Montessori Group appoints two more trustees to the Montessori St Nicholas charity

Montessori nursery nature spread

Montessori Group announces the appointments of Philippe Busslinger and Catja Thum to the board of trustees of the charity Montessori St Nicholas


Montessori Group, a longstanding provider of quality Montessori education offering training, partnerships, quality assurance, social impact and support for families and practitioners, has appointed Philippe Busslinger and Catja Thum to the board of trustees for a term of three years from September 2021.


Philippe Busslinger is a Senior Managing Director and Head of Europe at OMERS Infrastructure, where since 2009 he has played a leadership role in developing its team and portfolio. Philippe has led the acquisition of or held directorships at companies such as Associated British Ports, High Speed One, Tank and Rast, Exolum, London City Airport, Xp Fibre and VTG, among others.


As a social entrepreneur and impact investor Catja Thum champions female founders and founders of colour for meaningful social change. At Montessori Group, Philippe and Catja join a diverse board of trustees chaired by author, inspirational speaker and CEO of Nosh Detox Geeta Sidhu-Robb.


Philippe brings a background in investment banking and a wealth of experience in finance and investment management to the group, where he will challenge and support the strategy, and the management team in their decisions. Prior to joining OMERS, he was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs, where he advised on M&A and financing. Philippe started his career with McKinsey & Co and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School at Columbia University, USA.


Catja Thum is a managing partner at a Family Office, running an impact investment fund which invests in social enterprises and ventures, as well as sustainable companies in the UK and globally. Catja’s expertise lies in measuring and raising awareness of impact. She believes there is a misconception that Montessori values are only relevant to early years education, however, she advocates that they are crucial all the way through life.


Catja has 10 years’ experience in finance and helping start-ups to grow, as well as expertise in setting up and running her own charity, including fundraising efforts. In line with her role at 3C, Catja will be focused on the Social Impact projects, where Montessori’s values and collaborations will create positive social change.


Montessori Group Chief Executive Officer, Leonor Stjepic, said “we are very pleased to welcome Philippe Busslinger and Catja Thum to the Board of Trustees. They bring extensive financial experience and understanding of children’s education, which will be of great benefit to us in driving the group forward.”


Philippe Busslinger said: “This is an opportunity to give back to the community, not only financially, but in terms of expertise and know-how to help a group that doesn’t necessarily have access to these skills or experiences. As a father of three, I truly believe education can make a difference, and this is why the role of trustee appealed to me, as a way to support the development of future generations.”


Catja Thum said: “Montessori values are in line with my values, and my children went to Montessori schools in Germany, where Montessori is perceived to be more mainstream.  Montessori is a big advocate of diversity, empathy, integrity, compassion and kindness, which there isn’t enough of in this world. We can teach these concepts to children, and they need to be re-taught, fostered and re-emphasised as they grow up to make the world a better place.”


This appointment is one of a number of appointments that include Duchess of York Sara Ferguson, being asked to be chair of the new International Montessori Ambassadors group that will help the organisation reach more children.


The information in this article is provided by Montessori Group and does not represent Morton Michel.