Leadership & Mission

We work with individuals, families and financial institutions to increase philanthropy in society.

NPT UK provides donor-advised funds (DAFs) to donors in the UK and those around the world who wish to base their philanthropy from the UK. We are an independent charity driven by our mission to make philanthropy more convenient and efficient for donors. We offer giving vehicles and expertise to philanthropists, family offices, and wealth managers from one of the world’s leading financial centres.

NPT UK is affiliated with National Philanthropic Trust, the largest independent provider of DAFs in the United States. Since its founding in 1996, NPT has raised more than $13 billion in charitable contributions, manages more than $7.6 billion in charitable assets, and has made grants totalling $6 billion to charities all over the world.

The NPT group also includes NPT Transatlantic, a US/UK dual qualified charity providing DAFs that enable dual taxpayers to benefit from tax relief in both the UK and the US.

Senior Leadership

Helen Davis Picher

Associate Vice President of Philanthropic Services

Helen Davis Picher is Associate Vice President of Philanthropic Services and has more than 30 years’ experience in managing strategic and effective philanthropy. She is responsible for providing services to donors, including assistance with governance and grantmaking, access to philanthropic advisors, cultivating the next generation of philanthropists and up-to-date information on philanthropic opportunities and experiences. She also manages special projects that enable donors to support major initiatives. Prior to working at NPT, Ms. Picher was a consultant in philanthropy and worked for 30 years at the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia, serving most recently as the Foundation’s Interim President. She holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in Government and Policy Studies from Dartmouth College.

Natalie Pinon

Director of Development

Natalie Pinon is Director of Development at NPT-UK and has over 15 years’ experience in philanthropy and impact investing. She was previously Director of Impact for Social and Sustainable Capital, a UK based impact investing fund.  Natalie began her career in financial services before moving to the international development field, where she worked for the United Nations Secretary General’s office and later the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Natalie has extensive experience working with philanthropists and impact investors to manage their giving.  She was Head of philanthropy at the London based family office Novator and Head of global philanthropy advisory at the Charities Aid Foundation in London.  She is Trustee of the Womanity Foundation UK. Natalie holds a BSc from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po Paris and an MSc from the London School of Economics.

Ken Poege

Manager

Ken Poege specialises in UK/US dual qualified giving vehicles and has over eight years of experience in the industry. He was previously Manager of the CAF American Donor Fund (CADF) at Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in London. Mr. Poege is a qualified and registered Chartered Accountant and previously practiced as an accountant and business advisor specialising in business acquisitions, start-ups, disposals and liquidations. In his spare time, he is involved with a number of animal and environment conservation charities.

Andrea Rush

Senior Vice President of Philanthropic Services

Andrea Rush is Senior Vice President of Philanthropic Services and has more than 17 years of experience handling all aspects of philanthropic and specialized grantmaking services, including direct international grants and grant agreements. Ms. Rush is responsible for the oversight of NPT’s concierge-level donor relationships, as well as the administration of NPT’s Supporting Organizations and Special Projects. She is a member of the NGOSource Advisory Council and a graduate of Leadership Philadelphia Core Class of 2011. Ms. Rush was formerly an elementary school teacher for the School District of Philadelphia. She received her B.S. with honors in Education from Temple University and holds a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from Bryn Mawr College.

Stefan Velvick

Senior Manager of Development

Stefan Velvick is Senior Manager of Development at NPT-UK and has over 25 years of experience in philanthropy and donor-advised funds. He previously worked for the Charities Aid Foundation, where he helped ultra and high net worth individuals to manage their philanthropy. He is involved with a small children’s charity and helps out with the local community boys football club.

Board of Trustees

Filter biographies by NPT UK Board NPT Transatlantic Board

Claire Brown

Claire Brown

Claire Brown was previously Finance and Corporate Services Director at The Elders and before that the Finance and Investment Director at the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. She has worked at various financial services organisations throughout her early career, including hedge funds and private equity. Ms. Brown currently serves on Comic Relief’s investment committee, Nuffield Foundation’s audit and risk committee and The Royal Foundation’s finance committee, having previously been a member of the boards of The Association of Charitable Foundations and The Charity Tax Group.

Richard Cassell

Richard Cassell

Richard Cassell is a Partner in the private client and tax team at Withers, LLP. Mr. Cassell advises on US and international tax and trust and estate planning, with clients based in Europe and the US. He specialises in US tax strategies for individuals, international trusts and closely held business structures. He devotes a significant part of his practice to cross-border philanthropy and pioneered the use of dual qualified charitable structures.

Mr. Casell was educated at University College London and qualified as a solicitor before moving to the US and attending the University of Pennsylvania Law School and has practiced in Washington, DC and London. He is admitted as a solicitor in England, as a member of The District of Columbia and US Tax Court Bars.

