The Portal Trust welcomes its first new Governors

The Portal Trust (formerly known as Sir John Cass’s Foundation) is very pleased to announce today the appointment of two new Governors to its Board.


The appointments demonstrate the Board’s determination to better reflect the community that it supports.

Ratidzo Starkey, until recently the Bank of England’s Senior Advisor on COVID-19 Corporate Financing, and Sarwar Zaman, Group General Counsel & UK Company Secretary at Colart, both bring senior experience from the City of London. Alongside their corporate insights, they also bring invaluable personal experience and understanding of the educational circumstances of many of the Trust’s beneficiaries.

John Hall, Chairman of the Portal Trust said: “I am delighted that our ambitions as the new Portal Trust are attractive to new Governors who bring such an impressive combination of professional prowess and personal experience that relates so well to our principal beneficiary groups – and can be an inspiration. Our commitment to a change of name after almost 300 years coincides with a commitment to keep fresh the way that we work with the communities that we support. As it happens, Ratidzo was the recipient of a Sir John Cass’s Foundation Scholarship when she was a student, and Sarwar was at school and then FE college in Tower Hamlets.”

Ratidzo said: “That scholarship provided me with a platform from which I have built an amazing career. Nevertheless, I remain acutely aware of the number of young people for whom such an opportunity remains out of reach. This has driven me to become a champion for diversity and social mobility, and I will be honoured to be able to ‘complete the circle’, serving as a member of the Portal Trust’s Board.”

Sarwar said: “I am primarily motivated by a desire to give back to the very community where I have always lived, and which has helped to steer me to where I am today. I want to bring my own lived experience to the table, having grown up on an inner-city council estate in Stepney Green (Tower Hamlets), to be the first in my family (along with my twin brother) to go to university and then into the legal profession. I am delighted to be able to support the Trust in its exciting journey ahead.”

The Board is committed to strengthening its range of skills and diversity to better steer the Trust for the next 300 years