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Our Board

Meet the members of our Board responsible for everything from making key decisions on strategy to safeguarding the financial interests of our members.

Meet the Board

The role of our Board

The main role of our Board is to focus on the Society's strategy and ensure that all the resources are in place for us to meet our goals and objectives. This includes making sure that the financial controls and risk management systems are robust to protect both the Society and its members.

The Group is headed by the Board which is accountable to the members of the Society and whose principal role is to:

  • Be collectively responsible for the success, including the long term success, of the Group and for acting in the best interest of the Society and our members as a whole (both current and future). It may also consider the interests of other customers, colleagues, suppliers and the wider community.
  • Have responsibility for the overall management of the Group within a framework of risk management which supports and directs financial security, fair outcomes and a Group built on trust.
  • Establish a sustainable business model and set the strategy of the Group consistent with that model.
  • Develop the culture of the Group and set a ‘tone from the top’ to ensure that the desired values and behaviours are Board-led.
  • Have oversight of the Group’s operations ensuring that appropriate resources and systems of risk management and internal controls are in place.
  • Have responsibility for the maintenance and integrity of statutory and audited information on the Society’s website. Information published on the internet is accessible in many countries with different legal requirements. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

You can find out further details in the Terms of the Reference (78 KB)

You can also find out details of all our directors below.

Introducing our Non-Executive Directors

John Heaps, LLB

Chairman

  • Joined the Board in 2014 as Chairman Designate, becoming Chairman in 2015.
  • Chair of the Board Governance & Nominations Committee and member of the Remuneration Committee.
  • Member of the Law Society Business and Oversight Board, as well as the International Bar Association Audit and Constitutional Committees.
  • Trustee of The Garden Bridge Trust.

John, a lawyer by training, has extensive commercial and leadership experience. He is the former Chairman of corporate law firm Eversheds from where he retired in April 2015. He served on its board from 2008, and was part of the senior management team since 1999. As Chairman, he was ultimately responsible for Eversheds’ regulatory compliance. John contributed significantly to the development of the firm’s long-term strategy and helped drive considerable change as it grew from a group of affiliated UK offices into a major international law firm.

Neeta Atkar

Independent Non-executive Director

  • Joined the Board in April 2017.
  • Chair of the Group Risk Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.
  • Non-executive director and Chair of the Risk Committee of the British Business Bank and a magistrate (Chair of the bench for 16 years).

Neeta has 30 years’ experience in financial services, having held a series of senior positions at both banks and insurance companies, starting her career at the Bank of England and then moving to the newly formed financial services regulator, the FSA. She has worked across all aspects of risk throughout her career, covering credit, operational, financial crime and regulatory risks. More recently she was the Chief Risk Officer at TSB and a member of the executive team that created and listed the bank on the Stock Exchange.

Alison Hutchinson

Alison Hutchinson, BSc, CBE

Independent Non-executive Director

  • Joined the Board in 2015.
  • Member of the Risk Committee, Board Governance and Nominations Committee, and Remuneration Committee.
  • Chief Executive of The Pennies Foundation and a non-executive director of Aviva Life Holdings Ltd.

Alison has a strong background in both IT and financial services, having started her career at IBM where she became Global Director of Online Financial Services. In 2000, she joined Barclays Bank where she held senior management positions including Marketing Director of Barclaycard. In 2004 she moved to specialist mortgage provider Kensington Group, where she was Managing Director and then Group CEO, leading the successful sale of the business to Investec in 2008. In 2016, Alison was awarded a CBE for services to the economy and charities.

Mark Pain, BSc, FCA

Independent Non-executive Director & Vice Chairman

  • Joined the Board in 2013, appointed Vice Chairman and Senior Independent Director in 2015.
  • Chair of the Audit Committee, member of the Group Risk Committee and the Board Governance and Nominations Committee.
  • Non-executive director of Aviva Insurance Ltd and Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc; Chair of London Square Developments Holdings Ltd and non-executive director of LSQ Management Ltd.

