
Premier Pensions Management
PS Financials Ltd
Quilter Cheviot
Rathbone Investment Management
Robertson Bell
Royal London Asset Management
Saffery Champness
Sapphire Systems plc
Sarasin & Partners
Sayer Vincent
Smith & Williamson Ltd
Technology Trust
The Access Group
The Co-operative Bank
Triodos Bank
Unity Trust Bank
Waverton Investment Management
Zurich Insurance plc


Download the available presentations by clicking on the session titles below. pdf icon 




Welcome by the chair
Ian Theodoreson, Chief Finance Officer, Church of England & CFG Chair


Opening plenary – The role of the finance function and business partnering
Dalton Leong, Chief Executive & John Tranter, Director of Finance, The Children’s Trust


Move to sessions








1A – Is your finance committee asking the right questions?
Richard Maitland, Sarasin & Partners LLP

1B – Impact reporting 
Sam Coutinho, haysmacintyre & Helga Edwards, The Woodland Trust
Take part in a survey on impact reporting - results will be reported in the session.

1C – The importance of financial education in the workplace
Ian Bird, Foster Denovo

1D – Linking strategy to assurance and risk
Naziar Hashemi, Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP

1E – A wolf from Wall Street? A banker moved to charity
Steve Harris, Scope


Break for refreshments


2A – Ethical investments
Helen Turnbull Wright, Comic Relief & Claire Brown, The Elders

2B – Using benchmarks and KPIs
Andrew Whitehead, Marie Curie

2C – All change please! - the role of accountants in a restructure
Liz Hazell & Cara Turtington, Saffery Champness & Mike Fowler, Brook Young People

2D – Internal audit: does your charity need it and how can you achieve the most from it?
Sally Knight, MHA Macintyre Hudson

2E – Personal presence and brand
Caryn Skinner, Sharpstone Skinner


Move to plenary


 Launch of the new Finance Count
Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive, CFG

Lunchtime plenary - Using data for performance improvement
Sarah Flanningan, Chief Information Officer, The National Trust




3A – How to keep your charity going: the complete guide to lending
Peter Borgers,  
Triodos Bank & Marilyne Davis, Golden Lane Housing

3B – The future of reporting in the sector
Helena Wilkinson, Price Bailey LLP & Nick Kavanagh, Friendship Works

3C – 'Better by Design' CLIC Sargent's strategic business improvement programme
Lorraine Clifton & Sherine Wheeler, CLIC Sargent

3D – The latest on pensions
Richard Soldan, Lane Clark & Peacock & Kevin Barnes, Barnardo’s

3E – Leadership in a creative environment
Sally O’Neill, Royal Opera House


Move between sessions


4A – Two nations divided by a common language: Finance and fundraising working together
Mark Astarita and Rohan Hewavisenti, RNIB

4B – From compliance to performance
Rebecca Bowry & Mark Woodbridge, Diabetes UK

4C – The worst HR headaches – and how an informed FD can best manage the risks
Kathryn Evens and Stuart Craig, Mills & Reeve LLP

4D – Fraud awareness and good governance
Tom Davies,
Grant Thornton

4E – Ways to better decision making 
Kate Sayer,
Sayer Vincent


Break for refreshments


Closing plenary

Dame Stephanie Shirley, Entrepreneur
In conversation with Pesh Framjee, Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP & CFG Special Adviser


Closing remarks by the chair

16.55 – 18.00

Drinks reception

To download a full copy of the programme click HERE.

Speaker interviews

Dame Stephanie Shirley was our inspirational closing keynote speaker. After her session, we asked her about what makes an inspiring leader and what advice she had for anyone thinking of starting a charity. Dame Stephanie also reflected on the challenges for the charity sector in 2015/16 and what lessons charities and businesses can learn from each other.

