Taylor Root UK Trustee Network: An interview with Mary Bowie

Autor Nikki Newton
Januar 30, 2024

As part of our interview series for our Trustee Network, Taylor Root Partner, Nikki Newton recently spoke to Mary Bowie, Lead Legal Counsel at Wakam about being a Trustee for The Insurance Charities (TIC).

What does your Trustee organisation do?

Wakam for Good (WFG) is an endowment fund with the intention of making partner contributions as impactful as possible. WFG financially supports NGOs to promote the inclusion of financially and psychologically fragile population.

Why were you interested in becoming a Trustee?

 I really wanted to be able to use my existing professional experience as a lawyer to be an agent for change in financial services/insurance to support financial and social inclusion. As a recently qualified coach, I have learned that alignment of core beliefs and values can facilitate greater career satisfaction and sustain motivation and so I have been grateful to have been involved in the project of establishing WFG UK as part of my role as Lead Legal Counsel UK.

I am also a trustee of The Insurance Charities. Established in the City of London in 1902 as The Insurance Clerks Orphanage, The Insurance Charities provides financial and practical support to current and former insurance employees in the UK and Ireland who are facing challenging circumstances. The Board of Trustees is drawn from across the insurance sector and its role is largely to ensure there is appropriate and robust governance in place, commensurate with the Charity’s size and purpose.

We help to shape strategy, including how to raise the Charity’s profile and reach potential beneficiaries who may need its support. As an example, we have recently undertaken a market mapping exercise and will now consider the data to inform future campaigns and objectives for the coming year. The Board will gather soon for one of its dedicated strategy days which brings trustees together outside their normal working life, to agree where the charity is, where it needs to be and how it will get there, which is an essential part of our work. Bringing our individual skills and knowledge together to create the best outcomes for the Charity and those it supports demonstrates the working of an effective Board, which I am thrilled to be part of.  

Briefly describe your role as a Trustee and what involvement you have in your organisation?

As part of a Board of Trustees, we are responsible for keeping the strategy and vision in line with WFG aims and values, ensuring that our decisions are made with in the best interests of the charity. Collectively we play a vital role in policies and oversight to ensure the charity runs smoothly and efficiently, making sure that risks are managed effectively etc.

What are the benefits to a General Counsel being a Trustee?

Professional Development: Being a Trustee provides an opportunity for professional growth and development. It allows the General Counsel to expand their skill set, gain experience in governance, and enhance their understanding of legal and regulatory issues related to the charitable sector.

Networking: Serving as a Trustee allows the General Counsel to connect with other professionals in the charity sector, including fellow Trustees, executives, and stakeholders. This networking can lead to valuable relationships, collaborations, and a broader professional network.

Leadership Experience: Serving as a Trustee offers the chance to take on leadership roles within the charity, such as chairing committees or leading specific projects. This experience can enhance leadership skills, which can be valuable in the General Counsel’s primary professional role.

Understanding of Nonprofit Sector: By serving as a Trustee, the General Counsel gains a deeper understanding of the nonprofit sector, its challenges, and its unique legal and regulatory landscape. This knowledge can be valuable in advising clients or organisations with philanthropic initiatives.

If you are interested in a Trustee role or are looking to hire a Trustee position, please get in touch with Nikki Newton to find out more. 

If you would like to join our Trustee network, find out more here

We want to reiterate that this is not a paid service and forms part of our referral programme, so please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

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