Open North Foundation – Fundraising Webinar, Tuesday 13th October 2020, 10am to 12 noon.

The Foundation is not for profit, run by volunteers free of charge in addition to separate day jobs. Please visit the website for more info.

Hosted by: Open North Foundation partner, UMi


10:00-10:10 – Welcome & Introduction

  • Richard Swart, Open North Foundation Chair
  • David Foreman, Open North Foundation Director

10:10 – 11:50 – Keynotes and Q&A, facilitated by Caroline Theobald CBE, Open North Foundation Ambassador

Matt Crossman

An excellent speaker, Matt is the stewardship director for the Rathbones group. Overseeing the work of the Responsible Investment Committee, he ensures active voting at company AGMs, whilst also being the group lead on the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into the investment process. He also leads thematic engagement with companies on ESG issues, especially that undertaken via the UN backed Principles for Responsible Investment. Matt represents Rathbones on various ESG working groups at industry bodies including the Investment Association and TheCityUK.

He is a graduate of the University of Bristol where he studied law, with a particular interest in the administration of environmental law, and also has post-graduate qualifications in Sustainable Development theory and practice. He is a trustee of LoveBristol, and urban regeneration charity, and served on the board of the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility.

Matt will adopt the theme of “Survival” and apply this to companies and thus their attractiveness or otherwise to investors.

Brett Archibald

International businessman (Johannesburg, Sydney, Hong Kong and London) and surfer. Fell off a boat near Indonesia while on surfing expedition. Survived for 28 hours in shark-infested waters, made global headlines in all media forms. Featured too in National Geographic. Author of best-seller Alone: Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean with a movie in the making. For more information visit

Nagma Ebanks-Beni MBE

Commercial Director of Prima Cheese, a family business she joined in 2004 after moving back to her native North East from London where she lived for 8 years, during which she set up and ran her own restaurant at the age of 24.

Based in County Durham, she was joined by her brother in 2006, and the family firm continued to grow, and in 2010 the decision to expand into international markets saw Prima Cheese mature into the UK’s leading cheese processing company, currently supplying 75% of its 600 tonne a week production output within the domestic market and the remaining 25% into export markets into 52 various countries.

In the 2019 Nagma was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours for services to International Trade, and has since continued to drive and navigate the company through the COVID pandemic, and will be steering the company through the upcoming BREXIT uncertainty along with her brother since her parents retirement at the start of 2020.

As a tireless advocator of diversity and inclusion within her own company, Nagma has recently been appointed Chair of the Commission on Race, Ethnicity and Discrimination by the North East England Chamber of Commerce.

11.50-12.00 – Event Close

Paul Shields – Open North Foundation Director