Speaker biographies 

Mark Astarita, Director of Fundraising, British Red Cross

Mark joined the British Red Cross as Director of Fundraising in 2003 moving from The National Deaf Children's Society where he held the position of Deputy Chief Executive. In his eleven years at the British Red Cross, Mark has overseen the launch of over 50 emergency appeals, including appeals for the 2011 Japan Tsunami, the 2005 London Bombings, and, most recently, the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan appeal. He is one of the few UK fundraisers that has been responsible for raising over a billion pounds during his career.

Kevin Barnes, Director of Finance, Barnado's

Kevin is Director of Finance at Barnado's, where he has worked since 2004, initially as the senior accountant responsible for the finances of all services across the UK.

Ian Bird, Business Development Director, Foster Denovo

Ian Bird is Business Development Director at national financial advisers, Foster Denovo. He believes passionately that financial education and advice should not be limited to only the wealthy. Without it, he is concerned that many charity employees run the rusk of retiring into poverty.

Peter Borgers, Senior Relationship Manager - Social & Cultural Team, Triodos Bank

Peter has been with Triodos since 2006 and has arranged lending facilities for some of the bank's key customers in the charity and social enterprise sector.

Claire Brown, Finance Director, The Elders

Claire joined The Elders in August 2014. She was previously Finance and Investment Director at the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, one of the largest grant making foundations in the UK. She has worked at various financial services organisations throughout her early career, including hedge funds and private equity.

Rebecca Bowry, Head of Planning & Performance, Diabetes UK

Rebecca's responsibilities include the annual planning round, performance reporting, impact measurement and risk management. She has over 30 years' experience of similar roles in the private, public and charity sectors.

Lorraine Clifton, Chief Executive, CLIC Sargent

Lorraine started her career at BP, spending 13 years working in a variety of project management and marketing roles. She then moved to the NHS, where she was the Chief Executive of three different NHS Trusts in London and the South East, over a period of another 13 years.

Leaving the NHS, and wanting to work in the voluntary sector, she first took a nine month post as interim Chief Executive of AMREF UK (the UK fundraising and advocacy arm of a major African healthcare development charity), before being fortunate enough to be appointed Chief Executive of CLIC Sargent in August 2009.

Lorraine is also a Trustee of SPEAR (a south-west London charity for the homeless).

Stuart Craig, Partner, Mills & Reeve

Stuart is a well-known employment lawyer, leading a team with a strong reputation in the not-for-profit and health sectors.

Helga Edwards, Director of Corporate Services, Woodland Trust

Helga joined the Woodland Trust, the UK's largest woodland conservation charity, 15 years ago. Her previous career was in the retail and financial services sector.

Kathryn Evens, Associate, Mills & Reeve

A highly experienced HR lawyer focused on not-for-profit clients.

Mike Fowler, Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services

Mike joined Brook in November 2012 as Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services, choosing to specialise 'Where there is an impact on people'.

Steve Harris, Head of Financial Planning & Analysis

Steve is Head of Financial Planning & Analysis at Scope. He has recently moved into the charity sector after a 15 year career in Financial Services.

Liz Hazell, Partner, Saffery Champness

Liz leads Saffery Champness' Not-for-Profit Group, acting as auditor and business adviser to her clients, bringing insight and pragmatic down to earth suggestions to trustees and senior management teams.

Rohan Hewavisenti, Group Director of Resources, RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People)

Rohan joined RNIB as Group Director of Resources in April. He was previously Executive Director of Finance, Planning and Resources at the British Red Cross for seven years.

Nick Kavanagh, Finance Director, Friendship Works

Nick currently works three days a week for Friendship Works. He also lectures in Charity Finance and Investment at St. Mary's University College. He volunteers with the Charity Tax Group, is Trustee of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust and is seconded on to the Board of The Friars, Aylesford.

Sally Knight, Partner, MHA Macintyre Hudson

Sally is a specialist Audit Partner in the Not for Profit team at MHA Macintyre Hudson. She delivers external and internal audit services and also draws on previous experience as Head of Internal Audit at a major international retailer, and at a national charity, so brings insight from the 'other side of the fence'.