Ceris Gardner, Chair

Ceris Gardner, Chair

Ceris Gardner is one of the founding partners of Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP, a boutique private client law firm established in 2009 following the demerger of Allen & Overy LLP’s highly-rated Private Client Department.  Her areas of expertise include tax, estate planning, family governance, charity law (she is well known for advising both grant-making and operational charities on matters of charity law, governance issues and tax) and immigration.  This means that Ms. Gardner is able to adopt an holistic approach when providing advice.  She has a particular interest and involvement in encouraging families to consider philanthropy and in helping them to plan their giving strategy.

Ms. Gardner is actively involved in the charity sector, serving as a trustee of Philanthropy Impact (a body which incorporates the European Association for Planned Giving, Philanthropy UK and the Philanthropy Advisers Forum) and Crimestoppers.

Vivien Gould

Vivien Gould

Vivien Gould is currently a non-executive Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Lindsell Train Investment Trust PLC; a non-executive Director of Baring Emerging Europe plc; and an non-executive Director of Schroder AsiaPacific Fund PLC. Ms. Gould has many years’ experience of the financial services industry and the charitable sector. Ms. Gould started work in financial services in 1981. She was a founder Director of River & Mercantile Investment Management Limited (1985) and served as a senior executive and Deputy Managing Director with the Group until 1994. During this period, the Group developed into a boutique investment management company specialising in the management of closed-end investment companies. She then worked as an independent consultant and served on the boards of a number of investment management companies and listed investment trusts from 1994-2001. Between 2001 and 2004 she served as an executive with Gartmore Investment Management. Ms. Gould then served as a non-executive director of Cooper Gay (2006-2010), one of the largest privately-owned insurance and reinsurance groups in the UK. She served as a non-executive director of Waverton Investment Management (2014-2017), a privately-owned discretionary portfolio manager for private clients, charities and institutions.

Ms. Gould has been actively involved in the charitable sector since 2005. That year she became a Trustee of the Stroke Association and Chairman of its Investment Committee (to 2014), and a Trustee of Cobalt Health (to 2015), a medical charity specialising in the provision of diagnostic services with cutting-edge scanning technology. Ms Gould has also served as a Trustee of the John Ellerman Foundation (2011-2017), and was a member of the Investment Committee and the Finance Committee.

Eileen Heisman

Eileen Heisman

Eileen R. Heisman, ACFRE, is the President and CEO of NPT. She is a nationally recognized expert on charitable and planned giving. Ms. Heisman has been interviewed about philanthropy and donor-advised funds on CNBC, PBS, NPR, CNN International and Bloomberg TV, and by nearly every national US newspaper and major trade publication. She was among the first fundraising professionals to earn the distinguished ACFRE certification. She has been named four times by NonProfit Times as one of their Power and Influence Top 50, an annual listing of the 50 most influential executives in the philanthropic sector, most recently in 2018. She has been invited by the Chinese government to speak to their emerging nonprofit sector about philanthropy.

Ms. Heisman is currently a member of the faculty at Leadership Philadelphia, as well as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work graduate program and a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She is a regular lecturer for the Nonprofit Board Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a member of the Governance Committee for the Nonprofit Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She also serves on the Advisory Board at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. Ms. Heisman received a B.S. with honors in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s of Social Work with a major in social program evaluation from the University of Michigan. She is a member of the third Wharton Fellows Class at the University of Pennsylvania and completed the Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

David Rowe

David Rowe

David Rowe spent 5 years in the British Army before leaving to work in finance. He spent 16 years at Schroders where he initially worked as a fund manager before concentrating on the charity market. After Schroders, he spent 17 years at UBS where he had responsibility for many different businesses including philanthropy and charities. During his time at UBS he created the UBS UK Donor-Advised Foundation, which is now the second largest DAF in the UK. Other locations in UBS are now replicating the UK philanthropy model.

Mr. Rowe holds a degree in Economics from Exeter University. He is the Treasurer of SSAFA ‘the Armed Forces Charity’ and a non-executive director of the Army Sports Control Board. He is a Visiting Fellow in Charity Investments at the Cass Business School, Centre for Charity Effectiveness. Mr. Rowe has been married for nearly 30 years and has a daughter and son. Amongst his interests are golf and gardening during the daytime and bridge in the evening.

Claire Brown

Claire Brown

Claire Brown was previously Finance and Corporate Services Director at The Elders and before that the Finance and Investment Director at the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. She has worked at various financial services organisations throughout her early career, including hedge funds and private equity. Ms. Brown currently serves on Comic Relief’s investment committee, Nuffield Foundation’s audit and risk committee and The Royal Foundation’s finance committee, having previously been a member of the boards of The Association of Charitable Foundations and The Charity Tax Group.

