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Our Directors

Meet the Directors

 

Non-Executive Directors

 

Rachel Court JP, BA Oxon
Independent Non-Executive Director since October 2014 and Independent Chair since April 2016 

Skills and Experience
Rachel has 23 years of experience working in the Building Society sector including 7 years at Executive level. This has been followed by 6 years operating as a Non-Executive Director in the broader financial services sector as well as in the Public and Voluntary sectors.

After an 18 month period on the Board of Leek United, she was appointed as the Society’s Independent Chair, and has overseen the reshaping of the Society’s Board, including the appointment of a new Chief Executive and Finance Director in 2018/19.

Rachel has a career-long commitment to and understanding of the mutual sector and a passion for its ethos. She has a particular understanding of customer service transformation, operational efficiency and risk management, HR and remuneration, product development, sales, mortgage lending and the Intermediary market as a result of her previous roles, and has considerable experience of managing Regulatory engagement. As a leader, she brings a strong commitment to excellent team working and to building an open and constructive environment in which the interests of all stakeholders are fully considered in developing the Society’s strategy and overseeing its performance.

As well as Chairing the Board, Rachel also Chairs the Board Nominations Committee and is a member of the Board Remuneration Committee.

Current external positions 
Rachel currently holds the following external appointments:
- Independent Chair of Invesco Pensions Limited, where she is also a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.
- Non-Executive Director of Invesco UK limited, where she is also Chair of the Risk and Compliance Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.
- Non-Executive Director of Invesco Fund Managers Ltd.
- Governor – Calderdale College.
- Chair – PRISM Youth Project and Independent School.
- Magistrate.

 

 

Keith Abercromby BSc, FIA
Independent Non-Executive Director since March 2016 

Skills and Experience
Keith has 35 years of experience in the financial services sector in the UK and internationally covering retail banking, insurance, investments and pensions. This includes 20 years at Board level in a variety of roles including Non-Executive Director, CEO and Finance Director across a range of companies including the Halifax, Clerical Medical, Aviva, Liverpool Victoria and Castle Trust.

During his career at the Halifax, Keith was employed at Board level in a wide range of roles including Chief Executive of its life insurance and investment businesses and the executive responsible for risk and products in retail. At Aviva, Keith was the Finance Director of its UK life insurance companies – Norwich Union, General Accident and Commercial Union – before being appointed Group Finance Director by Liverpool Victoria.

Keith is Chair of the Board Audit Committee and is a member of the Board Risk Committee. 

Current external positions
Keith currently holds the following external appointments:
- Independent Non-Executive Director of Canada Life Limited since 2017, where he is a member of the Audit, Risk and Nominations Committees and chairs the Audit Committee.
- Independent Non-Executive Director of Argus Group Holdings since 2017, where he is a member of the Audit Committee and chairs its subsidiary, Argus Insurance Company (Europe) Ltd.

 

 

Richard Goddard MA, FCA
Independent Non-Executive Director since November 2011 and Senior Independent Director since June 2016

Skills and Experience
Richard is a Chartered Accountant with more than 30 years’ experience in financial services including retail and corporate banking, general insurance, life assurance and pensions. As a former Finance Director and Financial Controller, Richard has the background to analyse and test the Society’s Financial and Risk strategies.

Richard worked at KPMG as a senior audit manager. In 1993, he joined the Co-operative Bank where he developed robust, effective financial controls and led the finance team through two significant mergers. During his career at the Co-operative Bank, Richard was an Executive Director and also served as a Non-Executive Director at its joint venture, Unity Trust Bank.

Richard was co-opted onto the Board during 2011. Richard serves as Senior Independent Director, Chair of the Board Risk Committee and Chair of the Pension Trustees Committee. Richard is also a member of the Board Audit Committee and the Board Nominations Committee.

