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Executive Pay Inquiry announced

NCVO today (Friday 11 October) announced the members of the Executive Pay Inquiry that will draw up guidelines for charity trustees when deciding on pay levels for senior executives.

The Inquiry will explore the arguments about what are appropriate levels of pay for charity senior executives, and how these levels should be arrived at. It will also explore the relationship between salary levels and public trust and confidence in the sector as a whole. The Inquiry will produce definitive guidelines for charity trustees, informed by a broad debate on the issues involved, to take into account when setting salaries.

The announcement that NCVO would bring together a group of trustees to look at these issues followed extensive criticism in the media of high levels of executive pay in a number of large household name charities.

The Inquiry, which includes experts from a range of diverse organisations, will meet for the first time next month and will publish their recommendations in the spring.

They are expected to discuss issues relating to benchmarking, pay ratios in the voluntary sector, public trust and confidence, and reporting requirements before setting out definitive guidelines for charity trustees when they are looking to establish pay and remuneration for senior executives.

Commenting, Martyn Lewis CBE, Chair of NCVO, who will chair the Executive Pay Inquiry said:

"This is a sensitive issue which concerns everyone involved in the voluntary and community sector. We have a duty to ensure that donations are spent effectively and efficiently so that the public can continue to have absolute confidence that every penny of their money is being spent wisely.

“Setting senior staff salaries is a complicated task for trustees, who have to balance many factors to determine the right pay level in their organisation. It’s right that we take the time to consider the complex issues around executive pay before coming forward with detailed recommendations.

"I’m delighted to bring together an experienced group of people who represent a cross section of organisations in the sector so that we can explore every aspect of this important debate."

The Executive Pay Inquiry members are:


  • Martyn Lewis CBE (Chair) – Former BBC & ITV newscaster, Chair of NCVO, YouthNet, Families of the Fallen and the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and President of United Response.
  • Lord Allen CBE of Kensington – Outgoing Chair of the Red Cross, Chair of the Olympic Legacy charity “Join In” and Global Radio Group. During the course of the Inquiry he was succeeded as Chair of the Red Cross by David Bernstein, former FA Chairman, who replaced him on the Inquiry.
  • Sir John Baker CBE – Former Chair of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) and subsequent chair of an Independent Review into parliamentary pay, pensions and allowances.
  • Nick Brooks – Partner and Head of not-for-profit sector group at accountancy firm Kingston Smith
  • Andrew Dent CVO – Chair of the volunteering charity REACH.
  • Sacha Deshmukh – Newly appointed Deputy Chair of Citizens Advice (England & Wales), CEO of Smart Meter Central Delivery Body and Director of Consumer Futures.
  • Bruce Gordon – NCVO Honorary Treasurer and Chairman of Honorary Treasurers' Forum, representing the Treasurers of all the big charities in the UK.
  • Alice Maynard – Chair of Scope and Founding Director of Future Inclusion, which ensures effective governance practices are embedded in organisations.
  • Sir Alan Parker – Chair of Save The Children, and Founder and Chairman of Brunswick Group.
  • Lord Phillips of Sudbury, OBE – Long-time charity campaigner, who has founded six charities including the Citizenship Foundation and the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (LawWorks) of both of which he is now President. Also founder of charity firm Bates, Wells. Ex-Chancellor of the University of Essex.
  • David Sheepshanks CBE – Chair of UK Sport, and of UK Community Foundations, which links philanthropists and other donors to local charities across the UK through a single access point.
  • Michael Smyth CBE – chairs three charities including Community Links, the innovative east London social enterprise; he was for many years a partner at Clifford Chance and is a member of the Press Complaints Commission and visiting professor at QMUL.
  • Professor Gillian Stamp, Founder of Bioss International, works globally as a sounding board for chairmen, chief executives, senior civil servants and senior staff of organisations both large and small, including social entrepreneurs and voluntary organisations. A Fellow of the Windsor Leadership Trust, she was an adviser to a recent committee on reform of the Civil Service.
  • John Stewart – Chair of Guide Dogs and Legal & General, with extensive senior management and business experience across a range of FTSE 100 companies.
  • Ian Theodoreson – Chief Finance Officer of the Church of England, and Chairman of the Charity Finance Group, whose aim is to "drive up standards and ensure every pound given to charity works harder".
  • John Wood – Board member of the Charity Commission from 2008 to 2013, and a charity consultant at the law firm Herbert Smith.
  • Mark Wood – Chair of the NSPCC and CEO of JLT Pension Benefits Solutions.
  • Vicky Wright – Deputy Chair of RNLI and immediate past President of CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development), the professional body of the HR community.
  • Rosie Chapman (Secretariat) – An independent charity advisor. She was formerly Director of Policy and Effectiveness at the Charity Commission, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and current trustee of the Charity Finance Group
  • Jane Hobson (as observer) – Head of Policy at the Charity Commission.


NCVO represents the charity and voluntary sector, with over 10,000 members, from the biggest household name charities to the smallest community groups.


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