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A video recording of this event is available here.

Hear from four of Britain's most dynamic and committed practitioners of transformational philanthropy: 

  • Bill Holroyd CBE, founder and chair of OnSide Youth Zones;
  • Sir Paul Marshall, chair of ARK Schools;
  • Fran Perrin, founder and director of the Indigo Trust and chair of 360Giving;
  • Sir Peter Vardy, chair of The Vardy Foundation and Safe Families for Children.

Each panellist will set out their future vision for philanthropy, highlighting the lessons they have learned during their entrepreneurial careers and philanthropic journeys, particularly with respect to how we might improve the impact and effectiveness of private contributions for the public good. Chaired by philanthropy expert Professor Mairi Maclean of Bath University, there will be ample time for participation and discussion as panellists take questions from the audience. Don't miss this opportunity to debate one of the biggest issues of modern times.

Bill Holroyd CBE DL

Bill was born on a farm in Eskdale, Cumbria and attended Keswick School. He went on to study Hotel Management at Courtfield College in Blackpool. Realising that hotel management was not for him he joined Trusthouse Forte’s supply division where he stayed for eight years, ending up setting up and running their national distribution network.

In 1982 he left THF to set up his own food service distribution company, Holroyd Meek. From a standing start, by 1994 the company had a turnover of £190m serving over 7,000 restaurants across the UK. In 1995 Booker acquired the company and Bill started his own investment company. Between 1995 and 2015 he has invested in over 25 start-up and second stage companies. Major successes have been Millies Cookies, Positive Solutions, and AO World.

In 2008 Bill set up On Side Youth Zones, a charity providing safe and inspiring, state-of-the-art facilities for young people in their leisure time. Seven Youth Zones are now completed with a further fourteen in process. At present over 50,000 young people are regular users of the Youth Zones. In 2013 Bill was awarded the CBE; in 2015 he was the High Sheriff for Cheshire and awarded a Beacon Fellowship for Philanthropy.

Sir Paul Marshall

Sir Paul is co-founder and Chairman of Marshall Wace LLP, one of Europe's leading hedge funds. He was the founder of the independent research institute The Education Policy Institute. In 2015 he helped to establish The Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship at the London School of Economics which aims “to improve the impact and effectiveness of private contributions to the public good". He is also chairman and founding trustee of ARK schools.

Sir Paul has written widely about education. He has authored ‘Tackling Educational Inequality’ (2007) and edited a number of books including 'Aiming Higher: a better future for England's schools' (2006) and 'The Tail: how England's schools fail one child in five – and what can be done'(2013). Sir Paul was previously lead non-executive board member at the Department for Education.

Fran Perrin

Fran Perrin is the Founder and Director of the Indigo Trust which she established in 1999. It is one of the 18 Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, of whom Fran is one of the fifth generation. The Indigo Trust is a UK-based grant-making foundation that works to create a world of active, informed citizens and responsive, accountable governments that together drive positive change in society. Indigo funds primarily in sub-Saharan African countries. Fran is also co-founder and Chair of the Board of 360Giving, a campaign which supports grantmakers to publish their grants data openly, to understand their data, and to use the data to create online tools that make grant-making more effective. She was formerly an advisor at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, in the UK Cabinet Office. In the past, she has also served as a Chair of the Board of Publish What You Fund and has been a member of DfID’s International Development Sector Transparency Panel. In 2012, Fran was named Philanthropist of the Year by Spears and in 2016 jointly received the Open Data Institute’s first ‘Women in Data’ award from Sir Tim Berners-Lee for her role in 360 Giving.

Sir Peter Vardy

Sir Peter took over his family’s car business in a small mining village in the North East. From a staff team of six, he grew the business to 6,000 colleagues, operating over 100 dealerships across the country representing many of the worlds luxury, performance and volume car brands. In 2006, he accepted an offer to sell the company, which to this day remains the largest deal ever made in the motor industry. 

He is currently chairman of the Vardy family businesses and the family’s charitable trust, The Vardy Foundation. The foundation built and sponsored one of the first City Technology Colleges in Gateshead and then three City Academies in areas of high or very high deprivation.

More recently, Sir Peter established the volunteer-based charity, Safe Families for Children, set up in 2012 to support families in crisis in order to reduce the flow of children entering the care system. The charity has developed throughout the UK and is now working with 3,850 volunteers through 33 local authorities, achieving a reduction of children being taken into care of up to 17%.

Sir Peter has received several business, industry and philanthropic awards, as well as two honorary doctorates and a knighthood for services to business and education.

Professor Mairi Maclean

Mairi is Professor of International Business in the School of Management at the University of Bath. Her research explores the world of philanthropists and international business elites, examining elite power and social inequalities from a Bourdieusian perspective. She investigates these topics from a historical perspective as well as in the present, for example in examining the role of Andrew Carnegie as an institutional entrepreneur who reconfigured the meaning of wealth as something that could be enjoyed provided it was given away during the lifetime of the holder. Her research has developed a fresh theoretical understanding of the involvement of wealthy entrepreneurs in socially transformative projects by offering a foundational theory of philanthropic identity narratives. These narratives are structured according to the metaphorical framework of the journey, through which actors make sense of personal transformation. She is currently exploring the crafting of philanthropic identities by philanthropists.

Duration: 2 hours

Finish: 4 pm