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Evgenia Arbugaeva

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees meets five times a year. The Finance Committee and Investment Principles Committees meet four times a year and report to the main Board on a quarterly basis. The Development Board meets five times a year and reports to the main Board at every meeting.

Robert Suss is the CEO of Pictet Wealth Management in the UK. He joined Pictet with nearly 30 years of experience in private banking and business.  Robert spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs, most recently as Managing Director and Head of Private Wealth Management in London.

Following a career in private banking, Robert built several businesses in finance, technology and renewable energy before joining Pictet.

Robert received a Joint Honours Degree in Economics and Management from Leeds University and is an Emeritus Trustee of the Royal Academy of the Arts Trust, where he was previously Deputy Chair of the Trust, Trustee and Chair of the Royal Academy Schools Dinner and Auction. Robert's love for art extends beyond his philanthropic efforts; he has supported and promoted emerging artists and has collected contemporary art for over thirty years.

Nicola Blake is an Asset Manager with the London and Associated Properties PLC Group. LAP is a listed property company specialising in town centre retail and markets including Brixton market, which she helped to develop.

Nicola studied History of Art at The University of Sussex and received a Master’s in the History of Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, before working at Gurr Johns specialising in art advisory and valuation of contemporary art. She has a great interest and passion for contemporary art in public spaces, particularly focusing on the regeneration of markets, high streets and shopping centres through innovative arts-based projects. Nicola is a former intern of the Contemporary Art Society and in addition to her trusteeship of the organisation she is a Patron of Art Angel and Camden Arts Centre.

Tommaso Corvi-Mora began working with contemporary art as a curator and writer, then in galleries in Milan and in Cologne. In 1996 he opened the Robert Prime Gallery with Gregorio Magnani featuring artists such as Angela Bulloch, Isa Genzken, and Jim Isermann. In 2000 he opened Corvi-Mora, now in Kennington, representing both British and international artists, including Dee Ferris, Dominique Gonzalez Foerster and Roger Hiorns.

Liesl Fichardt is a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and one of the leading international experts advising corporates, multi -nationals and high net-worth individuals in complex tax, finance, debt and art related investigations and disputes. She was most recently recognized in the Chambers & Partners Global Guide, ranking at Band 1 as “first-class; she is a very good international lawyer who is highly respected, extremely hard-working and a brilliant strategist and tactician." Her experience is wide-ranging being dual qualified as solicitor - advocate, as well as being a mediator, arbitrator, and former acting judge.

Liesl is a prominent member of the legal community and patron of the arts. Liesl leads the practice in London, is committee member and former Chair of the British Branch of the International Fiscal Association and was previously head of Tax Disputes at Clifford Chance. She sits on the International Taxes Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales and on the Advisory Board for the MSc (Taxation) at Oxford University.  She has published widely in her field of expertise. She is also a Trustee of the Stellenbosch University Foundation UK. In the art world, she is a trustee of the Norval Foundation, Cape Town and with her husband, Robert Bricout, fund the Norval Foundation Sovern Art Fund and Outset Residency.  She is Co-Chair of the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) Frieze Acquisitions fund, and Co-Chair of the CAS Development Board. She supports Tate and The Royal Academy of Arts. She was instrumental in launching the Quinn Emanuel Artists in Residence (AIR) programme in London, building on the firm’s philanthropic programme in Los Angeles and New York. 

Timothy Franks is a partner of KKR, the US headquartered private equity firm. He has worked in private equity for more than 20 years in both London and New York. He holds masters degrees from Cambridge University, as well as from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Together with his husband Andrew, he has a passionate interest in contemporary art and collecting, and also how urban development can be positively influenced by the arts.

Emma Goltz is a former manager in the retail and consumer products group at Bain and Company in San Francisco. Prior to that she worked for several years in banking in Dublin and London. She holds a BA degree in economics and pure mathematics from Trinity College, Dublin and an MBA from Insead, Fontainebleau. For the past dozen years she has been actively involved in a wide range of non-profit organisations in the US from nationally-focused organisations such as the March of Dimes to small, local education-focused charities. She has extensive experience in fundraising and has been involved in several large scale capital campaigns.

