Patrons and Governing Body


  • HRH The Prince of Wales
  • Cav. Wanda Ferragamo OBE



As a charity the British Institute of Florence has a board of unpaid trustees called Governors who hold the charity in trust, set the strategic direction and appoint the director.

The following are currently serving as Governors:



Mr Richard Jacques - Chairman

Richard Jacques is a partner with the Brunswick Group where he specialises in providing senior counsel to many of the firm’s larger and international clients.
Prior to joining Brunswick in 2000, Richard was a diplomat based in Brussels representing the UK Government on industry and competition issues.



Ms Tessa Bamford - Vice-Chairman

Tessa Bamford is a member of Spencer Stuart’s Board Practice specialising in board director recruitment and advisory services for clients in the UK and internationally. Before joining Spencer Stuart, Tessa was a founding director of Cantos Communications and spent 18 years as an investment banker, first with BZW and then as a managing director with Schroders. She is also a non-executive Director of Wolseley PLC and Barratt Developments PLC.



Ms Maria Grazia Antoci, TEP

A lawyer based in Florence and specialised in international private law. She works helping clients with interests spread across the world to solve matters involving different countries and jurisdictions. She has been assisting members of the British Community, living or having interests in Italy, in cross-border legal matters for more than 23 years. Her main areas of work are real estate, estate planning and Wills, administration of estates in cross-border successions, protection of vulnerable  adults and  defense of human rights,  intellectual property law and fashion law.

She is a full member of STEP (TEP) that is the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning; she is also the  coordinator for Tuscany of “Giustizia per i Diritti” a network of lawyers of the association “Cittadinanzattiva”. She was appointed honorary secretary for Tuscany of the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy.



Ms Beatrice Bargagli Stoffi

Beatrice Bargagli Stoffi lavora per la Leeu Collection come Office Manager della Leeu Villa Querce. Precedentemente è stata nella direzione Ufficio del Sindaco - Relazioni Internazionali e Cerimoniale - del Comune di Firenze ed è stata a capo della Segreteria della Direzione dell’Agenzia per il Turismo di Firenze e capo Segreteria dell'Assessore alla Cultura e Turismo della Provincia di Firenze. Ha fondato l’Associazione Atelier degli Artigianelli, un'associazione culturale che organizza corsi di formazione nei mestieri dell'artigianato artistico tradizionale ed ha fondato ed è socio fondatore della Associazione Amici della Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze.



Dott Diego di San Giuliano

Diego Paternò Castello di San Giuliano is a member of the Board of Directors of Salvatore Ferragamo, where he coordinates the digital activities of the brand. He has previously worked as CEO of Sigma Gi S.p.A., wholesale and retail distributor of apparel and fashion accessories (2006 to 2013); he was Director of product development for women’s shoes and then assistant to the CEO at Salvatore Ferragamo (2000 to 2005). He was a financial analyst for Lehman Brothers and then for Bain Cuneo & Associati from 1996 to 1998.



Mr Luigi Dei - Rector University of Florence






Mr Michael Liversidge, FSA, FRSA

Michael Liversidge is Emeritus Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Bristol where he taught History of Art from 1970 to 2008 and was Head of Department for 21 years.  Currently he is Academic Adviser for Art History at the University of Buckingham.  He is a Governor of Dauntsey's School.



Ms Moira Macfarlane

Moira Macfarlane is a Panel Practice Adviser for Children's Hearings Scotland, on the Board of Trustees of the Linari Classic Music Festival and Chairman and singer with the Garleton Singers. From 2001 to 2009 she was Head of Post for the British Consulate of Florence and British Consul general for the Serene Republic of San Marino. From 2012 to 2013 she was the Acting Director of the British Institute.



 Ms Agnese Mazzei

Agnese Mazzei studied and trained in Florence in architecture and in monuments' conservation, as well as in restoration of rural structures in the Tuscan countryside. Being part of a notable wine family, in 2000 she bravely embarked on the challenge of building innovative and state-of-the art wine cellars for some of the most important Tuscan wineries, of which Sassicaia, Fonterutoli and Brolio are among the most celebrated examples. Her projects, executed either in Tuscany, the rest of Italy and internationally are her architectural studio's main strength. In 2007 she has co-founded the Associazione Amici di Santo Spirito to raise funds for re-opening the basilica of Santo Spirito in Florence and keeping it open in safety conditions. Since then she is serving as President of this non-profit organization. She lives with her 14 years old daughter and has her working headquarters in Florence.



Dr Martin Owen - Treasurer

Martin Owen has a scientific education to PhD level at the University of Oxford and an MBA from London Business School. He has held a number of roles in traded markets with the Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC Bank and from 2001, Lloyds Bank. Since 2004 Martin has served as Honorary Treasurer for the British Institute of Florence. 



Mrs Sarah Percy-Davis

Founder of Art Market Enterprises, a consultancy offering art advisory, former Chairman of Asian Art in London and past Chief Executive of LAPADA, the UK’s largest art and antiques dealers’ association, Sarah has a demonstrable record of achievements in the arts and media sectors and a proven track record for facilitating financial growth as well as raising company profile through events, digital presence, PR and marketing. Her early career was auction house focused starting in 1994 as a specialist and auctioneer in the Picture department of Phillips Son & Neale and moving in 1998 to Sotheby’s, to run sales of 19th century pictures. Along side her art consultancy business where she works for private individuals as well as large corporate clients, Sarah represents the portrait artist Ralph Heimans, best known for his official Jubilee Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.



 Mr Christopher Prentice 

Christopher Prentice worked for 39 years in the UK Foreign Service, before retiring in 2016. His final posting was as Ambassador to Italy for five years. He has been married to Nina since 1978. They have four children and a growing number of grandchildren. Their main home is in Oxfordshire but they also enjoy regular visits to a family home of Nina’s in the Val d’Aosta.



Mr James Stewart

James Stewart has spent a thirty year career at Schroders, the London-based investment firm, as both an investment and business manager.   His first career was in the British Army.  He is an Associate of the CFA Society of the UK and has a Degree in Geography from Durham University.



Ex officio



Ms Jill Morris CMG - Honorary President

Ms Jill Morris CMG was appointed Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Italian Republic and Her Majesty's non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of San Marino in succession to Mr Christopher Prentice CMG. Ms Morris took up her appointment during July 2016.



The Hon. Lady Roberts DCVO - British Academy Representative

Jane Roberts worked in the Royal Collection from 1975 until 2013, when she retired from the post of Librarian at Windsor Castle. As Librarian she was a member of the Royal Collection’s Senior Management Board and a Director of Royal Collection Enterprises. In addition to writing and editing catalogues, she has also published (and lectured) widely on the Royal Collection. On her retirement she was appointed Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and is also involved (unpaid) in other institutions and charities, including sitting on the Board of the Royal Drawing School and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.



Mr Paul Sellers - Director British Council Italy

Paul Sellers is the Director of the British Council in Italy. Prior to Italy, Paul held senior management posts with the British Council in South India, the UAE, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Mexico and Italy, and has also worked in China, Switzerland and Australia.


Honorary Life Governors



Mr Michael Griffiths OBE

Before retiring in 2003, Michael Griffiths was Managing Partner in Italy of Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson) an international firm of actuarial consultants. He has lived in in Florence since 1978 and was President of the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy from 1993 to 1997.