Mark has nearly 20 years’ experience of director-level roles within FTSE 100 companies across the financial services and residential properties sectors. He spent 16 years with Abbey National Group, including roles as Group Finance Director, CEO of Abbey National Treasury Services and Customer Sales Director. Mark has held a number of non-executive positions across several sectors and was previously Group Finance Director at Barratt Developments Plc.

Guy Parsons, BA

Independent Non-executive Director

  • Joined the Board in 2013.
  • Chair of the Remuneration Committee.
  • Chief Executive of easyHotel Plc and easyHotel UK Ltd.

Guy has more than 25 years’ experience of director-level roles in the leisure and hospitality industry, including director of Accor UK, where he was responsible for sales, marketing and operations for the Novotel hotel chain. He has also held director positions at Whitbread Plc where he was Managing Director for TGI Fridays. In 2004 he joined Travelodge, becoming CEO in 2010 and successfully growing the business to over 500 hotels in the UK, Ireland and Spain.

Gordon Ireland

Gordon Ireland, BSc, FCA

Independent Non-executive Director

  • Joined the Board in 2015.
  • Member of the Group Risk Committee and Audit Committee.
  • Non-executive director of Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd (where he is Chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Risk Committee) and Aspen Insurance UK Ltd; non-executive director of Iccaria Insurance ICC Ltd.

Gordon is a chartered accountant and spent 36 years working for PwC, including 24 years as partner, where he specialised in the financial services sector. This included auditing many of the UK’s leading insurance companies, as well as acting as an audit and review partner. His role included Vice Chairman on PwC’s UK supervisory board and Chairman of the partner admissions panel and senior management remuneration committee. Gordon represented PwC on external technical advisory groups at UK and European level. Following this, he was CEO of a professional indemnity captive insurer of PwC’s network.

Introducing our Executive Directors

Mike Regnier, MEng, MBA

Chief Executive

  • Joined the Board in 2014.
  • Appointed Chief Executive on 1 January 2017.

Mike joined the Society in 2014 as Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Director and became Chief Customer Officer in December 2015, responsible for the Group’s Branch Network, Product Development, Marketing, Customer Experience and Customer Relations functions. He is also a director of Accord Mortgages Ltd, the Society’s intermediary lending subsidiary. Prior to joining the Society, Mike was with Lloyds Banking Group where he held a number of senior positions, including Personal Current Accounts and Credit Cards Director. Most recently, he was the Products and Marketing Director for TSB where he was responsible for the re-launch of the TSB brand on the UK high street in 2013. He has also held management positions at ASDA and the Boston Consulting Group.

Robin Churchouse, MA, ACA

Finance Director

  • Joined the Society in 2004.

Robin joined the Society as Head of Finance before being promoted to the executive management team in 2006 with responsibility for Risk and Strategy. In 2010 he was appointed Finance Director. In January 2014 he took on additional responsibility for the Property and Shared Services function, and in late 2015 the Customer Service and Collections and Arrears functions until they were transferred to the new role of Chief Operating Officer in May 2016. Robin has responsibility for the Corporate Strategy and Planning, Finance and Capital Management functions and in December 2016 took responsibility for the Treasury and Asset and Liability Management functions on the departure of Andy Caton. Before joining the Society, Robin gained a wide range of experience across a number of financial services organisations, including roles in finance, planning and strategy, management consultancy, corporate finance, risk management and prudential regulation.

Stephen White

Stephen White, BComm

Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director

  • Joined the Board in 2016.

Stephen is responsible for the Group’s Operations functions, including Lending, Customer Services, Arrears and Collections, Property and Procurement, the Group’s IT, Information Security and Change Management. Stephen has 20 years’ experience in financial services, most recently as Group Chief Operating Officer at Allied Irish Bank. His previous roles also include Executive General Manager at National Australia Bank and management roles at Ernst & Young, Royal Bank of Scotland and Abbey National, where he started his career as a branch manager.

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