Stuart became Chairman of British Friendly in 2019 and is very committed to the UK’s mutual sector. He also Chairs the Beverley Building Society and is a member of the Scottish Life Supervisory Committee, part of the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK. He sits on the European Board of Assurant and Chairs its Audit and Risk Committee. In his Executive career, Stuart was Product and Investment Director of Aviva Europe, was CEO of Ireland’s largest insurance group and he led the launch of Aviva’s business in India. His last Executive role was as CEO of RSA’s Asia and Middle East Region. While in India, he established a partnership with Arpana Trust to set up the Aviva Balvatika School in the slum resettlement area of Delhi that has now educated more than 6,000 children. He has a strong belief in Corporate Social Responsibility. Stuart is also a Trustee and Audit Committee Chair of one of the country’s largest charities, Age UK, which is dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later years through care, support, advice and effective campaigns such as ‘No-One should have No-One’, addressing loneliness for over 2.5m older people in the UK. Stuart lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two teenage children.
Senior Independent Director
Robin has worked for nearly 40 years in financial services including a series of senior leadership positions in Lloyds Bank and LV=. He has sat on a number of industry committees and as a Director of LINK Interchange. In recent years he has worked as an independent consultant across the financial mutual sector and a coach to senior executives, leaders and their teams. Robin is an active member of his local community and at various times has been a youth club leader, school governor and a trustee of a number of charities. He has been married to Anna for 37 years and has 4 grown up children, with his time increasingly being taken up by supporting 9 grandchildren at various activities and events.
Audrey joined the Board in April 2016 as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Risk and Investment Committee. In her executive career Audrey worked for a number of banks and latterly was Global Head of Risk for Aberdeen Asset Management. In her role she was responsible for the implementation of the Group’s Risk Management Framework globally. Audrey has 2 other board positions with Investment trusts and, for 4 years, she was a Non-Executive Director in a regional building society. In her spare time Audrey enjoys the arts, travelling and trying to beat her personal best at her local Parkrun.
Chris joined the Board in June 2010, previously holding the role of Chairman and since then Chair of Nomination Committee and has over 35 years of experience in the Financial Services sector as CEO of Lambeth Building Society, Legal & General’s unit trust business and specialist investment firm TIS Group. The skills and experience Chris brings to the Board include strategy development and implementation, change management, business planning and organisation, executive development, operational efficiency and understanding the responsibilities to members of a mutual organisation. He’s also the Non-Executive Chairman of Age UK Enterprises, the trading company of the UK’s largest later life charity, and a Non-Executive Director at the Richmond Fellowship Scotland, the largest social care provider in Scotland. Chris is married, has twin boys aged 29, and is an experienced alpine skier, a keen sailor, enjoys golf and plays in a blues band.
Sam is a corporate Human Resources Director with over 29 years’ experience. Starting her career in retail although more recently she has held a number of senior positions across the Financial Services Sector including Group People and Corporate Affairs Director at Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual life insurance and pensions company. In addition, Sam has been a trustee of UK and Irish pension schemes, is currently a Trustee of the charity Meningitis Now and Council member of Aberystwyth University. Through both her executive and non-executive career, Sam has extensive experience of the operation of governance committees such as the Remuneration and Nominations Committee. Having completed her Master’s in Business Psychology she has a particular interest in leadership development, culture and organisational change. Outside of work Sam enjoys watching her teenage daughter play sport or walking their dog in the Forest of Dean.
Chair of Audit
Ian joined the Board in June 2019 as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit & Compliance Committee. For 35 years, he held roles at Senior Management and Board level across a range of Financial Services sectors: Insurance, Building Societies, Broking, Pensions and Life Assurance. He’s chaired two Boards, held a Managing Director position and several Non-Executive Director positions. He is a qualified actuary and mathematics graduate with expertise in business, finance and risk management, as well as marketing, distribution and product management. Throughout his whole career, Ian’s real passion has been all about people, customers and colleagues. His most enjoyable role being; Chief Customer Officer, at Yorkshire Building Society, where he was responsible for driving and upholding the customer experience, value and benefits for the Society at sector leading standards. Ian is a dedicated family man who spends much of his spare time following his beloved team Manchester United, or travelling the world pursuing a range of bucket list experiences.
Nicole trained as a chartered accountant and has worked for over twenty years in executive and non-executive board level positions. She is currently; Chief of Finance & Operations, for a privately owned Bank, having joined them from the Bank of England where she was Chief Financial Accountant. Prior to this, Nicole held senior positions at broker-dealers in New York and London. Nicole is married and has a son and daughter who keep her busy outside of work. In her spare time Nicole supports several local charities. She’s an enthusiastic cook, avid rugby supporter and keen traveller.
Chief Executive Officer
Gordon joined the Board in July 2019 with over 25 years’ experience of developing businesses in the financial services sector. He has held leadership positions in insurance, consumer investment and financial advice businesses including Wesleyan, Virgin Money, AXA and Bestinvest. Gordon is a Cambridge economics graduate and INSEAD MBA and brings particular expertise in strategy and commercial development, marketing and digital innovation. In addition, Gordon is a Trustee and member of the Income & Investment Committee of the RCN Foundation, a leading charity championing nursing, and a member of the Remuneration Committee of the Royal College of Nursing Group. Gordon lives in east London with his wife and three teenage children and enjoys spending time travelling, learning about history, listening to music and occasionally bingeing on box-sets.