Charitable and social work is a central feature of civilised society. We are all called to play our part whether individually or corporately. So from the early days of Campbell Lutyens we have encouraged ourselves to do what we can in these areas in a way that each of us personally feels appropriate. We are delighted that many of our team – whether as founders, trustees, ambassadors, contributors, field workers, fundraisers or in other roles – are active in the causes they love, each of which are bedded on individual enthusiasm and commitment.
A foundational skill of Campbell Lutyens – not just in our placement activities but in our hybrid secondary advisory work – is fundraising. This work is enhanced by being team focused. In a similar vein, we have chosen from time to time to come together as one team with our friends, both personal and corporate, to organise fundraising events.
Reflecting my own personal enthusiasm these have often involved running. In 1986, two years before we founded Campbell Lutyens, I ran my first marathon as part of a team of 9 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the first Modern Olympics. We ran from the village of Marathon to the magnificent stone stadium built in Athens for the 1896 first modern Olympiad. We asked our friends to support us, raised £25,000 and were hooked on both running and fundraising!
In 1996 we assembled a team of 100 to join us once more on the hilly route from Marathon to Athens to celebrate the centenary of the modern Games and this time we raised £400,000.
In 2000 we elected to mark the Millennium by organising our biggest event yet – a 100 day relay run around the 4,200 mile coastline of Great Britain which raised £1.2 million. We were now getting into our stride.
You can read below about some of these events and others which we went on to help organise. These include another first – a 15 week 11,000 km run in 2005 across Russia from Vladivostok to St Petersburg.
But the “Marathon of Marathons” in 2010 was the challenge that most involved our own professional communities. With the oxygen-of-publicity support of PEI, 230 runners from the private equity and private infrastructure sectors throughout the world, together with nearly 100 supporters gathered once more at Marathon. In 1986 there were only a couple of hundred runners and we could take our place calmly in the front row close to the box on which the starter fired his pistol. This time we met with nearly 10,000 runners. Our team raised the magnificent sum of £1.6 million for a range of children’s charities.
Between these larger events we participate regularly, either individually or with smaller groups of colleagues, in events organised by others. These embrace not just running events from 5k to Triathlons but other endeavours including climbing and cycling. Whatever the distance every event is a spiritual and physical challenge for the participant. And, lest the impression is given that we are solely sports orientated, we also support more cerebral quiz, or musical or arts events.
But as we have engaged in these activities so we have become more aware and been excited yet humbled by the extraordinary range of individual charitable endeavours with which many in the private equity and private infrastructure sectors are engaged. This does not always get the recognition that it deserves. Impetus: The Private Equity Foundation is an excellent example of this in their transformational work involving the lives of 11-24 year olds here in Britain. Their tripartite approach is based upon balancing management support to develop the charity itself with the provision of supportive pro bono expertise as well as the provision of long term funding to build each charity's capacity to deliver high quality programmes. This is the hands-on, deeply well governed approach which private investors are familiar with in their professional lives. That approach can be equally relevant to charitable activity.
In January 2015 in the Queen's New Year’s Honours I was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to the Financial Services and Charitable Fundraising sectors. I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has been associated both with our business activities, whose success underwrites much of what we can do elsewhere in our lives, and those who have played their part in the fundraising initiatives we have organised and supported. It is on behalf of the many beneficiaries of the charities with which we have together engaged that I offer my heartfelt thanks to all who have worked and played with us over so many years.
2014 was the second year that Campbell Lutyens sent its 'Pineapple Pacers' team to participate in this event. 10 runners raised money for two charities: Shooting Star Chase, a leading children's hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions; and The Passage, which runs London’s largest voluntary sector day centre for homeless and vulnerable people. The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon was set up as an annual fundraising initiative, raising sustainable funds to support London’s eight Royal Parks, and enabling charities of all sizes to be involved in a major challenge event. Over the last six years, the event has raised more than £18m for causes around the UK, with more than 559 partner charities, including the Royal Parks Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Mind, and Tommy’s. The run's stunning 13.1 mile route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads – Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Houses of Parliament and the Royal Albert Hall – and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.
