James has worked for endowed grant-making charities for over 30 years, including the Church Commissioners, the Church Urban Fund, and the Nuffield Foundation. He was also Finance Director of Muscular Dystrophy UK, an actively fundraising charity with a grant-making function. In all these charities he has brought a long term and strategic perspective, supporting Trustees as they make their financial and investment decisions.
He has been a Treasurer of the Association of Medical Research and the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), and represented ACF on the Charity Commission SORP committee. He was a Trustee of a scholarship fund for the farming community and sits on the advisory committee of a Charity Authorised Investment Fund (CAIF).
James has used his experience to develop the discipline and practice of managing endowments. He convened and chaired the ACF Governance and Management of Endowed Charitable Foundations report and has sat on the steering committee of subsequent reports. He also convened the first network for Finance Directors of endowed grant-making charities and was a founder member of the equivalent European network.
He is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, has a Diploma in Charity Accounting from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and has completed the Yale Endowment Management Programme.
He writes and speaks extensively about charities and their investments, and was recognised in 2017 by the Charity Finance Group as one of three inaugural ‘Inspiring Leaders’ in the sector.