Vicky Carter talks about life as a trustee

Find out more about her experiences on the board of Lloyd’s Charities Trust.

Vicky Carter, Vice Chairman of Global Strategic Advisory at Guy Carpenter

For over 60 years, Lloyd’s Charities Trust (LCT) has been making grants to a wide range of national and international charities on behalf of the Lloyd’s market. Insurance plays a valuable part in creating a more confident and secure world and we believe that our charitable funding should extend this role. LCT aims to help communities most at risk from disasters and emergencies through partnerships with RedR UK and Build Change. As one of London’s leading financial markets, LCT focuses some of its giving to improve economic prospects and quality of life locally, through a partnership with Whizz Kidz and through the Lloyd’s Market Charity Awards.

Governed by trustees from across the Lloyd’s market, we ask Vicky Carter, Vice Chairman of Global Strategic Advisory at Guy Carpenter about what the trustee role of this well-established charity involves…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Tell us a bit about you and how you became involved in Lloyd’s Charities Trust?
I have been involved with Lloyd’s my whole working life and it has been the centre of my career for the last 38 years. I was actually approached for this trustee role because I am known for founding the Marsh & McLennan Companies first Young Professionals network and Global Forum across the Lloyd’s market for future leaders. I have always been a big advocate for supporting diverse young talent as well as charitable initiatives such as the Global Forum’s Gala Night held bi annually, from which we raise about £200,000 for charities. As a result of that, it was suggested I would be a good candidate for a trustee role for LCT and a board member of Lloyd’s Community Programme, our market wide volunteering initiative.

Why did you decide to become a trustee?
When I went to visit a community centre in Tower Hamlets, I was incredibly shocked by the deprivation that exists sandwiched between incredibly wealthy parts of London. We sit in a privileged environment in the market where everyone’s basic needs are met, and we enjoy a good quality of life. This is such a stark contrast to the poverty that some people face on our doorstep. This disparity is a huge motivation for me to do something to help, and my role as a trustee allows me to do that.

It is an absolute privilege to be in a position where, on behalf of the Lloyd’s market, you have a say as to where money is donated. For me, I find the role to be an honour.

What do you find most enjoyable about the trusteeship?
We have this fantastic initiative, Lloyd’s Market Charity Awards, where anyone working in the Lloyd’s market can apply for a one off award of £4,000 towards the charity they support through fundraising and volunteering. Over the last 10 years, it has given out more than £500,000 to over 300 charities, supported by colleagues from the Lloyd’s market. I am on the sub-committee and therefore have to shortlist who will receive an award. It is a really tough decision to make, but it is incredibly humbling and uplifting to hear about so many people in the market who are doing so much to help such a diverse range of charities. I am always thrilled to be a part of it.

So what do you find most challenging about the role?

There are so many worthy causes out there, and it is such a challenge to decide where the funds are best spent, where they have the most value. The most challenging part is selecting the most appropriate and strategic charities for our main charity partnerships as well as the Lloyd’s Market Charity Awards. I love being aware of so many amazing charities but it is very difficult to turn some away that don’t fit our strategy and aims, when I want to support every cause.

What do you think you have gained from being a trustee?

I think it has been very interesting and useful to be aware of how the market is supporting charities locally and across the world. The discussions we have had as a board about our strategy and selection process has been really insightful, and being on a market body with my peers is always valuable where we can share experiences and best practice.

What do you hope for the future of Lloyd’s Charities Trust?

It would be great to grow Lloyd’s Charities Trust in terms of awareness across the market and increase our funding so that we are in a position to have a greater impact. But I think the most important thing is that we donate to charities in line with our strategy who best utilise those funds and can demonstrate the impact of them. The longer we can go on to exist and contribute to worthy charities that use the funds most effectively, the better. I think that we have an obligation as a market to support worthy needs and communities on our doorstep and in countries in which we operate.

What would you say to someone thinking of becoming a trustee?

You can learn so much from your peer trustees as well as bring your own insight and experience to the role so I would encourage anyone to take up a trusteeship. It really is a fantastic voluntary role where you can make a real difference.

If you are interested in Lloyd’s Charities Trust, please get in touch at ResponsibleBusiness@lloyds.com.

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