Children & the Arts is delighted to announce the appointment of Hussam Otaibi as its new Chair. Hussam joined Children & the Arts’ Board of Trustees in 2015 and begins his new role in June, succeeding Neil Mendoza who will step down after almost four years in the post.

A British financier and entrepreneur, Hussam’s professional expertise lies in managing complex banking relationships in the UK and Europe. In 2000 he founded Floreat Group after building considerable experience in finance, marketing and private client management in Europe and the Middle East. Hussam leads Floreat Merchant Banking, oversees the group’s core client base, and also sits on the board of several funds and investment managers related to the group. Hussam spends his time between London and Berkshire with his wife and two young children.

An avid collector and advocate of the arts, Hussam started his own collection over 20 years ago and more recently established an art foundation, Modern Forms, to support emerging visual artists.

Also a Patron of the Serpentine Gallery and the Tate, Hussam’s enthusiasm for and knowledge of contemporary art were integral to the conception of Children & the Arts’ biennial Be Inspired contemporary art auction – a significant fundraiser for the charity and a highlight for likeminded arts enthusiasts. Hussam chaired the Art Committee for the 2017 Be Inspired auction, which raised £445,000 towards Children & the Arts’ work bringing quality arts experiences to disadvantaged children across the UK.

“I would like to thank Neil Mendoza for his excellent work over the last few years as chairman of the board and recognise that his contribution together with the management team led by Jeremy Newton, Rebecca Darke, and Emma Moorby has widened the scope of the charity, in terms of its aims and endeavours in assisting under privileged children to access the arts across the UK.

Children are our future and in order to broaden their mind and spirit, art in all its forms and in its broadest terms, can play an important role in doing so. I am honoured and delighted to continue working for this charity and believe that it should be expanded further, to widen the opportunities it offers, in terms of education and enjoyment to many children”.

Hussam Otaibi

“I'm thrilled that Hussam has agreed to serve as Chair of Children & the Arts. Hussam cares passionately about the important work that our charity does throughout the UK. He will bring great flair, enthusiasm and leadership skills to take the charity on to the next stage of its journey”.

Current Chair Neil Mendoza

“Children & the Arts is very fortunate to have Hussam’s dedication and energy at the helm going forward.  The whole team is greatly looking forward to working with him.

We’re hugely grateful to Neil Mendoza for his distinguished leadership and commitment since 2013. Neil has overseen a wide-ranging transformation and stabilisation of Children & the Arts, keeping a focus at all times on the charity’s core ambitions and values. Having celebrated the organisation’s 10th anniversary last year, we now look forward to what we can accomplish in a climate where our mission to engage and inspire the next generation is needed more than ever”.

Jeremy Newton, Chief Executive of Children & the Arts