Eileen R. Heisman, Chair

Eileen R. Heisman, Chair

Eileen R. Heisman, ACFRE, is the President and CEO of NPT. She is a nationally recognized expert on charitable and planned giving. Ms. Heisman has been interviewed about philanthropy and donor-advised funds on CNBC, PBS, NPR, CNN International and Bloomberg TV, and by nearly every national US newspaper and major trade publication. She was among the first fundraising professionals to earn the distinguished ACFRE certification. She has been named four times by NonProfit Times as one of their Power and Influence Top 50, an annual listing of the 50 most influential executives in the philanthropic sector, most recently in 2018. She has been invited by the Chinese government to speak to their emerging nonprofit sector about philanthropy.

Ms. Heisman is currently a member of the faculty at Leadership Philadelphia, as well as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work graduate program and a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She is a regular lecturer for the Nonprofit Board Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a member of the Governance Committee for the Nonprofit Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She also serves on the Advisory Board at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. Ms. Heisman received a B.S. with honors in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s of Social Work with a major in social program evaluation from the University of Michigan. She is a member of the third Wharton Fellows Class at the University of Pennsylvania and completed the Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Ronald Freeman

Ronald Freeman

Ronald Freeman is currently a member of The Pilgrims Society (London); the Atlantic Council (Washington DC); and, Chatham House (London). He was head of the Banking Department of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) since its inception. Previously he was co-head of Citigroup European Investment Banking; and prior to that, he practiced law with Baker & McKenzie in Paris and served as a management consultant in the Paris offices of McKinsey & Company.

Mr. Freeman was born in New York and has dual U.S. and UK citizenship. He has a B.A from Lehigh University and an LL.B. from Columbia Law School and was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York.

Ceris Gardner

Ceris Gardner

Ceris Gardner is one of the founding partners of Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP, a boutique private client law firm established in 2009 following the demerger of Allen & Overy LLP’s highly-rated Private Client Department.  Her areas of expertise include tax, estate planning, family governance, charity law (she is well known for advising both grant-making and operational charities on matters of charity law, governance issues and tax) and immigration.  This means that Ms. Gardner is able to adopt an holistic approach when providing advice.  She has a particular interest and involvement in encouraging families to consider philanthropy and in helping them to plan their giving strategy. Ms. Gardner is actively involved in the charity sector, serving as a trustee of Philanthropy Impact (a body which incorporates the European Association for Planned Giving, Philanthropy UK and the Philanthropy Advisers Forum) and Crimestoppers.

Charles Lubar

Charles Lubar

Charles (Chuck) Lubar advises clients on all aspects of international tax and estate structuring and planning for individuals and their assets at McDermott Will & Emery. He also provides corporate and individual tax planning for international investments and cross-border family business matters. Mr. Lubar served for several years with the Chief Counsel’s Office of the Internal Revenue Office in Washington, DC. He has international experience that extends wells beyond United Kingdom and continental Europe, and includes working with clients from Latin America, North America, the Middle East, Japan and the United States. He has held roles as managing partner, chairman of the International Section, vice chairman of the Tax section and senior counsel with a well-established and respected firm in London. He is now Senior Counsel with McDermott Will & Emery, resident in their London office.

David Rowe

David Rowe

David Rowe spent 5 years in the British Army before leaving to work in finance. He spent 16 years at Schroders where he initially worked as a fund manager before concentrating on the charity market. After Schroders, he spent 17 years at UBS where he had responsibility for many different businesses including philanthropy and charities. During his time at UBS he created the UBS UK Donor-Advised Foundation, which is now the second largest DAF in the UK. Other locations in UBS are now replicating the UK philanthropy model.

Mr. Rowe holds a degree in Economics from Exeter University. He is the Treasurer of SSAFA ‘the Armed Forces Charity’ and a non-executive director of the Army Sports Control Board. He is a Visiting Fellow in Charity Investments at the Cass Business School, Centre for Charity Effectiveness. Mr. Rowe has been married for nearly 30 years and has a daughter and son. Amongst his interests are golf and gardening during the daytime and bridge in the evening.

Iain Younger

Iain Younger

Iain Younger joined Frank Hirth in 2000 and has successfully established and built the Trust and Estates service within the Private Client offering. Iain personally covers numerous areas of US and UK taxation for both individuals and families. He also offers specialist advice relating to FATCA reporting. Mr. Younger recently turned his attention to Frank Hirth’s business development plans, and has been travelling the globe to promote Frank Hirth to new markets. He is a qualified Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) and US Enrolled Agent (EA), and was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2016. Mr. Younger was listed in ePrivate Client’s Top 35 Under 35 in 2013, and was also honoured when listed in The Spear’s 500 in 2016.