To merge or not to merge...

Charity Times and Unity Trust Bank brought together a group of sector experts to get their views on the relevance of charity mergers in the current climate. A diverse range of views were uncovered

Roundtable panel:

Paul Palmer, chairman
Paul Palmer is professor of Voluntary Sector Management at the Cass Business School. He has extensive knowledge of charity financial and management issues.

John Copps, panellist
John leads part of New Philanthropy Capital's research team, where he has worked since 2003. His research interests include cross-sector and charities work on education.

Mark Freeman, panellist
Mark Freeman is the founder and chief executive of Charity Business. He has been
involved in the charity sector since 1995 and is known for reengineering charity finances.

Kevin Williams, panellist
Kevin was appointed chief executive of The Adolescent and Children's Trust (TACT) in 2001. He has a strong background in teaching and social work.

Michael Chuter, panellist
Michael Chuter is a chartered accountant and head of finance and enterprise at the Foyer Federation, the UK's largest network of youth housing.

Angela Haynes, panellist
Angela joined CFDG as policy manager in August 2009. She spent two years in Brussels as a freelance international development and human rights consultant.

Stephen Gilbert, panellist
Stephen Gilbert is a chartered secretary and holds an MSc
in Charity Accounting and Financial Management. He moved to the charitable sector
in 1992.

Cara Turtington, panellist
Cara is a partner within the not-forprofit group in Saffery Champness, a firm
of chartered accountants. She specialises in providing audit and general advisory services.

Sakthi Suriyaprakasam, panellist
Sakthi Suriyaprakasam is responsible for developing and managing
NCVO's work around collaborative working and ICT.

Kevin Turmore, panellist
Kevin was appointed managing director of Unity Trust Bank in July 2005. He
has spent most of his working life in banking.

Given that the recession has been so deep for the sector, the issue
of mergers has raised its head in a way that it has not been necessary in a
normal economic environment. Is this a benefit or a curse? Can charities merging
be a useful way of making themselves stronger through recessionary times

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