In 2013, following her move to London, she was appointed to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). She is the Chair of the Insead Alumni Fund and is a member of the board of Insead. Her main areas of expertise/interest are development, governance and strategy. She has been a lifelong collector of art with a particular interest in sculpture. She and her family are now based between London and Marlborough, Wiltshire where they run a showjumping yard.

Suling read Economics and Law at Cambridge and subsequently studied for a Master of Laws at Harvard Law School where she now sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council. She has set up a scholarship for Students in the Arts at HLS. She practiced corporate law with major firms in the US, UK and Singapore.

Suling’s interest in art spans contemporary art, Asian art, photography and design. In 2013, she co-founded the Cambridge Art Residency at Girton College, which encourages engagement between practising artists and members of the college community to understand and become involved in art.

She is a Patron of the Tate, served as Chair of Tate Patrons and is a member of Tate’s Photography Acquisition Committee. She is on the Kettle’s Yard Committee and is a member of the Global Council of Delfina Foundation. Suling is also a Patron of the Contemporary Art Society, Design Museum and Royal Opera House and supports the Royal Academy, Hayward Gallery in London, the National Gallery in Singapore, and various institutions in the US. She is on the committees of the CAS Frieze fund prize and the Camden Art Centre’s Frieze Emerging artist prize among other similar support.

Ama Ofori-Darko is a British-born Ghanaian with over 5 years’ experience as an arts fundraiser working across income streams. Previous roles include Fundraising Manager at the Royal Opera House, Fundraising Manager at the Kiln Theatre, Development Office at Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Development Officer at Donmar Warehouse. She was the first Williams Fundraising Fellow at Tate Gallery which launched her fundraising career. The position was created in memory of Becky Williams who was Head of Development at Tate until 2016 and offers structured work-based learning opportunities to support career development and to open up opportunities for working in the fundraising sector.

Béatrice Lupton taught French at Dulwich College and Westminster School for 18 years. She was a member of the Education Advisory Board at Dulwich Picture Gallery for many years and has strongly supported the Department’s award-winning learning programmes. The unique Artmobile at the gallery was the result of James and Béatrice Lupton’s gift.

Béatrice has been involved with Grange Park Opera company and she currently chairs the £5 million Appeal for the Quiristers at Winchester College. She also sits on the recently created Public Education Committee at the Royal Institute of British Architects. She has a strong interest in all aspects of cultural life with a particular emphasis on contemporary art, design and craft.

Keith Morris is Chairman of Sabre Insurance Company and part owner of Binomial Group, its parent company. He has a number of roles within the insurance and finance sector including chairmanship of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, the body that compensates the victims of uninsured drivers, he serves on the Association of British Insurers General Insurance Council and the Financial Ombudsman Service industry steering group and until recently was a member of the Financial Services Authority Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel. Keith and his wife Catherine Mason are keen supporters of the visual arts in the UK.

Valeria Napoleone is an art collector and patron to a select number of arts organisations. She is Head of the Development Committee at Studio Voltaire and one of the Global Council of New York University’s President, John Sexton.

Valeria received a BA from New York University’s Journalism School and an MA in Art Gallery Administration at the Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC. Valeria’s collection focuses on contemporary women artists working internationally. Forming an exceptionally close bond with artists, Valeria has supported many of today’s most acclaimed artists at pivotal moments in their careers.

Francis is a world-renowned specialist in 20th century and contemporary art and well known as a leader in the art market, having been Chairman and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Europe, Middle East, Russia and India at Christie’s for a decade. Previously he spent another decade at Sotheby’s where he established the Private sales department, as well as running the Contemporary Art Evening auctions. Throughout his career, he has been responsible for landmark sales for artists such as Francis Bacon, Peter Doig, Gerhard Richter, David Hockney, Andreas Gursky and Lucio Fontana and had a reputation for working directly with living artists on nurturing their auction presentation and market. He has also curated a number of exhibitions globally since 1996, including most recently Peter Doig: Cabins and Canoes at Faurschou Foundation in Beijing, Doig’s first solo exhibition in Asia. Francis has recently been appointed Chair of Patrons at Whitechapel Gallery in a voluntary capacity and is a Board Trustee of Parasol Unit and The Showroom.

