MT Finance brings Kotecha onto board

MT Finance brings Kotecha onto board

He becomes the firm’s eighth board member and will sit alongside existing directors Joshua Elash, Tomer Aboody, Gareth Lewis, James Anderson, Millie Dyson and Lenka Pajkošová, as well as non-executive director Chris Patrick.

In his role as chief compliance officer, money laundering reporting officer and HR head, Kotecha shapes and implements the company’s compliance strategy, which includes Consumer Duty.

Kotecha has been with the firm since 2019, and before that held roles at LendInvest, ComplyPort, FCA and Barclays.

Joshua Elash, director and founder of MT Finance, said: “In the four years he has been in the business, Shyam has overseen our successful application and eventual launch into the regulated bridging finance sector and has contributed greatly to the overall compliance function of the company.

“He has proven himself to be a highly knowledgeable and professional executive who I am confident will add value to the board.”

He added: “Placing the consumer at the heart of everything we do has become second nature to us here at MT Finance, so I welcome the FCA’s new Consumer Duty and I look forward to continuing to work with Shyam to ensure our commitment to our clients – and intermediary partners – remains front and centre.”

Kotecha said: “I would like to thank MT Finance for giving me this opportunity, particularly founders Joshua Elash and Tomer Aboody.

“MT Finance has a very long history of putting the borrower first and I am excited to be involved in the next phase of growing the business and working closely with our industry partners to ensure the consumer remains our primary consideration.”

AMI confirms board appointments post-election

AMI confirms board appointments post-election

The practitioner constituency has re-elected Andrew Montlake, managing director of Coreco, and Scott Taylor-Barr, financial adviser at Carl Summers Financial Services.

Rachel Lummis, mortgage adviser at Xpress Mortgages, has been elected to the practitioner constituency.

Key’s chief executive Will Hale has been re-elected to the national constituency and Kay Leslie, compliance director at HL Partnership, has been elected to the network constituency.

All board positions are re-elected on at least a three-year rolling cycle and existing members can stand for re-elections.

AMI was founded in 2003 and was previously part of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) but became a separate entity in 2012.

The trade body represents mortgage intermediaries in the UK and its objective is to “promote the provision of good advice as an essential part of a healthy market for mortgages, which operates in the interests of consumer”.


AMI: ‘Well-positioned to protect the advice community’

Robert Sinclair (pictured), chief executive of AMI, said: “This process ensures that the membership affirms that it is being properly represented. I would like to thank all those who stood for election which ensures a proper democratic process.

“The board would like to express their sincere thanks to Abi Greenhalgh of Nest Financial Services for her service over the last three years. They would also like to thank Simon Broadley, formerly of Tenet, for his work and support over the previous five years.

“With the busy regulatory agenda, AMI remains well positioned to promote and protect the mortgage advice community.”

The West Brom appoints Boyle as COO

The West Brom appoints Boyle as COO

Boyle (pictured) joins from Metro Bank, where he was chief transformation officer for almost three years. He also previously worked at Nationwide for nearly nine years, most recently as chief transformation officer and prior to that held roles at Portman Building Society, Visa Europe and Accenture. 

Boyle will also join the board and executive committee, reporting to chief executive Jonathan Westhoff. 

Westhoff said: “I’m delighted to welcome Martin Boyle to the board and executive team. He joins us at an exciting time and brings extensive transformation and operations experience, which will further strengthen our leadership team and support the delivery of our purpose-led strategy.” 

Boyle added: “It’s great to be joining the West Brom at this time of exciting digital transformation. I’m looking forward to working with the team to drive forward the purpose-led agenda, developing and delivering products and services that continue to meet our members’ needs.” 

In its half-year results for the six months to 30 September 2022, the West Brom reported that its new lending had risen by 12 per cent annually to £609m and its pre-tax profit had reached £18.1m, which was a 24 per cent increase on the same period a year before.

Bath Building Society appoints Evans as first female chair

Bath Building Society appoints Evans as first female chair

She joined the board as non-executive director in 2021 and takes over from Robert Derry-Evans who is retiring.

Derry-Evans joined the board in 2014 and then became chair in 2015. He was a partner for 23 years at CMS Cameron McKenna specialising in corporate finance and project finance.

He is currently a director and shareholder of Omnia Legal, a solicitor practice in Bath.

Evans started her career in financial services as a management trainee at the mutual, where she focused on risk management in financial services.

After that, she held a wide range of roles at a number of companies. This includes the Financial Conduct Authority’s predecessor Financial Services Authority for around five years as a supervision manager for around five years.

Following that she worked at Deloitte as a senior manager, before spending nearly 11 years at Canada Life in various compliance, marketing and strategy roles.

From there, she held compliance director roles at Tesco Bank and Partnership, and then worked at Barclays for nearly five years in senior compliance roles.


‘First female chair in our history’

Kevin Gray, Bath Building Society’s chief executive, said: “Joanne takes over the position of chair from Robert Derry-Evans upon his retirement. We are delighted that Joanne has moved from being a non-executive director to being the first female chair in our history.

“She has been with the Society just over two years and has brought a wealth of risk and regulatory knowledge with her already. I look forward to working with her as the Society aims to significantly ramp up its investment in people, process and technology over the next two years in order to deliver productivity benefits and to improve customer journeys”.

