C&RT hunts money experts as Trustees

February 2018 - For the third time since Christmas, C&RT is advertising in the Sunday Times. Following its advert for Regional Advisory Board Chairs and Regional Directors, C&RT is now seeking to two new Trustees. Allan Richards reports.

With a closing date of 12 March 2018, C&RT is advertising for two Trustees. In the short term this will increase its number or Trustees from 10 to 12. According to the Sunday Times advert:

‘Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate some or all of the following areas of expertise: significant financial capability obtained in a large and complex organisation; investment experience (property and/or non-property); and strong knowledge and experience of charity governance’.

The advert continues:

‘This is an exciting opportunity for talented individuals who may have a passion for the waterways or just a love of the outdoors and a desire to improve lives and make a difference to the nation’s wellbeing. We anticipate that successful candidates will have a variety of previous senior experience.’

It is understood that the new Trustees to will replace the chair of C&RT’s Audit and Risk Committee Committee, Francis Done and also the Investment Committee chair, Manish Chande. Both Done and Chande are due to retire in March this year. ​

Under Chande’s Investment Committee chairmanship, the Trust diversified some of its non-operational assets. Up to that time its assets were almost exclusively in property. An unknown proportion of these diversified assets benefited a company in which Manish Chande has an interest. For a time, board minutes contained the following entry under declarations of interest:

‘Manish Chande is a founding member and Senior Partner at Clearbell Capital LLP. Under its discretionary mandate, Partners Capital (the Trust's fund manager) has allocated capital via pooled investments to CP Real Estate Holdings Limited, a property company advised by Clearbell. Partners Capital has also invested in CPBM Finance Limited (Project Monza) a joint venture, which includes a fund managed by Clearbell'.

Later minutes show ‘declarations of interest’ being held in a document which the Trust has never published. We have to ask: Why not?

Perhaps the chair of the Audit and Risk Committee could have pointed out this publication failure. Better still, she might have audited Mr Chande's past history and Clearbell's connection to another company, Mountgrange (Whatever Happened to the Missing Mountgrange Millions?).

As before, the background information for the advertisement seems rather hastily put together. We still have the 'Resources expended on charitable activities' graph sporting unexplained two lines. However, it seems that the Trust is at least paying lip-service to being a navigation authority. Hidden amongst 16 pages giving further details about the vacancies can be spotted:

'In making these appointments the Trust is determined to address the need for greater diversity in terms of ethnicity and gender balance in our Board membership, and to have a good representation from across England and Wales.

Appointing a Trustee who has considerable personal experience of boating, for example someone who is or has been a boat-owner on the inland waterways, would also be desirable'.

Desirable? One would have thought it mandatory! ​

You can check out previous Floater stories on C&RT's restructuring through the Sunday Times here:

What will become of the Waterways Managers?

Regional Advisory Boards replace Waterway Partnerships

Photos: (1st) The third C&RT Sunday Times advert of the year - so far, (2nd) Two lines but no-one knows what they mean, (3rd) Francis Done - retiring, (4th) Manish Chande - property interests.

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