Charlene Prempeh is the founder of A Vibe Called Tech, a creative studio and art consultancy that is dedicated to approaching creativity through an intersectional lens. Charlene is also a Financial Times HTSI columnist and contributing editor who writes about design, travel, and culture. After studying PPE at Oxford University, she began a career in marketing and worked at some of the UK’s most prominent media platforms and art institutions including the BBC, The Guardian, and Frieze. 

Since its establishment in 2018, A Vibe Called Tech has worked with brands including Gucci, Stine Goya, Faber, Frieze, and institutions like Whitechapel Gallery, White Cube, RA, and V&A East to deliver ambitious creative output that nourishes communities. In 2022, the agency launched Turned A, a cultural merchandising project which seeks to amplify key messages of the creative agency’s projects and its Art Consultancy arm, established to help clients connect seamlessly with artists. Charlene currently consults for the Royal Academy of Arts on partnerships and development, is on the London Design Biennale jury for 2025, is on the board for Tate Enterprise, and is Chair of the Frieze 91 committee.

Charlene's debut book, Now You See Me: 100 Years of Black Design, was published by Prestel in October 2024. 

Bianca Roden runs Xenia Creative Retreat, a residency programme that hosts artists in North Hampshire. Having been a trustee of Horatio’s Garden for the last 8 years, Bianca is also currently a trustee of the UK board of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation (IPO).

Bianca studied speech sciences at UCL, qualifying as a speech and language therapist. She worked in this field on and off through raising 4 children and developed an interest in art and collecting as the children grew up. With husband Stuart, she initially collected historical artworks but has since become passionate about supporting living artists. She became a patron of the CAS in 2015 and is also a patron of the Royal Academy, ArtAngel and Outset.

John Shield joined the BBC as Director, Communications & Corporate Affairs at the BBC. He is responsible for all of the BBC’s communications activity and is a member of the BBC’s Executive Team. Prior to this John was Director of Communications at the Department for Work and Pensions – John headed up all the communications activity for the department, including press, marketing and internal communications.

John has both private and public sector experience, having been a Director at one of Britain’s largest transport businesses and the Head of Communications for news, current affairs and sport at the BBC. He was also Director of Communications at the Department for Communications and Local Government, and Head of News at the Department for Education and Skills. He has also worked at the Foreign Office and No. 10.

Cathy Wills is a contemporary art collector and long-standing advocate and supporter of artists and visual arts organisations nationally and internationally. Cathy studied History of Art at University of Manchester and completed a postgraduate degree in Enterprise and Management in the Creative Arts at the University of the Arts, London (UAL). She began her career in the arts in the 1970s working with Henry Lydiate at ArtLaw and founded the Lewis Johnson Gallery, of which she was the Director between 1978 and 1984.  Cathy sat on the Board of Cornerhouse in Manchester for twenty years, standing down in 2004, and was a former Council Member of the North West Arts Board. Cathy is actively involved in numerous arts organisations, especially the Royal Academy’s Contemporary Circle and BFAMI (British Friends of the Art Museums of Israel), and is the founder of the Cecil Lewis Sculpture Scholarship for UAL and the Cathy Wills Sculpture Fund for the Contemporary Art Society.

Anna practised litigation law with Sullivan & Cromwell and with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London). She is currently the Chair of trustees of Modern Art Oxford. She is the Chair of the Finance Committee of CAS, and was also co-Chair of the Collections Fund Committee.  Anna has served on a number of non profit boards, including the McGill University Advisory Board and Public Interest Law Network. She was also a governor of St Thomas Federation, a federation of three state schools in North Kensington for 7 years. 

Advisory Committee

In addition to the Board of Trustess, we are also advised by an Acquisitions Advisory Committee. To ensure that we maintain the highest standards of quality, the Committee oversees all Core Acquisition Schemes and Special Projects.


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