The Board

Meet the board to find out more about the people driving our business forward.
Phil Moorhouse

Phil Moorhouse

Chairman

Phil has been the Society’s Chairman since the 2013 AGM. He is an experienced accountant and a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.

He is the Chair of Newcastle Systems Management Limited and a Director of Newcastle Strategic Solutions Limited. He has held a number of senior Board positions including that of Managing Director (UK) of Northgate PLC, which he held for more than seven years; this followed six years as Finance Director.

He was also Vice Chairman of Cumbria Partnership NHS foundation trust for four years. He is currently chair of Molins PLC. Phil brings 36 years of business experience to the Society’s Board. His skills and expertise were recognised recently when he was awarded ‘North East Non-Executive of the Year 2015’ at the North East Business Executive of the Year Awards.

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Andrew Haigh

Andrew Haigh

Chief Executive

Andrew became the Society’s Chief Executive in May 2015 having joined the Board as Chief Operating Officer in January 2014.

He has a track record in transforming and developing businesses, with more than 30 years’ business experience and over 20 years in the mutual sector. He has held leadership roles as both an Executive and a Non-Executive Director. As the former Chief Executive of Engage Mutual Assurance, he led the organisation for over 10 years, through a period of sustained growth and innovation.

Andrew gained his strong customer focus through his early career in marketing and customer service roles with British Airways, Barclays and National & Provincial Building Society. An advocate of mutuality, he was previously Chairman of Mutuo, an independent organisation that promotes the development of new and existing mutuals to Government.

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Ron McCormick

Ron McCormick

Deputy Chairman

Ron is both a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors.

He has previously worked as Group Finance Director then Group Commercial Director at Skipton Building Society, posts which he held for a total of 14 years. In addition, he had more than seven years’ experience with Guardian Royal Exchange, as well as seven with KPMG, both in the UK and abroad. He is the Society’s Deputy Chairman and is also a member of the Society’s Audit and Group Risk Committees and is Chair of Newcastle Strategic Solutions Limited. He also works as a senior adviser to businesses within a range of sectors. He is Chairman of Grassington Hub Ltd and a Director of Threshfield Quarry Development Trust Limited.

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Angela Russell

Angela Russell

Finance Director and Deputy Chief Executive

Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director Angela is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Certified Public Accountant with 27 years’ experience in finance in the UK and abroad.

She has worked in a variety of positions covering finance, risk, audit, project and corporate planning roles. In particular, she has many years’ experience in finance roles within the building society sector including her current role as Finance Director for Newcastle Building Society, which she has held since 2010. Angela is also Deputy Chief Executive for the Society. Prior to joining the building society sector Angela spent 12 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

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Patrick Ferguson

Patrick Ferguson

Strategy, Planning and Risk Director

Strategy, Planning and Risk Director Patrick joined the Society’s Board in February 2014; before this he was the Society’s Group Risk Executive for almost four years.

He has extensive experience in risk management, including conduct risk and regulatory compliance, in addition to financial reporting, planning, and budgeting. He has 17 years’ experience in the Building Society sector and has held the posts of Finance Director, General Manager, Finance and Head of Strategy and Planning. He qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

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John Morris

John Morris

Non-Executive Director

John is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and brings to the Society a significant amount of experience of both the banking and building society sectors.

He worked for several years as Director of Finance for the Retail Banking Division at HBOS. Prior to that, he held senior posts at Halifax (Halifax Building Society and then Halifax PLC) as General Manager and Leeds Permanent Building Society where he held the post of General Manager Finance. He also worked at KPMG where he started his accountancy career. He is a member of the Audit, Group Risk and Nominations Committees and is Chairman of the Remuneration Committee.

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Ian Ward

Ian Ward

Non-Executive Director

Ian has extensive experience in financial services that includes his role as Chief Executive of Leeds Building Society for 16 years until his retirement in 2011.

He is Vice-Chairman and Senior Independent Director of the Charter Court Financial Services Group of Companies which includes Charter Savings Bank, as well as chairing their Risk Committee. Ian is a Non-Executive Director of Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust and is its Senior Independent Director and a member of its Audit and Finance Committees. He has been a Non-Executive Director of Newcastle Building Society since 2013 and is a member of the Group Risk Committee and a Director of Newcastle Systems Management Limited.

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David Buffham

David Buffham

Senior Independent Director

Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director David has spent most of his career at the Bank of England. He held a wide variety of banking and other roles, including the post of Bank of England Agent for the North East.

There he was responsible for reporting to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee on the region’s economy and explaining policy to key stakeholders in the North East. He brings this knowledge and experience to the fore as Chairman of Group Risk Committee and also as a member of the Nominations and Remuneration Committees. He is a Director of Newcastle Systems Management Limited. He is also Senior Independent Director. He is an experienced Non-Executive Director and is a Director of Zytronic PLC, William Leech (Investments) Limited and The William Leech Foundation Limited.

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Karen Ingham

Karen Ingham

Non-Executive Director

Karen has an extensive customer services background within the consumer sector and is extremely people and customer focused.

Her roles have included Head of Service and Customer Experience Director. She also spent 18 months as HR Director in the construction industry and started her career with 18 years in Financial Services at the Co-operative bank. Karen is a trustee of the Virgin Media Pension Scheme and a member of the Chief Customer Officer Forum. She is also a Director of Newcastle Strategic Solutions Limited and a member of the Remuneration Committee.

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Richard Bottomley OBE

Richard Bottomley OBE

Non-Executive Director

Non-Executive Director Richard joined the Board in 2014 as a Non-Executive Director and he is also Chair of the Audit Committee.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and in 2010 was awarded an Order of the British Empire for services to the Accountancy Profession and Business in the North East. He was Managing Partner at KPMG for 12 years prior to his retirement in 2008 and is a past President of the North East Chamber of Commerce. In his professional career spanning over 30 years he gained experience in Corporate Finance, Strategic Planning and was the Lead Audit Partner on some of the region’s largest companies. More recently, Richard is Chairman of Greggs PLC Retirement Benefits Scheme, TL Dallas Group, Skillsbridge and a Director at Durham County Cricket Club.

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Damian Thompson

Damian Thompson

Customer Director

Damian joined the Board as Customer Director in August 2016.

He brings extensive experience in customer insight and retention and has previously held senior customer-related roles, including Head of Retail and, latterly, Head of Distribution for a leading building society.

Damian’s skills encompass strategic leadership to evolve and develop our product, distribution and service capabilities to keep pace with our customers’ changing  needs. 

He has spent more than 25 years serving and understanding customers, and has particular expertise in developing performance through behaviours to deliver exceptional customer experience.

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