The Board of Directors
Iain Cornish - Chair and Independent Non Executive Director
Appointed: Independent Non Executive Director in January 2019 and Chair of the Board in April 2020
Board committees: Chair of Nominations Committee and member of Remuneration Committee
Strengths and experience: Iain has more than 30 years’ experience working in financial services. A former CEO of Yorkshire Building Society (2003-2011) and Chair of the Building Societies Association (2007-2008), Iain has held a number of non executive posts. He was a Treasury Select Committee Special Advisor and Independent Director for the Prudential Regulatory Authority and chaired the Financial Services Authority Practitioner Panel. In addition to significant experience within the sector, Iain has relevant risk and audit committee experience.
Other roles: Iain is a trustee and treasurer of Macmillan Cancer Support. Iain is also a Board Governor of Leeds Beckett University.
“As Chair, my role is to lead the Board and oversee the development and delivery of the Society’s strategy. Over the last year, the Board’s focus has been on testing and supporting the management to make judgements about how best to balance the interests of savers and borrowers in an environment of rising living costs and increasing interest rates, whilst also continuing to deliver on our purpose and on supporting colleagues. Over the next year I anticipate a similar set of priorities in what is forecast to be a period of declining economic activity with continued cost of living pressures, however, the Board will also make sure that the Society remains focused on the successful delivery of essential long term investments.”
Richard Fearon - Chief Executive Officer
Appointed: Chief Executive Officer in February 2019 and Executive Director in 2016
Strengths and experience: Richard started his career at Oliver Wyman & Company and spent ten years at Lloyds Banking Group in senior mortgage and savings roles. Richard has an excellent understanding of product development to meet customer needs, as well as strong strategic and commercial skills. As CEO, Richard is responsible for developing and proposing the Society’s strategy, objectives and plans, and maintaining our business model and culture.
Other roles: Richard is a director of UK Finance Limited and Chair of the UK Finance Mortgages Product and Service Board.
“One of my priorities as CEO is ensuring our members are at the heart of every decision we make. Our purpose has supported us in navigating the disruption caused in the current economic climate and we continue to effectively serve members and uphold our purpose as a mutual building society. My role involves leading the management team so that we can operate in the best interests of our members.”
Annette Barnes - Independent Non Executive Director
Appointed: February 2019
Board committees: Chair of Remuneration and member of Board Risk and Nominations committees
Strengths and experience: Prior to joining the Society, Annette was CEO at Lloyds Bank Private Banking Ltd and Managing Director of Wealth & Mass Affluent for Lloyds Banking Group. With her background in operations, technology and customer experience, and recent board and regulatory positions, Annette brings a wealth of knowledge to the Board.
Annette is the Society’s Consumer Duty Champion and is the designated non executive for colleague engagement.
Other roles: Annette is a non executive director of GlobalData plc.
“The world has changed in many ways since I began my career in financial services more than 30 years ago; with significant digital advancements and an appropriate focus on the value of a diverse workforce. In my role as a Board member, it’s for me to challenge and support management, so that collectively we can continue to meet the changing needs of members, colleagues and other stakeholders. The Board really focuses on the needs of all of its stakeholders, and for me, that’s a huge part of the role.”
Farah Buckley - Independent Non Executive Director
Appointed: April 2023
Board committees: Member of the Audit Committee and Board Risk Committee
Strengths and experience: Farah joined the Board in 2023. Initially qualifying as a Chartered Accountant at Deloitte, Farah has had a successful executive career with a focus on private equity and corporate finance, most recently with Hermes GPE and Schroder Adveq. Farah has extensive exposure of Board roles with a portfolio of non executive positions, bringing deep experience in Audit, Investment, Strategy, Risk and ESG.
Other roles:Farah holds non executive positions with Aurora Investment Trust plc, Caledonia Investments plc, and Apollo Syndicate Management Limited. Farah is also a non executive director and Chair of Long Term Assets Limited.
“Having worked in financial services for over 20 years across audit, corporate finance and private equity, I have gained extensive knowledge of Strategy, Investment and ESG which broadens and complements the other Directors in their oversight of the Society. As a chartered accountant, I am also able to bring relevant skills and insight to the Society”.
