News September 2021

The Robertson Trust announces Board changes

Read on for updates to our Board of Trustees.

The Robertson Trust, the largest independent grant-making trust in Scotland, has appointed three new Trustees. 

The Trust also announced that Mark Batho, who joined the Board of Trustees in 2017, will become Chair on 1 October 2021 after Shonaig Macpherson CBE announced her intention to retire from the role after 17 years of service. 

The new trustees are expected to join the Trust in the coming months. They are: 

  • Fiona Larg until recently the Chief Operating Officer and Secretary for the University of the Highlands and Islands after a 12-year period and who has taken on a new role as SCDI Highlands and Islands Committee Chair. She will chair The Robertson Trust’s Audit and Risk Committee. Fiona joins the Board on 1 October.  
  • John Loughton the founder of Scran Academy and CEO of Dare2Lead. John will join the Board in November. 
  • Professor Morag Treanor, Deputy Chair of the Poverty and Inequality Commission, Oversight Board member of The Promise and Professor of Child and Family Inequalities and the Deputy Director of I-SPHERE at Heriot-Watt University. Morag will also join the Board in November.  

Shonaig Macpherson has served as a Trustee since 2004 and was appointed as its chair in 2017. Shonaig has been instrumental in its success for more than a decade, overseeing the launch of the Trust’s ten-year strategy in 2020, in which at least £20 million in funding per year will be committed to organisations that help people and communities in Scotland experiencing poverty and trauma. 

Gerry McLaughlin, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at The Robertson Trust, said: 

“We are pleased to announce that Fiona, John and Morag will join the Board at this important time as we enter the second year of our ten-year strategy and work to alleviate the negative impacts of poverty and trauma on people and communities in Scotland.  

“We also welcome Mark Batho to the role of Chair and I look forward to working with him as we support Scotland’s third sector to continue stepping up to meet the immediate needs and demands facing our communities as a result of the pandemic. 

“At the same time, we are sorry to see Shonaig retire after almost two decades of playing an instrumental role in our Board and governance.  

“The Board, leadership team and the Trust’s entire staff extend our heartfelt thanks to Shonaig for her 17 years of service as a trustee, and her unwavering commitment to social justice, supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society and working always towards our vision of a Scotland where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. The trustees wish Shonaig every success in the future. She will be missed.” 

Shonaig Macpherson said: 

“It has been an honour to serve the Robertson Trust as a Trustee. Some 60 years after its creation, the Trust continues to support charities that strive to deliver a better society for all.  

“In the last year, the Trust has achieved a great deal in difficult circumstances including a diversification of its investment portfolio, the launch of a new strategy with a stronger focus on poverty and trauma which will deliver greater impact for charities and their beneficiaries and the recruitment of Dr Jim McCormick, a highly regarded and respected expert on poverty and trauma, as Chief Executive.  

“These and other achievements put the future of the Trust and implementation of its strategy on solid foundations. Now is the time for me to retire and while I am sad that I do so against the backdrop of recent litigation, I am pleased to pass the baton to Mark Batho. I am grateful to the magnificent staff of The Robertson Trust for their support and commitment and wish the Trust continued progress in creating a Scotland where everyone can flourish.” 

The Corporate Trustee of The Robertson Trust is Kintail Trustees Limited.