Faculty & Research

About us

A brief history

Cass CCE was formed in 2004 through a partnership between Cass Business School and The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants. It is based on the vision of its founding director, Professor Ian Bruce. He wanted the voluntary and community sector to enjoy the qualities of leadership and management development that he had experienced in the private sector.

The result is a centre of excellence where academics, management consultants and other nonprofit experts pool their knowledge and expertise. The focus is always on helping volunteers, paid workers, managers and leaders to improve the effectiveness of their organisations.

Professor Paul Palmer took over as Director of the Centre in January 2010. He brings a wealth of academic and practitioner experience.


Cass CCE's governance is secured through The Centre for Ethics, Sustainability and Engagement at Cass Business School and The City Centre for Charity Effectiveness Trust. By sitting within Cass Business School, Cass CCE is subject to the discipline of a world-class and academically excellent institution, focused on the business professions, based in the heart of the City of London.

The City Centre for Charity Effectiveness Trust (registered charity no 1101084) was established by the joint founders of Cass CCE. It raises funds to support our work and is subject to relevant charity law and the scrutiny of the Charity Commissioners.

Cass CCE is divided into three parts:


Professor Paul Palmer is Cass CCE's director. He also directs the Charities Masters programme.

Professor Jenny Harrow directs the Research Centre and is Co-director of the ESRC funded Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy (CGaP)

Denise Fellows is Director and CEO of Consultancy and Talent Development. She is also a Senior Visiting Fellow within Cass Business School.

Support and Services Team

Barbara Robertson

Barbara is Manager for Cass CCE. She oversees budgets, administration for all short courses, events and consultancy projects as well as updating the website. Barbara joined CCE in 2008 from the University of East London where she had the role of Web and E-learning manager. Barbara is currently a director and trustee of Crown and Manor Boy's Club, Hoxton.

Having spent a number of years researching her family history, Barbara has discovered that her paternal great, great, grandparents lived and were married only a stone's throw from where she now works.CassCCE@city.ac.uk

Matthew Guest

Matthew is the Business Development Coordinator for Cass CCE. Responsibilities include coordinating the marketing strategy, the events programme and providing project support.

Prior to moving to London, Matthew was the Director of Student Development and Activities at the University of St Andrews Students' Association. Currently, he is a Director and Trustee of Community Action Southwark and a Trustee of St Mary's, Battersea Parish Church. He also enjoys coffee. CassCCE@city.ac.uk

Mary Harris

Mary has worked with the founder of CCE, Ian Bruce, since the early days. She handles administration for all events and consultancy projects. Mary previously worked in the University's journalism department. CassCCE@city.ac.uk

Rachel Belfield

Rachel joined CCE in January 2014. She handles administration for courses and events. Rachel has recently graduated from Sheffield University. CassCCE@city.ac.uk

Karen Akers

Karen joined CCE in Feburary 2015 and is responsible for all finance matters for the centre. Karen previoulsy worked in the NHS as a Chief Biomedical Scientist and has an MSc in Health Informatics. CassCCE@city.ac.uk

Ute Spittler

Ute is the MSc Charities Programme Coordinator responsible for dealing with initial enquiries about the five postgraduate courses to attending graduations as a marshal. She also supports the academic team and guest speakers, and coordinates work with other departments in the University to ensure that scheduling and teaching run smoothly.

In previous professional incarnations she has worked in the culture sector as well as retail. When not in the office she enjoys spending time on her allotment, having her head in books or working on one of several craft projects.CharityApps@city.ac.uk

Ian Shaw

Ian is the Assessment Officer for the Charity Programmes, part of the specialist MSc programmes as Cass Business School. His responsibilities include the administration of coursework and exam boards and supporting the role of the Charity Programmes Co-ordinator, Ute Spittler.

Ian joined in July 2014 from the University of Westminster where he worked in the Business School registry office.  Born and raised in London, he is a keen guitarist and enjoys going to concerts and listening to an eclectic range of music.CharityApps@city.ac.uk