Andrew Conroy - Chief Financial Officer
Appointed: Chief Financial Officer in July 2019 and Executive Director in January 2020
Strengths and experience: Andrew started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers before moving to West Bromwich Building Society. He has more than 15 years’ experience in financial services, including a number of senior roles in both building societies and banking institutions.
Having worked within finance, treasury and corporate strategy, Andrew has developed strong technical skills in financial accounting and treasury risk management.
Andrew is Chair of Assets and Liabilities Committee, Balance Sheet Optimisation Group and Cost Optimisation Group and has responsibility for the Society’s Finance, Treasury and Third Party Management functions, along with oversight of its recovery and resolution plan and activities.
Other roles: Andrew is a trustee for Saltmine Trust.
“The global economy has been significantly impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and more recently by market volatility, and this, as you would expect, has impacted many firms in the financial services sector, as well as many of our members.
My focus is to ensure we support our members and colleagues by safeguarding the Society’s financial position. This continues to be my priority, as I lead our Finance division into 2023.”
David Fisher - Independent Non Executive Director
Appointed: March 2012
Board committees: Member of Audit, Board Risk and Remuneration committees
Strengths and experience: With more than 30 years’ experience in financial services, David’s career began at Halifax Building Society. Since then, he’s developed a wealth of knowledge in retail financial services and has a strong understanding of risk management, pensions and human resources. Prior to joining the Society, David was CEO of Sainsbury’s Bank. David was Chair of Board Risk Committee until December 2021.
Other roles: David is a non executive director of Tandem Bank Ltd and Tandem Money Ltd.
“The Society’s ongoing strength and stability rely on our ability to identify, manage and mitigate risk. My role as a member of the Board Risk Committee and Audit Committee is to ensure we are financially resilient and have robust systems in place to manage risks throughout the business, which include our risk management framework and internal controls. I’m extremely impressed with how the management team has responded to the additional risks posed by the pandemic and my ongoing priority is to ensure risks are being managed appropriately, so we can remain secure.”
Neil Fuller - Independent Non Executive Director
Appointed: December 2020
Board committees: Chair of Board Risk Committee and member of Audit and Remuneration Committees
Strengths and experience: Neil joined the Board in December 2020 with over 35 years’ experience in retail banking and financial services. Prior to joining the Society, Neil held senior roles at Bank of Ireland UK plc including Chief Risk Officer and Executive Board Director, and for a short time Interim Chief Executive Officer. Before this, he undertook the role of Chief Risk Officer at GE Capital Bank Ltd and a variety of roles including Risk Director and Chief Risk Officer in the UK retail division of Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest. Neil’s experience and knowledge of risk management in the financial services sector bring value and further strengthen the Board. Neil was appointed as Chair of Board Risk Committee from January 2022.
Other roles: Neil is a non executive director of Cynergy Bank Limited.
“I believe the experience I’ve gained as Chief Risk Officer at different organisations and my understanding of risk management and the principal risks facing the financial services sector bring value to the Board. The ethics of a mutual resonate strongly with me and I very much enjoy working with the Society."
Andrew Greenwood - Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Appointed: Deputy Chief Executive Officer in May 2021 and Executive Director in January 2015
Strengths and experience: Andrew started his career as a solicitor in private practice and has worked for the Society since 1998, in a variety of roles. Having developed extensive experience of working in a highly regulated environment, Andrew was the Society’s Chief Risk Officer from 2011 to 2022 and, during this period, was responsible for developing and leading the Risk division, which comprises a number of specialist teams.
Andrew’s current line management responsibilities comprise the Risk, Human Resources, Learning and Development and Property and Business Services functions and, in the latter part of 2022, he took on responsibility for the Mortgage Services function.
Andrew currently chairs the Models and Rating System Committee and is a member of a number of risk focused committees. He also regularly attends the Board Risk Committee and the Audit Committee.
Other roles: Andrew is a member of the UK Finance Sustainability Committee.
“Having worked for the Society for more than 20 years, I have extensive experience of risk management and a strong knowledge of the organisation, its people and culture. A key aspect of my role as Chair of the Models and Rating System Committee is supporting the Board to fulfil our financial risk management responsibilities and helping other directors understand the model framework, which underpins assumptions and decision making. This role continues to be important as we adapt to changes in the economy.”