Current external positions
Richard currently holds the following external appointments:
- Director of RCG Business Consultancy

 

 

Jane Kimberlin BA
Independent Non-Executive Director since November 2016

Skills and Experience
Jane is an internationally experienced Board Chief Information Officer/ Information Technology Director with over 25 years of delivering significant transformation across a wide range of companies including financial services, retail and utilities. She led the successful merger of IT for several major companies following acquisitions.

With her experience in retail, Jane is a strong advocate of the customer at the heart of the business. Having managed large teams who were responsible for the development and performance of various major digital platforms, Jane is able to leverage her change and technical skills. Jane is passionate about the appropriate use and development of technology and works voluntarily encouraging children and adults to have a successful career in IT.

Jane is a former IT Director of BNP Paribas, a former IT Director of Domino’s Pizza, a former IT Director of Scottish and Newcastle/Spirit Group and a former IT Director of PowerGen (now E.ON). Jane is a former Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Jane is a member of the Board Risk Committee, Board Remuneration Committee and Board Nominations Committee.

Current external positions
Jane currently holds the following external appointments:
- Director and Society Secretary, Creaton Community Benefit Society.
- Director, Creaton Consultants.
- Liveryman, Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

 

 

John Leveson MBA, FCIB 
Independent Non-Executive Director since May 2015

Skills and Experience
John has over 36 years experience in a wide range of roles within the Building Society sector including 17 years as an Executive Director and latterly Deputy Chief Executive of a regional building society. In addition to serving on a building society group Board, he served on and chaired the boards of subsidiary companies involved in estate agency, financial planning and car finance.

This has given John a strong understanding of the Building Society sector and he is a strong advocate of the benefits of mutual business model in financial services. During his career, he has developed skills and expertise across a broad range of areas including marketing, sales, product development, mortgage underwriting and customer services.

John is Chair of the Board Remuneration Committee and is a member of the Board Audit Committee.

Current external positions
John currently holds the following external appointments:
- Non-Executive Director of H&H Group plc.
- Volunteer driver for a community bus service which serves the rural area where John lives.

 

 

 

Executive Directors

 

Andrew Healy MoB, BSc, MCIPD
Chief Executive and Executive Director since December 2018

Skills and Experience
Andrew has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services sector in the UK and internationally, including over 10 years at CEO and Board level. In December 2018, he was appointed Chief Executive with responsibility for developing and proposing the Society’s strategy, objectives and plans as well as for maintaining the Society’s business model and culture.

Andrew has a very deep commitment to the ethos of mutuality and the responsibility of financial institutions to contribute tangibly to the communities they serve. With his values and experience, he is particularly well placed to help maintain the safety, soundness and success of the Society for many years to come.

Andrew is a former Chairman of the Northern Ireland Banking Association and a former Board Director of the Asian Banking Association. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Banking in Ireland and a Chartered Member of the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Andrew is a member of the Board Nominations Committee and he attends the Board Risk Committee, Board Audit Committee and Board Remuneration Committee. In terms of management committees, Andrew chairs the Executive Committee, Asset and Liability Committee, All Risks Committee and Investment Programme Steering Committee and he is also a member of the Customer Conduct Forum and Credit Risk Forum.

Current external positions
None.

 

 

Robert Broadbent BSc, ACA 
Finance Director and Executive Director since April 2019

Skills and Experience 
Robert, a Chartered Accountant, has more than 20 years of experience in financial services, including positions at both Board and executive level. In April 2019, he was appointed Finance Director and was formally elected to the Society’s Board at the AGM in April 2020. He is responsible for managing the Society’s capital, funding and liquidity positions. An integral part of his role is ensuring the integrity of financial and regulatory reporting whilst ensuring the Society maintains an effective stress testing framework. He also holds executive responsibility for the Society’s work in the area of climate change.

Robert has spent most of his professional career either working for, or providing advisory services to, the mutual sector with a particular focus on the building society sector. He passionately believes that a modern mutual has a key role to play in delivering financial services to members and supporting the local communities in which they are based.

Robert is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Robert attends the Board Risk Committee and Board Audit Committee. He chairs the Credit Risk Forum and is a member of the Asset and Liability Committee, the All Risks Committee and the Investment Programme Steering Committee.

