James Barnard, Sophie Birshan and Alison Taylor have been appointed as Trustees of Wallace Collection

James Barnard

James Barnard started his career as a banker employed by Nomura International plc. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1993 and now practices as a barrister, specialising in commercial and chancery litigation at 1 Essex Court, Temple.

He was a member of the board of The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance from 2004-2014, also serving as Chairman of its Risk and Audit Committee for four years.

He is a trustee of The Linbury Trust, one of the largest UK-based grant-making foundations with a particular focus on public engagement with culture (including arts, dance, museums and heritage); he also sits on the Investment Committee and Social Impact Investment Committee of the Linbury Trust.

He is the co-trustee of the Parham Park Trust (1984), a charitable trust which funds, maintains and preserves one of the finest Elizabethan houses open to the public in England.

Sophie Birshan

Sophie is the Industry Head for Multicategory Retail at Google, leading Google’s relationships on marketing and adtech with many of the UK’s largest retailers. Prior to Google, Sophie was Head of Insight at John Lewis & Partners, leading the data science and analytics function.

Previously she has held roles as Director of Loyalty Marketing at Mothercare; as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in their London, San Francisco, and Mumbai offices; and as a Policy Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.

With a lifelong love of heritage and the arts, Sophie has previously served on the London Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, graduating with high distinction.

Alison Taylor

Alison Taylor is a Chartered Accountant and Banking Executive with a particular focus on business and the charitable sector. In 2019 she became CEO of CAF Bank and Charities Aid Foundation Charity Services providing financial services, infrastructure and support to charities across the UK to help them build financial resilience and enhance their fundraising capabilities.

A passionate advocate for the role of charities in society, she sees the potential for connecting donors with charities that best represent their interests to maximise the benefits of giving for society. Previously, Alison spent many years in corporate banking at HSBC and was HSBC UK Chief of Staff on the Executive Committee that managed the transition of HSBC’s ring-fenced bank.

Initially, Alison qualified at Deloitte working in mergers and acquisitions across sectors in the UK and overseas. She is a charity trustee and fundraiser and a community volunteer with Westminster Connects and the Royal Voluntary Service.

She has been a member of The Wallace Collection for many years and is passionate about maintaining the calibre of the museum for future generations, whilst increasing accessibility to a broader catchment of visitors. Alison looks forward to bringing her expertise in finance, risk management, and the charitable sector to bear at the Board of Trustees.

Wallace Collection Trustees are not remunerated. These appointments have been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Under the Code, any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years must be declared. This is defined as including holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation or candidature for election. James Barnard, Sophie Birshan and Alison Taylor have declared no such political activity.

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