Big Society Capital appoints Cliff Prior as chief executive

Currently in the same role at UnLtd, Prior will take over at the social investment wholesaler in March from Nick O'Donohoe, who is due to stand down at the end of the year

Cliff Prior
Cliff Prior

The social investment wholesaler Big Society Capital has appointed Cliff Prior as its next chief executive.

Prior, who is chief executive of UnLtd, which supports social entrepreneurs, will take over in March from Nick O’Donohoe, who announced in May that he would stand down at the end of the year.

BSC said today that O’Donohoe had been appointed senior adviser, blended finance, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Prior, who is a member of BSC’s advisory board, has spent nine years at UnLtd and before that was chief executive of the mental health charity Rethink.

He is a founding trustee of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, a member of Comic Relief’s UK grants committee and was chair of the mission alignment group for the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, which was set up under the UK’s presidency of the G8.

In a statement, Prior said: "Nick and the team have done a truly excellent job in building Big Society Capital, developing the intermediary sector, finding the social themes where investment can add value and getting funds committed for social benefit.

"It's a real privilege to have the opportunity to use that capacity to accelerate the next stage in the journey: working with charities and social enterprises to find the areas where social investment can really make the difference, strengthening their work and achieving the social impact we all want to see."

Harvey McGrath, chair of BSC, said Prior would bring the "significant social sector expertise, commercial acumen and passion for social change" that was needed to lead the organisation.

A BSC spokesman said he was unable to confirm what Prior’s salary would be but said it would be in line with O'Donohoe's, which was £146,000 plus £16,000 in pension contributions in 2014.

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