Philippe d'Ornano WHY TALL SHIPS? When I met my wife more than 25 years ago, three things brought us together: a passion for conservation, the sea and a desire to ‘give something back’ to society. As keen divers, we took an early interest in marine conservation programmes inspired by the Project AWARE Foundation, and working alongside marine biologists and fisheries in South East Asia and the Caribbean. It was a natural progression to setting up our own foundation, working with artisans from small fishing communities, helping them learn new skills using waste material such as seashell to access an alternative, sustainable source of income. Fifteen years on, this foundation is well established and running well with a dedicated management team in place. The journey has been rewarding and we feel we make a direct, long lasting contribution to people's lives. With a daughter entering her teens, I was keen to find a way to contribute to our/her community in the UK, helping young adults like her get ready to embrace the world with energy, ambition, confidence, self-respect, respect for others – and with the unshakable belief that if you work hard and have sound values, life will be a wonderful experience. My love of the sea, my passion for sailing, stewardship and the Charity's ethos naturally steered me towards the Tall Ships Youth Trust. BACKGROUND I was born into a French family with deep roots around the Mediterranean and a long military tradition. I grew up spending as much time as possible by, in or on the Sea, including sailing offshore from a young age. After finishing Business School, I decided to follow the family tradition, qualified as an officer and spent time serving as a platoon commander based in Germany. To this day, I cherish the life lessons learnt and true camaraderie built during those years in the Services. I moved into the civilian world into a career in professional services, originally in Paris then in London, to which I moved permanently in 1991. From early on, I specialised in risk management consulting for large financial institutions, in particular investment banks. This kicked off an international career across the main financial centres in Europe, the US and Asia. As a partner with EY, my role today primarily involves the global management of our relationships with several of our largest clients. I am married with one daughter. Our family enjoys London and its access to a buzzing cultural scene. We also enjoy spending time outdoors sailing, diving, skiing or rock-climbing. I am a member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, a RYA yacht master, a PADI scuba diving instructor and a qualified Swiss skiing instructor.