Hussam Otaibi - Chair

A financier and entrepreneur, Hussam founded Floreat group after building up years of expertise in finance, marketing and private client management. He 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. An avid collector and advocate of the arts, Hussam established the Modern Forms art collection to support emerging visual artists and is a Patron of the Serpentine Gallery and the Tate.

Professor Robin Alexander

Robin is a Fellow of Wolfson College at Cambridge, Honorary Professor of Education at the University of York, Professor of Education Emeritus at Warwick and Chair of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) and past President of the British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE). 

Bonnie Austin


Bonnie has over 10 years of experience in the cultural, charity, social enterprise and public sectors. Having previously been Programme Director at Shakespeare Schools Festival, Bonnie now works as a Management Consultant in EY's People Advisory Services, supporting organisations with a focus on people, culture, organisational change and leadership development. 


Martha Genieser

Martha has executive experience in education and business, having worked at numerous educational and commercial organisations both in the UK and the USA. She is currently the Senior Advisor for Philanthropy and Education to the Alan Howard Foundation. Martha is also the President of the Harvard Club in the UK. 

Francesca Hegyi

Fran is Executive Director at Hull 2017: UK City of Culture. Previously she was Director of Cultural Enquiry at Kings College London where she established the Culture and Major Events Consortium and a senior advisor at London 2012. Fran has over 15 years of experience in strategy, management, fundraising and sponsorship within the cultural and creative industries. 

Jonathan Rounce

Qualified as a hotelier and chartered accountant, Jonathan has 35 years’ experience in the leisure and entertainment industry. He established and ran Coopers & Lybrand (PricewaterhouseCoopers) tourism & leisure consultancy practice for 11 years before working in property development. In 2001 he established Petersham Group, a specialist leisure business consultancy, where he concentrates on the development of business appraisals for leisure enterprises across the UK and internationally.

Des Violaris

Des is Director UK Arts & Culture at BP, she has led the company’s arts programme for more than 15 years, managing relationships with world class cultural institutions such as the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, Tate Britain and the Royal Shakespeare Company. In this role Des has seen BP receive numerous awards for the company’s long term support for UK arts and culture and was herself presented with the 2014 UK Sponsorship Award for Outstanding contribution to Arts and Culture. 

Ruth Warder

Ruth is General Manager at Edelman PR, leading Edelman's brand, creative & planning offerings. She has over 15 years’ experience in brand marketing and has worked on a number of award winning communications programmes, where she has helped to create, build, and reposition brands ranging from FMCG to technology and luxury. 

James Wilcox

A lawyer with over 30 years of experience in the private client sector, James is a Managing Partner and owner of Floreat Group. He holds expertise in managing the personal and corporate affairs of UHNW families and sovereign funds as well as co-ordinating the creation of Foundations and Charitable Structures. James is a former trustee and Chairman of the Development Board of St Paul’s Cathedral in London and is a member of the development council for the Woolf Institute at Cambridge University and a trustee of Children in Crisis.