Harry and Meghan appoint philanthropist as new director of charity

By Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have appointed British entrepreneur and philanthropist Stefan Allesch-Taylor as a director of their new charitable foundation.

The financier, who is also a university professor and a coffee tycoon, was awarded a CBE in 2014 for philanthropic and charitable services in the UK and Africa.

He founded The Afri-CAN Children’s Charity which builds preschool nurseries and provides more than 900,000 Free School Breakfasts each year for the most vulnerable children in the townships of South Africa.

Harry and Meghan are about to embark on their first official family tour to South Africa, where they will travel to a township in Cape Town, and also meet young leaders working to address socio-economic and environmental challenges.

Harry and Meghan are heading to South Africa later this month (Peter Nicholls/PA)

The entrepreneur is one of two new directors, who act as trustees, of the Sussex Royal foundation, listed at Companies House on Wednesday.

The other is former Barclays businessman Steven Cooper, who is the chief executive of the UK’s oldest privately owned bank C Hoare & Co.

He led Barclays’ personal banking and Barclaycard units, and has lived in Botswana, where Harry will carry out a solo visit following the royals’ tour to South Africa.

Describing his experience, he told London’s Evening Standard last year: “In Botswana 10 years ago I dealt with unique issues such as the large numbers of the team and customers who had HIV. I would see people die on a daily basis …

“We obviously didn’t ask people their personal circumstances but gave free healthcare to employees and their families to help reduce the stigma and build dignity and empathy.”

Last month, Harry and Meghan appointed influential media executive Karen Blackett, chairwoman of media agency MediaCom UK, as their first trustee.

Karen Blackett was appointed last month (Frantzesco Kangaris/PA)

The Sussexes have focused on choosing directors who share their values and their vision of what they want to achieve through their charity work.

Professor Allesch-Taylor and his wife Beaky once donated £33,000 to a six-year-old girl who lost both her legs to meningitis, to help fund the cost of building work in her home.

The businessman, who left school at 18 and became a stockbroker, reportedly used to keep piranhas in his office, and has his own podcast – The Investor: London – in which he hunts for a start-up firm in need of his £250,000 investment.

He also helps the homeless, and set up the Central London Rough Sleepers Committee where he funds over 90% of the meal events.

He is chairman of the UK-based charity Pump Aid, which provides over 10% of the national rural water supplies for both Zimbabwe and Malawi, combined with over 9,500 community partners serving over 1.35 million people.

The chairman of Coffeesmiths Collective Inc is also Kings College, London’s first Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship.

With an interest in supporting new talent in film making, he has been an executive producer on more than a dozen short films.

Harry and Meghan established their own foundation earlier this year after splitting from their joint charity with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

It followed reports of a rift, first between Kate and Meghan, then between future king William and his younger brother Harry.