ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Board is ultimately responsible for the charity’s strategic direction, supported by its committees. Trustees formulate and regularly review the charity’s vision, values, policies and long-term strategy. They hold the charity in trust for current and future generations of beneficiaries. They ensure that the charity complies with regulatory and statutory reporting requirements and exercise overall control, assisted by the Chief Executive and other professional advisers as necessary.
General Sir James Everard KCB CBE
General Sir James Everard KCB CBE took over the role of President of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity in April 2020 after a long and successful career in the Army. Commissioned into the 17th/21st Lancers in 1983, he subsequently commanded at every level in the Army - including the Queen’s Royal Lancers, 20th Armoured Brigade, 3rd (UK) Division and as Commander UK Field Army. He also served in the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood, in the Pentagon and Ministry of Defence, as the 2* Assistant Chief of the General Staff and later as the 3* Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff for Military Strategy & Operations. During his career he served in Germany, Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Kosovo, Iraq and Belgium. His final appointment was as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe in Allied Command Operations NATO.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Lieutenant General Philip Jones CB CBE DL
Appointed as Chairman of Trustees in November 2016, Lieutenant General Jones served for 36 years in the British Army, with three secondments to the United Nations and two to NATO. An infantryman, he is the Colonel of the Regiment for the Royal Anglian Regiment and is Chair of Trustees for the Royal Anglian Regiment Benevolent Charity.
He has extensive operational experience; most recently he served for over three years in Afghanistan. His particular areas of interest are: multinational strategy and international operations, security strategy, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, governance, stabilisation and peace building.
Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
A Trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since April 2013, Simon was a partner at Macfarlanes LLP, a major City law firm for over 20 years until he retired in 2015. Simon now has a number of roles in the charity sector. In addition to serving on the board of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Simon is also the Protector of two charitable trusts funded by the Big Lottery Fund: the Forces in Mind Trust and the Centre for Ageing Better.
Trustees and Chief Executive
Major General Neil Sexton
Maj Gen Neil Sexton is the Army’s Director of Engagement & Communications, representing the Army in Whitehall, responsible for communicating the Army’s purpose and key messages, strengthening ties with international partners and championing the Army’s approach to Prosperity.
He was commissioned in to the Army Air Corps in 1990, and following a cavalry attachment which included The Gulf War, has held a wide variety of aviation appointments including command of the UK’s first attack helicopter regiment and being professional head of Army Aviation from 2013-15.
On the Staff, Maj Gen Sexton has been an instructor at both The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Joint Services Command and Staff College. He is now in his fourth communications role, having previously deployed to Iraq in Media Operations, been the Senior Army Press Officer in the MOD Directorate of Media and Communications and Head Engagement and Communications on the Army Staff in the MOD. He is President of Army Gliding and Commodore of Army Sailing. He joined the Board of Trustees in November 2019.
A Trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since July 2014, Mary is the former Group Communications and Corporate Affairs Director at ITV plc, having previously been the Corporate and Government Affairs Director at the Royal Mail Group. A senior City and Business journalist with more than 20 years’ experience, Mary’s previous roles included Deputy City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Industrial Correspondent for the Independent and City Reporter at the Evening Standard. She is the Chair of the Fundraising and Marketing Committee.
A Trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since April 2013, Paul served in the Royal Green Jackets from 1979 to 1985, followed by 25 years in the City with JP Morgan, BNP Paribas and latterly as CEO Mizuho International plc (European subsidiary of a major Japanese bank) where he remains a Non-Executive Director.
Amanda has been a Trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since November 2017. Amanda is the Marketing & Customer Experience Director for a commercial property management firm, having previously been Digital Marketing Director for Wm Morrison’s Supermarkets Plc. An experienced senior retail professional Amanda’s previous roles include UK Marketing Director for eBay, Head of Online Marketing at Sainsbury’s and Head of Customer Experience at Debenhams.
Warrant Officer Class One GH Paton
WO1 Gavin Paton joined the British Army in late 1997 as a Light Infantryman. He has operated in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. After being the Regimental Serjeant Major of the 3rd Battalion, the Rifles, WO1 Paton was selected to attend the United States Command Sergeant Major Academy in Texas, USA, the first British Soldier since 1989. On return, he commissioned into the Rifles, was selected to be the first Field Army Sergeant Major and in November 2018 WO1 Paton was appointed as the second Sergeant Major of the Army.
A Trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since November 2016, James was already familiar with the Charity having served for three years on the Finance & Investment Committee. James has also run the London Marathon for the Charity several times. He served in the Coldstream Guards for twelve years and has been working in the investment management industry since 2004. He provides Finance and Investment advice to the Board of Trustees.
Anthony joined the Board of Trustees in July 2019 following 2 years on the Fundraising and Marketing Committee. He is a Chartered FCSI and the Head of Business Development for Raymond James Investment Services. Anthony is responsible for the business development strategy as well as managing the business development team.
Prior to joining Raymond James Anthony spent 17 years at Charles Stanley, initially as a Private Client Investment Manager where the team managed and advised on, at its peak, over £500 million of clients’ investments. Latterly, Anthony was a main board director of Charles Stanley Group, with specific responsibility for the Private Client Investment Management division. Before working in the City, Anthony had been in the British Army which he left as a Captain and had then worked for 7 years in the Far East for the Swire Group, as a Commercial and Marketing Manager in the Group’s Industries and Automotive divisions.
Major General (Retired) Malcolm Wood CBE
A Trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since April 2013, Malcolm chairs the Grants and Welfare Committee. He was commissioned into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1973, transferring into the Royal Logistic Corps in 1993, with operational service as a Commanding Officer in the Gulf and Bosnia.
He commanded 101 Logistic Brigade and went on to be the Director General of the Joint Supply Chain from 2003-2008. He was a RLC Colonel Commandant for a number of years and is currently the President of the RAOC Council.
A Trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since November 2017, Lisa is also a member of the Fundraising and Marketing Committee. Lisa is a marketing and client experience consultant to the financial services sector and has previously held senior marketing and business development roles for a number of global financial and professional services companies including Ashurst, Barclays and EY.
Simon joined the Board of Trustees in July 2020 and is also a member of the Finance & Investment Committee. A qualified Chartered Accountant and former Trustee and Treasurer of Macmillan Cancer Support, his most recent previous Chief Executive roles were held at China NOW and the London Metal Exchange. Simon has also held Chairmanships with a number of businesses, most recently including Gulf Marine Services (GMS) Plc and as non-Executive Chairman of Energean Oil and Gas plc. Having spent 22 years of his career working in the Far East (Hong Kong, Japan and California), Simon and his family returned to the UK full time in 2001 and are now based between London and Bath.
Sarah was General Counsel and Company Secretary of Hammerson plc, a listed retail real estate company, for 10 years until she retired in 2020. She is an experienced senior advisor working with boards and has during her career sat on the executive committee as chief legal advisor at Christian Salvesen PLC, Damovo SA and Sodexo UK. She has managed corporate development, legal, governance, procurement and treasury teams, and continues to support and mentor. Sarah joined the Board of Trustees in July 2020.
David became a Trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity in July 2020 and is also a member of the charity’s Grants Committee. He was called to the Bar in 1989 and subsequently served for five years with The Life Guards and for 11 years with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He is a partner at Hakluyt & Company, a strategic advisory firm, where he has worked since 2008.
A Trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since July 2020, Rowena leads Compliance across EMEA for Technology and Operations in a major global financial institution, having previously been the Global Operations Officer for Technology Risk in the professional services firm EY and the programme lead for Intellectual Property Protection in the global pharmaceutical, Merck. In addition to serving on the board of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Rowena is also a veteran ambassador for the Open University’s Disabled Veterans Scholarship Fund, a masterclass tutor and Fellow of the Security Institute. Rowena served in the British Army between 1995 – 2007 and has extensive operational experience.
Our Chief Executive
Major General Martin Rutledge CB OBE MA
The Chief Executive is the senior executive director of the Charity, operating with the authority delegated to him by the Board of Trustees, to enable accountable, effective and efficient leadership and management of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. He is responsible for advising the Board when it is determining its policies and priorities and for ensuring that these policies and priorities are implemented effectively.