The Board

Meet the board to find out more about the people driving our business forward.
James Ramsbotham CBE DL

James Ramsbotham CBE DL

Chair

James Ramsbotham became Chair of Newcastle Building Society in August 2021.  Prior to this he was Chief Executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce for 15 years. 

He is also a Non-Executive Director for Hargreaves Land, part of Hargreaves Services PLC and was Chairman of the Darlington Building Society until December 2017.

Previously James was Vice Chairman of the Esh Group, the award-winning North East construction group.  Before that, he spent 14 years in Corporate Banking in Barclays Bank plc (throughout the UK), latterly as Marketing Director.  He was a soldier for 12 years with the Royal Green Jackets, and benefitted from executive education at Harvard (USA), INSEAD (France), and Oxford University after graduating from Durham University. 

He is Honorary Colonel for The Rifles in County Durham, Trustee for The Foundation of Light (Sunderland AFC) and a Deputy Lieutenant for Co. Durham.  He also gives time to Durham Cathedral, Sunderland University, and various other charitable organisations.

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration by Sunderland University in 2016; made an Honorary Fellow of the Association of International Accountants (FAIA Hon.) in 2017; and made a CBE for services to business and the North East economy in the 2019 New Year’s Honours.

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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, and has more than 30 years’ business experience, including over 20 years in the mutual sector. He has held financial services leadership roles as both an Executive and a Non-Executive Director, bringing a depth of consumer understanding developed from a variety of sectors including the financial, motor and airline industries.

A proven Chief Executive, Andrew has particular strength in building effective leadership teams and organisations with healthy cultures. His sound experience and customer focus has seen him guide the long term growth and innovation of brands through clearly defined, purpose led strategies.

Andrew is a strong advocate for the role of mutuals in the financial services sector and appreciates the balance between delivering profitability and meaningful member value.

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 is a Board member of the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, a Director of the North East England Chamber of Commerce and a Vice President of the Chamber Council, and Chairman of the Northern Association of Building Societies
 

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Stuart Miller

Stuart Miller

Customer Director

Stuart became Customer Director for the Society in 2018. He is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and holds the Customer Experience Professionals Association qualification for senior business leaders. Stuart is a Director of Newcastle Financial Advisers Limited and sits on the board of the national High Streets Task Force.

Stuart brings extensive experience of regulated sales across mortgages, savings and financial advice. This ensures the Society delivers a great experience and outcomes for customers and the right conduct and culture amongst colleagues.

Amongst his areas of expertise are developing customer experience strategies and voice of customer programmes, which are critical to acquiring, retaining and growing the Society’s customer base.

His broad experience in managing and inspiring large teams of colleagues is critical to the Society’s work to connect its people to its strategy and purpose and contribute to making the Society a great place to work.

Stuart has more than three decades' customer service experience in the financial services sector, including with Virgin Money, RBS International, and NatWest. He is responsible for ensuring Newcastle Building Society members receive a stand out experience, whether across its branch network, via telephone or online.

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David Samper

David Samper

Chief Financial Officer

David joined the Society in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer.

An accomplished strategic leader with over 20 years’ experience as a Chartered Accountant, David has a fundamental knowledge of the issues impacting the long term commercial sustainability of our business model, balance sheet and profitability.

He understands the financial services sector exceptionally well and has valuable experience in managing financial performance across both large and medium sized financial organisations in the UK and abroad.  He brings a different perspective to his team and the Board, gained from his international business experience.  David’s career has also encompassed multiple system migrations, complementing the knowledge and expertise of our growing Solutions business.

David has held senior roles across a number of organisations, including RBS, Ulster Bank, and at Sainsbury’s Bank as its interim Chief Financial Officer. He has led complex acquisitions and driven transformational change, whilst consistently delivering core commercial outperformance.

David’s previous experience with broader capital markets and shaping organisational strategy in an ever changing economic and competitive environment will be key to ensuring the success of our ambitious Group.

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Ian Ward

Ian Ward

Senior Independent Director

Ian has extensive experience in financial services and was Chief Executive of Leeds Building Society for 16 years.

He was previously vice-chairman and senior independent director of the Charter Court Financial Services Group PLC and its subsidiaries from 2015 until 2019, and following its acquisition by OneSavings Bank, a director of that company until May 2020. Ian was also Senior Independent Director of Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust and a member of its Audit & Finance Committees for six years until September 2018. 

He has been a Non-Executive Director of Newcastle Building Society since 2013 and was appointed Senior Independent Director in July 2020. Ian is chairman of Newcastle Financial Advisers Limited and is a member of the Society’s Group Risk Committee.

As a Board Director he provides ongoing and valuable strategic input and knowledge to the business, while his previous experience within the NHS has proved helpful in bringing non financial services thinking to the Board. 

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Karen Ingham

Karen Ingham

Non-Executive Director

Karen has an extensive customer services background gained in highly competitive consumer sectors and is extremely people and customer focused.

In her current role as Global VP for Small Hotel Partners at Expedia and as part of a digital business, Karen brings a valuable level of experience to the Board across culture, diversity and the development of customer benefits using digital technologies. 

As an ex-HR Director she also understands employment law and is able to bring this perspective to board discussions.

Her contribution to delivering great customer experiences linked to profitable growth aligns to the Society’s strategy in building impact and long term success.   

Karen’s external 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 member of the Chief Customer Officer Forum. She is also a Director of Newcastle Strategic Solutions Limited and a member of the Group Risk Committee.

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Bryce Glover

Bryce Glover

Non-Executive Director

Bryce Glover is a highly experienced Director who has operated at Executive Committee and Board level in a number of leading UK financial services businesses.

