Director of Arts Programmes and Investments


Innovation Programmes

Join Date

June 2015

What I do

Alongside heading up the Arts, Culture and Creativity team, Fran also has primary responsibility for the Arts Impact Fund, a £7m initiative backed by Arts Council England, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Nesta. Along with Seva Phillips, she advocates for social investment in arts and culture, promotes the fund, undertakes due diligence on prospective fund applicants, manages a portfolio of social investments and looks after funder relationships. 


Fran managed an ethical equities fund at JPMorgan for eight years following an MA in Philosophy and Maths and periodic work in charity administration and fundraising. After this, she took a career break during which she travelled around Europe and settled for a year living off-grid in Portugal with her young family. On her return, she started working at Big Society Capital as an investment director, where she worked on a wide variety of social investment deals and research into social pensions.

Fran is also Treasurer of Cambridge House, a settlement in Walworth, South London, and has worked closely with UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, in a non-exec capacity.

Fran is passionate about literature and creative writing, and is a member of the National Academy of Writing. She also enjoys music, theatre and dance as an enthusiastic observer. 

In our first Insights blog we shared with you facts and figures from our second year of running the Arts Impact Fund. Here, we address the extent to which arts and cultural organisations have become more familiar with repayable finance and understand the requirements and processes involved in taking on investment. We also point out some commonly encountered hurdles along the way.
Svetlana Karadimova
Wednesday, 18 October 2017