Current external positions
None.

 

 

John Kelly BA, ACA 
Operations Director and Executive Director since February 2017

Skills and Experience

John joined the Society in October 2016 as Interim Operations Director and was appointed to the role on a permanent basis in February 2017. He has been responsible for marketing, mortgage sales, the branch network, customer operations, IT and change management at different times over the last three years. He is currently responsible for IT and change management and for leading the Society’s Investment Programme.

John has worked in executive and senior management positions within the building society sector for most of the last 20 years, displaying a strong commitment to the values that make building societies different in their strategic outlook and focus. This is particularly true of John’s passion for putting the customer first in what and how the Society operates and in balancing this with the need for financial stability rather than profit maximisation.

John attends the Board Risk Committee and Board Audit Committee. John is also a member of the Executive Committee, All Risks Committee, Asset and Liability Committee,  and Investment Programme Steering Committee.

Current external positions 
None.

 

 

 

Executive Committee

 

Tracey Johnson
HR Director

Tracey joined Leek United Building Society in June 2019 as the Society’s HR Director. This is the first time that a HR role has sat at the Executive Table and Tracey brings with her almost 30 years’ experience in HR within the housing and financial services sectors, including senior and executive-level positions. Tracey has worked for 17 years in social housing, and prior to joining the Society, she worked at Newcastle-under-Lyme based social housing provider Aspire Housing Ltd holding responsibility for HR, IT, Governance, Marketing and Communications and Business Transformation. Tracey spent 12 years in the financial services sector prior to that that for a Japanese Investment Bank and an Inter-Broker Dealer firm in London.  

Tracey has experience of significant programmes of change, including culture, management development programmes, reward strategies, talent and succession planning. Tracey has joined the organisation at a pivotal time as the Society explores and develops their approach to digital enhancements for our members.


 

Andrew Davies
Chief Risk Officer

Andrew has over 30 years experience in financial services with much of that spent within the mutual sector. Having started his career in the branch network of Barclays Bank he then moved to Britannia Building Society where he gained extensive Treasury experience, becoming the Society’s Assistant Treasurer. More recently Andrew held a Senior Risk Management role within Coop Bank where he helped to develop a second line risk oversight function covering market risk, liquidity risk and counterparty credit risk.

Andrew joined the Society in January 2018 as Head of Risk & Compliance, becoming Chief Risk Officer in July 2019. His role is to ensure that the Society manages risk robustly and operates in line within its clearly defined risk management framework. Having a reporting line to the Society’s Board ensures an appropriate level of independence in the assessments and guidance he provides.

In addition to chairing the Risk oversight Committee, Andrew also attends the Society’s Asset and Liability Committee, Credit Committee, Board Risk Committee and Board Audit Committee.

 

 

Andy Armitage
Director of Customer Services

Andy was appointed Director of Customer Services in April 2020. He has built a strong reputation for leading large customer-facing operations while delivering business and cultural transformation in the banking and building society sectors for over 30 years.

He joined Leek United Building Society from TSB, where he was the Branch Distribution Director for Northern England, leading a team of 1500 colleagues to relaunch TSB on the high street across 200 branches. Andy started his career in the Lloyds Bank branch network in 1986 before moving on to gain a broad experience in the mortgage and intermediary sector working with Cheltenham & Gloucester. During his career Andy has been responsible for meeting customer needs through exceptional customer service across branch, digital and telephony channels.    

The new role will see Andy develop and maintain the Society’s customer-facing business in a way that ensures that our members are at the heart of all we do. He will be responsible for delivering comprehensive business strategies in the Branch Network, Products and Marketing, Digital and Mortgage teams to enable them to provide an exceptional, efficient service.   

Andy is a member of the Executive team, will chair the Customer Conduct and Pricing and Credit Risk forums, as well as attending the Asset and Liability Committee, All Risks Committee and the Investment Programme Steering Committee. 

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