Gareth Hoskin - Independent Non Executive Director
Appointed: November 2015
Board committees: Chair of Audit and member of Board Risk, Nominations and Remuneration committees
Strengths and experience: Gareth has acquired extensive experience during his 30 years working in financial services, both in the UK and abroad. Having spent almost 20 years at Legal & General plc, Gareth was a director and CEO of the International division. Prior to this, Gareth was a chartered accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. In January 2019, Gareth was appointed Vice Chair and Senior Independent Director of the Board. His responsibilities as Chair of the Audit Committee include safeguarding the independence of the Internal Audit function and acting as our whistleblowing champion.
Other roles: Gareth is a non executive director and Chair of Audit Committee of Saga plc and a non executive director and Chair of Acromas Insurance Company Ltd. He's also advisor to the Board of Green Park Partners Ltd.
“As Chair of the Audit Committee, it’s my responsibility to make sure our financial statements are fair, balanced and include all the information you, as a member or stakeholder, need to assess and understand our performance. It’s my role to provide challenge, where required, and to use my experience from the past 30 years to oversee the Society’s reporting and audit processes.”
Rob Howse - Chief Operating Officer
Appointed: Chief Operating Officer in September 2019 and Executive Director in May 2021
Strengths and experience: Before joining Leeds Building Society, Rob spent over ten years in a number of senior executive technology, operations and change roles mainly at RBS and Lloyds Banking Group, where he was focused on retail banking. His earlier career included time in Telecoms, the Royal Navy and as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company where, as an associate partner, he specialised in advising multinational clients on the design and execution of transformation programmes.
As Chief Operating Officer, Rob’s responsibilities include transformation, technology and operational resilience, and he’s Chair of the Executive Transformation Committee and the Operational Resilience Committee.
Other roles: Rob is Chair of the UK Finance Digital, Technology and Cyber Product and Service Board. Rob is also a Governor, Trustee and Director of The Grammar School at Leeds.
“My extensive experience of technology, transformation and operational resilience strengthens the execution of the Board’s strategic agenda and helps assure day-to-day operations. I’ve used this experience to ensure that the Society continues to operate safely while still investing in our long term future and improving the way that we work every day.”
Pam Rowland - Independent Non Executive Director
Appointed: May 2023
Board Committees: Member of Board Risk, Nominations and Remuneration Committees
Strengths and experience: Pam is a Chartered Banker and has over 30 years financial services experience. Her most recent executive role was Chief Operating Officer at Paragon Banking Group Plc. Prior to working at Paragon, Pam was Managing Director Change Delivery at Barclays UK Retail Bank and Chief Operating Officer at ING Direct. Pam has extensive experience in operations, people leadership and customer led and digital transformation programmes.
Other roles: Pam is a non executive director of Saga Services Ltd.
“My experience of financial services operations and transformation programmes, as well as in promoting a strong customer centric and people focussed culture, are very relevant to the progressive agenda at the Society. I am delighted to join the Board and look forward to contributing to the continuing success of the Society.”
Anita Tadayon - Independent Non Executive Director
Appointed: October 2021
Board Committees: Member of Board Risk Committee
Strengths and experience: Anita joined the Board in October 2021 with over 25 years’ experience and a strong track record in transformation. Anita has held a number of senior roles and has developed a great deal of expertise in combining technology and change along with the development and design of customer journeys. Anita is currently employed by BT Group as Global Portfolio & Digital Product Roadmap & Lifecycle Director. Previously she ran a Design Function in BT Consumer and worked for both Sky and British Gas in Transformation. Anita also brings FCA regulatory knowledge from her time with British Gas, where she was responsible for the conduct team within customer operations. Anita has an MBA from London Business School.
Other roles: Anita is a director of Tadayon Consulting Limited and Global Portfolio & Digital Product Roadmap & Lifecycle Director for the BT Group.
“I’m delighted to be on the Board as a non executive director and feel strongly about the values associated with mutuality. I believe that my knowledge and experience provide different insights and experience to the Board, thereby adding value and depth to the decision-making process.”