Dalton Leong, Chief Executive, The Children's Trust

Dalton's private sector career was in banking. He is now in his third Chief Executive role, having previously been at The Shooting Star Children's Hospice and Global Radio Charities. 

Richard Maitland, Partner, Head of Charities, Sarasin & Partners LLP

Richard joined Sarasin & Partners in 1992. He manages diversified multi-asset portfolios for charities and assisting the firm's long-term strategic asset allocation. He is author of the Compendium of Investment.

Sally O'Neill, Chief Operating Office, Royal Opera House

Sally has 12 years' experience in the voluntary sector, having previously spent 5 years as Finance Director at the Historic Royal Palaces and 7 years as Financial Controller at the National Theatre.

Dame Stephanie Shirley

Dame Stephanie Shirley is a successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist and workplace revolutionary.

Dame Stephanie, known as Steve, was named as one of the 100 most powerful women in Britain in February 2013 by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4. In January 2014, the Science Council named Dame Stephanie as one of the Top 100 practising scientists in the UK.

Caryn Skinner MInstF, Chartered MCIPD

Caryn Skinner is a former HR Director of Help the Aged (now Age UK), originally a fundraiser before moving into learning and development. She specialises in leadership and team development as well as the full range of communication skills from making impact as a speaker to building effective relationships at work.

John Tranter, Finance Director, The Children's Trust

John joined The Children's Trust in July having been interim Director of Finance since April 2014. Earlier this year he chaired the CFG's Pension Maze Report which was launched in July.

Helen Turnbull Wright

After starting her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Helen moved into the charity sector becoming Director of Financial Governance at Save the Children International. In 2014 Helen joined Comic Relief as Finance Director.

Cara Turtington, Partner, Saffery Champness

Cara is a partner in Saffery Champness' Not-for-Profit Group, leading audits and assisting her clients with governance, systems and controls and reporting requirements as well as budgeting and forecasting.

Sherine Wheeler, Assistant Director of Services, Innovation & Change

Sherine started her career in financial assurance services, focusing on the third sector. She is now an experienced leader of innovative programmes that enhance organisational impact, effectiveness and efficiency.

Andrew Whitehead, Director of Finance, Marie Curie

Andrew Whitehead has been the Director of Finance at Marie Curie since 2008 and has spent over 20 years as a Director of Finance in the not for profit sector, having previously worked at John Grooms (now Livability) and The Institute of Cancer Research.

He is also Trustee and Treasurer of the social enterprise HCT Group.

He was a member of the Finance Count Steering Group and has participated in a number of charity benchmarking projects.

Helena Wilkinson, Partner and Head of Charities/NFP, Price Bailey LLP

Helena Wilkinson (FCA, DChA) is a Partner at Price Bailey and Vice-Chair of the ICAEW Charity Group. She has considerable experience of advising charities having been involved in the sector for over 25 years.

Mark Woodbridge, Director of Planning, Finance and Corporate Services

Mark's responsibilities include strategy development, financial planning management and corporate services. He is also responsible for organisational performance management systems.




Venue Details


The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, LONDON, SW1P 3EE

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Bookings & Prices



Terms and Conditions:

Written notice of cancellations up to 21 days before an event will incur a 25% administration fee. After this time period, a 100% cancellation charge will apply. Substitutions (i.e. name changes) for the course booked can be made free of charge.

CFG reserves the right to cancel any event two weeks prior to the event date. You will be entitled to a full refund or given the opportunity to transfer to an alternative date. However we regret that we cannot refund any travel or accommodation costs incurred by delegates. CFG accepts no liability if an event is cancelled or postponed for reasons beyond our reasonable control resulting from an act of God, governmental regulation, fire, war, terrorist activity or civil commotion.

It may be necessary for reasons beyond our control to change the date, time or the venue at any time prior to the event date. If this occurs you will be informed of changes and given the opportunity to cancel or transfer to an alternative date.

CFG reserves the right to amend the content of the programme or the speakers where necessary without consulting booked delegates.

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