Bryce adds a genuine breadth of commercial and retail banking expertise, along with a strong credit and risk management background, which is particularly valuable in his role as Chair of the Society’s Group Risk Committee.

He has a deep understanding of the mutual sector, having spent nine years working for the UK’s largest building society, the last three as Corporate Affairs Director.

His extensive industry knowledge and business acumen assist the development of the business.
The majority of Bryce’s career has focused on corporate and commercial banking.  He was Managing Director of Commercial Banking at A & L / Santander, before joining Nationwide Building Society in 2009 as a Director heading its Commercial Division, where he managed a £22bn commercial lending portfolio and the Society’s business savings accounts before heading Corporate Affairs.

Bryce is Deputy CEO and co-founder of UK SME Bank Recognise.

He is Chairman of the Society’s Group Risk Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee.

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Anne Shiels

Anne Shiels

Non-Executive Director

Anne is an experienced Director with extensive board-level experience both in the UK and internationally. Working with FTSE 100 and independently-owned companies in both regulated and non-regulated businesses, Anne’s experience spans a broad range of sectors including financial services, retail, telecommunications, manufacturing and consumer. She combines strategic leadership and deep people, culture and organisational transformation expertise with a solid understanding of governance, control and risk. 

She has held Executive roles at Hallmark Cards, Lloyds Banking Group/HBOS, Safeway and Thus Plc. Anne is a trusted executive coach and adviser to boards and directors in diverse businesses in the UK and the US. 

Her track record of leading large people functions and facilitating transformative organisational change, coupled with her widespread sector experience helps us to develop a broader view on matters affecting the Society and assists in developing people strategies including our approach to culture, talent, succession and reward. 

Anne chairs the Remuneration Committee and is a member of both the Society’s Audit Committee and the Nominations Committee. She is also a Director of Newcastle Financial Advisers Limited.

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Mick Thompson

Mick Thompson

Deputy Chairman

Mick brings significant accountancy experience to the Board and with a deep knowledge of audit can support the Society’s governance and audit function. 

Mick has worked with companies and organisations across a broad range of industry sectors, including housebuilding, social housing, education, engineering, charities and financial services. 
He spent 21 years as a Partner and nine years as Office Senior Partner at KPMG Newcastle, where he was responsible for driving growth and expansion.

Mick is a Non-Executive Director of The Clinkard Group Limited, Atlas Cloud Limited and North of England Protecting & Indemnity Association.

He is also a Trustee of Greggs Foundation Charity; Trustee of NUFC Foundation Charity; Trustee of Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust; Regional Treasurer of The Lord’s Taverners Charity and a Member of the International Advisory Board of the Newcastle University Business School. 
Appointed Deputy Chairman in July 2020, Mick chairs the Society’s Audit Committee, as well as being a member of both the Nominations Committee and Remuneration Committee. In December 2020 Mick was appointed as Chairman of the Newcastle Building Society Pension & Assurance Scheme.

Mick joined the Board in January 2019, and his extensive network in the region helps bring excellent connections to support the development of the Society’s brand and strategy. His wide ranging board portfolio, particularly in the charity sector, is well aligned to our community focus and helps us better understand the issues affecting this sector.
 

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Adam Bennett

Adam Bennett

Non-Executive Director

Adam joined the Board in April 2019 and is a member of the Society’s Group Risk Committee, the Audit Committee and the Group Technology Governance Committee. He is also a Director of the Society’s subsidiary Newcastle Portland House Limited.

Adam spent 36 years at law firm, Addleshaw Goddard, where he specialised in advising building societies. He has a deep knowledge of the building society sector and its associated corporate governance and regulatory requirements.

Adam’s fantastic professional network is a great benefit to the Society. He has advised building societies across a diverse range of issues.  He brings formidable legal insight and experience of different business models and structures, important given the Group structure, which includes two key subsidiaries, Newcastle Strategic Solutions Ltd and Newcastle Financial Advisers Ltd.

During his professional career, Adam has advised on Rules of Building Societies, on corporate governance, including compliance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, and on the powers and statutory and fiduciary duties of directors.
 

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Stuart Lynn

Stuart Lynn

Non-Executive Director

Stuart is a prominent technology business leader with a wealth of experience drawn from his time at the National Health Service and software giant Sage, where he held a number of leadership roles, including Executive Vice President and Chief Technology and Information Officer.

His deep understanding of the potential for digital transformation within businesses to drive better customer experiences and commercial growth will help guide the digital transformation across the Society and Solutions.  Developing an approach to technology that can support the provision and delivery of excellent service that is unequivocally human and personal, is a key component of the Group’s strategy.

Prior to joining the Group Board in April 2020, Stuart was a Non-Executive Director of the Society’s Solutions business where he developed considerable understanding of the Solutions’ business model and is uniquely placed to contribute to the Group’s wider ambitions.

He is an active member of the North-East’s thriving digital and tech community, founder of TechNorthEast and Chair or the North East Local Enterprise Partnerships ‘Digital for Growth’ steering group. 

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Michele Faull

Michele Faull

Non-Executive Director

Michele joined the Board in August 2021, having spent 15 years in the most senior levels in finance and risk within the financial services industry. Her previous roles include chief financial officer at Coventry Building Society and group risk director at Nationwide Building Society.

She brings significant building society knowledge and a wealth of valuable experience to the Society, as well as a passion for giving back and helping others succeed.

Her wide ranging career has also incorporated roles with global insurer Aviva, accountants PwC where she was a partner, and IT services provider, ICL. 

Michele spent nine years as trustee and treasurer of the Bow Arts Trust and mentored for The Aspire Foundation, which supports women’s development internationally. She currently serves on Coventry Cathedral’s Finance Committee and volunteers with the Cranfield Trust. Michele is also a non-executive director at ERS Syndicate Management Limited.

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