Our Directors are independent in character and judgement, are free of any relationship or circumstance which could interfere with the exercise of their judgement, and bring wide and varied commercial experience to Board deliberations and continue to represent the interests of the Society’s members.
Board appointments are subject to ratification by a members' vote at the Society's AGM.
Alan Harris joined the Board in 2011 and appointed as Chairman on 1 December 2017. Alan is a Chartered Insurer and a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute. He holds an MBA from City University Business School and is an alumnus of the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School. Alan is the former Operations Director of NFU Mutual and was also Chief Executive of Avon Insurance PLC. Alan holds Non-Executive roles with three Aegon companies and is a Governor and Director of Prince Henry’s High School Academy Trust.
Committees: Board Risk & Compliance, Audit, Chairman’s & Nominations (Chairman) and Remuneration
Valerie Dias joined the Board in 2015 and was appointed as Deputy Chairman on 1 December 2017. Until September 2016, Valerie was the Chief Risk & Compliance Officer and a member of the Executive team at Visa Europe. Valerie, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants, previously held the position of Chief Financial Officer from 1999 to 2006 at Visa Europe. She is a Non-Executive Director at Hastings Insurance Services Limited, a Trustee at the Board of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) where she also chairs its Audit Committee and a Trustee at the Board of UFI (University for Industry).
Committees: Board Risk & Compliance, Audit (Chairman) and Chairman's & Nominations
Richard Norrington was appointed to the Board on 30 November 2016 and became Chief Executive Officer on 1 December 2016, following the announcement of Paul Winter’s retirement. Richard has extensive leadership experience in the financial services sector, in a career spanning nearly three decades. He spent 16 years with Barclays Bank PLC, and, more recently, ten years at Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank where as regional director he had responsibility for the East of England area.
Committees: Board Risk & Compliance, Audit, Chairman’s & Nominations, Executive Risk, Retail Credit Risk, Operational & Conduct Risk, Remuneration and Assets & Liabilities
TD, BSc (Hons),
Kieron Blackburn joined the Society in 2008 as General Manager, Finance. He was appointed to the Board on 30 November 2008 as Finance Director. He is a Chartered Accountant and Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers. Before joining the Society, Kieron spent 12 years with Nationwide Building Society, latterly as Finance Director, UCB HomeLoans Ltd, a Nationwide subsidiary and 7 years with Midland Bank. Kieron has served for 35 years with the Army Reserve.
Committees: Board Risk & Compliance, Audit, Executive Risk, Assets & Liabilities (Chairman), Retail Credit Risk, Pension and Operational & Conduct Risk
ACIB, DipFS, MBA
Non Executive Director
Peter Elcock joined the Board on 1 June 2015 and is Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer at Charter Court Financial Services Group Ltd (CCFS) and Board member of all CCFS group companies. He was also Chief Risk Officer at the Coventry Building Society, and prior to this spent 27 years at Barclays. Peter founded Cornhill Consulting, which provides specialist credit, liquidity, capital and regulatory risk consultancy and software to building societies and banks in the UK and overseas. Peter is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, has a Finance Degree and an MBA from Exeter University.
Committees: Board Risk & Compliance, Audit, Pension and Remuneration (Chairman)
Non Executive Director
Steve Liddell was appointed to the Board on 30 November 2017. He has a degree from Nottingham University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He is a financial services partner at Mazars LLP. He previously worked for many years at KPMG and was the senior partner at the firm’s Ipswich office from 2002-06. He is a co-opted member of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Seckford Foundation.
Steve, who lives locally, has over 30 years’ experience in working with regulated businesses.
Committees: Board Risk & Compliance, Audit, Remuneration and Assets & Liabilities
Non Executive Director
Steve Reid was appointed to the Board in November 2016. Steve has spent his entire career in the Financial Services industry. During this time he has held Executive roles with the Woolwich Building Society, Barclays Bank PLC, National Australia Group Europe and latterly as CEO of Allied Irish Bank (UK). Steve is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland.
Committees: Board Risk & Compliance (Chairman), Remuneration and Retail Credit Risk
FCIM, DipM, DipTh
Non-Executive Director & Senior Independent Director
Michelle Tennens, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, joined the Board in 2006 and is the Society's Senior Independent Director focusing on achieving a fair deal for members. As a marketing specialist with a wide range of experience in retail and consumer marketing, she works closely with our team on strategic marketing and sales issues. She is the Founding Director of redPepper Marketing Ltd, a local digital marketing communications agency, who work with business owners and organisations across East Anglia to energise, propel and transform their businesses through excellence in marketing.
Committees: Board Risk & Compliance, Chairman’s & Nominations and Operational & Conduct Risk