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| Posted by: Prospectus

Trustees Week Profile 2014: Borge Andreassen

Wandsworth Citizen’s Advice Bureau

Prior to his executive search career Børge worked as a journalist, and within politics as a researcher and campaigns manager, running several successful election campaigns. Børge is a trustee of Wandsworth Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Børge has been the lead consultant on several searches for organisations, including the Chief Executive role at Fairtrade Foundation, the Director of Operations at the Terrence Higgins Trust and the Chief of Staff at the Big Lottery Fund. He has also got experience of supporting the community transport sector through previous appointments at the CTA, as well as a number of completed executive and board roles for HCT Group.

What motivated you to become a trustee?

I wanted to get involved in my local community and I chose Wandsworth CAB because they provide direct support on debt management, employment and housing issues and are a huge asset to the community.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?

I think the biggest challenge I faced was at the start of my trusteeship when I was asked to have opinions about the organisation when I did not know enough about how it was run. I also had to get to grips with local authority policies and understand how we worked with them. I overcame these challenges by taking the time to speak to the staff, get to know the other board members and establishing a good relationship with the Chair.

Do you believe you add value and in what way?

Yes – I do believe I add value. While on the board, I have recruited Wandsworth CAB’s Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Executive by utilising my recruitment expertise and my networks within the sector. I have applied the business, management and strategic skills I have acquired in my professional life to the board and I believe this has had a positive impact on the way the charity is run.

Do you believe the organisation values you?

I do believe they value me and this is due to the fact that I am strongly connected to their mission and truly understand why they exist. My input is always appreciated and this is because I understand the importance of good governance.

What have you learnt that you didn’t expect you would?

I was amazed by the sheer amount of people who need and use not only Wandsworth CAB but Citizen’s Advice Bureau in general. The issues they help people with go far beyond what I expected before becoming involved with the organisation and it is great to see the value of being part of a wider network of services.

Do you have any tips for aspiring/newly appointed trustees?

Get to know the organisation – make sure you understand the structure and any existing issues particularly the expiry date of funding contracts. Take the time to speak to the staff, service users and other members of the board – it will help you to govern the charity better. Remember that disagreements are inevitable, particularly as board members have different motivations, it is sometimes better to bite your tongue!

Børge comes with 12 years of recruitment and management experience, conducting searches for a range of civil society organisations, including foundations and social businesses. Originally from Norway, he has studied in the United States and has an MSc in International Relations from Bristol University.