From 2001 to 2011 we sponsored the Cape Wrath Challenge. This embraces a number of sporting challenges spread over a week, culminating in the second most challenging marathon in the UK in terms of total feet climbed or descended over the course. The route takes runners from the village of Durness in the far northwest of Scotland out to spectacular Cape Wrath and back again. Cape Wrath is one of the wildest yet most beautiful parts of the United Kingdom and we are happy that this event has over the years enabled us to showcase that area to many members of our own team from around the world.
2010 marked the 2,500th anniversary of Pheidippides' original marathon, and provided the occasion for our most ambitious fund-raising effort to date. 250 people from the private equity and infrastructure communities, and their friends, came together to run the Marathon of Marathons in Athens on 31 October 2010, raising a target of €2,500,000 for UNICEF and other charities working with children across the world.
You can read more about the event in In the Footsteps of Pheidippides, a Marathon of Marathons commemorative booklet produced by PEI.
In 2005 the team that organised The Island Race in 2000 went on to organise The Russian Race – an 11,000 km relay from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg over 15 weeks. This, like The Island Race, was another first. The Russian Race once more took over two years to plan, including gaining permission from the governing authorities of each major city and of the 28 Oblasts through which the relay was to be run. Campbell Lutyens sponsored the week from Taldan to Nizhnyaya Kuenga in central Siberia, thereby contributing to the raising of $400,000 for orphaned and homeless Russian children. For six days each week three consecutive marathons were run by teams of Russian and international athletes. We were typically on the road for 10 to 12 hours a day, encouraged to run faster in eastern Russia by massive mosquitos. Dick Haldane, John Campbell's lifelong friend, who was key in the organisation of the event, was awarded the MBE for his contribution to Russian:British relations.
In 2000, John Campbell was, with Dick Haldane, a core member of the organising committee and trustee of The Island Race charity. This 4,200 mile race, the first ever relay around the coastline of Great Britain, was arranged under the patronage of HRH The Princess Royal. It counted among members of the committee Sebastian Coe and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and benefited from significant behind-the-scenes organisational support from Campbell Lutyens, most particularly Jo Shellard who mapped the course of the whole route.
After two years preparation, the event took place over 100 days. Each day a different team ran with the baton for an average of 42 miles, representing, in Princess Anne's words, a different "Walk of Life" in Britain at the Millennium. Teams came for example from each of the Armed services and from many different professions and groups. A particular highlight of the event was the presentation of the ceremonial baton by HRH The Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace, which was subsequently given to the Queen Mother when the relay passed the Castle of Mey ten days after her 100th Birthday.
The event raised over £1.25 million for a range of charities principally associated with the coast and The Princess Royal, including RNLI, the Northern Lighthouses and Sailability, the disabled sailing charity.
Following on from the successful event in Greece a decade earlier, Campbell Lutyens organised a team of 100 friends and colleagues to run in the Centenary Marathon celebrating the first Modern Olympiad in 1896. This time there were many more participants in the overall event, probably around 1,500. But there was still room for our team photograph below to be taken by the wall which marked the start of the 1896 marathon without too much inconvenience to other runners. On this occasion we chose to raise money for five children's charities, one in each continent represented by the five Olympic rings. Over £400,000 was raised.
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the first Olympic Games, John Campbell put together a team of 9 to run that year's Athens marathon. All were novice marathon runners, but each took on the challenge of this original course and, in the process, raised £25,000 for charity.
We ran with a couple of hundred other masochists along the main road dodging the traffic from the village of Marathon to the marble Olympic stadium built for Baron de Coubertin's first modern Olympiad in 1896. To drink in the full historic atmosphere, we stayed at the Grande Bretagne Hotel in Constitution Square which had been de Coubertin's base for the 1896 organising committee.
The photograph below shows John Campbell and Jo Shellard, who were two of the team of six at the start of Campbell Lutyens two years later; David Hall, who is now one of our advisory directors; and on the left, Dick Haldane, whose enthusiasm for marathon running engendered at this event was to lead subsequently to great organisational efforts for other events.
On 3 May 2015 Campbell Lutyens Senior Vice President Rishi Chhabria completed the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, a 40 mile bike ride through every borough of New York City.
Rishi raised a total of US$1,995 for Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian-aid organization providing health care and medical training to over 70 developing countries across the world.