Cirencester Friendly appoints Andy Morris as CEO

Cirencester Friendly appoints Andy Morris as CEO

Morris won out after an extensive seven-month search and selection process, having joined Cirencester as its finance director in April 2019.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants with more than 25 years’ experience across financial services, holding senior positions within Nationwide, RBS and Leek United Building Society.

Morris will replace Paul Hudson, who is retiring after 25 years as chief executive officer having taken the lead at the mutual in 1997.

Hudson has overseen Cirencester grow its membership from around 13,000 in 1997 to more than 44,000 today. During his tenure, total assets increased from £23m to over £165m and premium income grew from £2m to over £21m.

Morris (pictured) said it was an “honour and a privilege” to be given the opportunity to lead Cirencester Friendly.

He said: “I believe in mutuality and all that the society can offer to our members, with a really exciting and rewarding time ahead as we look to further develop and grow the business. We have a dedicated team who work well together and we look to build on all that has been achieved in the recent past.”

Morris added: “My thanks to the board, our exceptional people and especially Paul for all his hard work and commitment, setting up a robust foundation from which we can look forward to the society’s long-term future with optimism and confidence”.

The society is now looking for a new finance director to replace Morris.

Time to ‘pass the baton to new leadership’

Speaking about his retirement, Hudson said that the “time has now arrived for me to pass the baton to new leadership”, and that he was proud of what he had achieved since he took on leadership role in 1997.

He said: “What an incredible journey it has been growing the business significantly in that time. I have been lucky enough to have worked alongside very many fantastic people who have shared my vision. It has been a real team effort and we are a very different business to the one I joined all those years ago but continue to embrace the customer centric mutual ideals on which we were founded back in 1890.

“I leave a wonderfully capable group of people and I am confident the society will continue to prosper in the years to come.”.

We need to ‘step forwards into an unpredictable world’ – Spence at Cambridge BS

We need to ‘step forwards into an unpredictable world’ – Spence at Cambridge BS


Spence began his new role at the mutual on 1 November last year and hasn’t met any of his colleagues yet in person, but brings a big CV to an increasingly demanding role.

“The Cambridge truly holds [its] members at the heart of what it does and has a wonderfully rich history of helping people have a home. I’m honoured to join the team and look forward to helping guide and shape the next chapter of its history,” Spence said.

After a 32-year career in banking at Lloyds, rising to director of retail distribution and director of policy co-ordination and risk, Spence also continues as chairman of Spicerhaart, finance chairman of the Church of England’s Archbishop’s Council and in his role as an Essex county councillor.

A rare accolade, John has received an MBE, OBE and CBE for his services to the community, charity and business respectively. He is also blind and has held chairmanships of Action for Blind People, Vitalise, Blind in Business and Essex Community Foundation.

I ask Spence about what he predicts will be the long-term impact of the pandemic.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learnt to predict about the Covid virus, is that it’s unpredictable. In terms of strategy as a building society, we need to step forwards into an unpredictable world. It is only months since the predictions were for a significant fall in house prices and in the early days of 2021 there’s no sign of that at this stage,” he added.

He said he suspected that as furlough is unwound and the economy unlocked we may see a much more divisive economic performance with some sectors flourishing and others not, which particularly in the light of Brexit, could lead to major inflation.

“How do you get the right balance of ambition and caution in an unpredictable world?,” he asked.

Following a question on the pandemic, Spence said we are unlikely to ever go back to normal, adding we are likely to go forwards into a ‘new normal’ instead.

“We have learnt that hybrid working works. I think the days when we drag people large distances into a room for a meeting will be mixed now with a Zoom or a Teams on a digital basis. Time can be reinvested for a better purpose as long as you’re getting the right mix of face to face and digital. I think office space will be used for individual working, particularly for those with less conducive home arrangements, but much more for team gatherings, you can reinvest that time for better purpose.”

He added: “All those brokers have learnt to do things in new ways – they won’t go back. They’ve learned how to build relationships without being in the same room and they’ve learned how to glean the info – we need to see that progress into the legal sector. We can all see that’s a sector that has struggled and needs to join us on this journey of discovery of doing traditional things in a myriad of new ways.”

Given the pandemic and the shifting nature of of the outlook and economy, is more being asked I asked of board members than ever before I ask?

“You need more than ever now to have your eyes open to the full spectrum of possibility. Too often our thinking is confined between three and seven – now is the time to be thinking from nought to ten.”

However, Spence was very clear that face to face meetings and networking still offered huge value.

“Networking will remain critical. We’re human animals and thrive from being with other people. How often have we learnt things from being at a table at an event? How often have people said things that would never have occurred to you? That’s how you expand your mind,” he said.

The Cambridge has always lent nationally on its buy-to-let range but extended its lending area across England and Wales for all products in March 2020.


Age Partnership appoints David Wing to board

Age Partnership appoints David Wing to board



Wing’s position as risk and compliance director, will see him take the lead in the continuing development of the company’s governance structures, policies and procedures.

Wing said: “I’m extremely passionate about making sure we do the right thing for our clients.”

“Having worked in Financial Services Authority and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated business for over 17 years, my appointment to the main board at Age Partnership will allow me to provide a consistent focus on conduct risk at the highest level of management.

“With the ultimate aim not only to make continuing improvements, but also to drive up standards across the sector by setting a positive example,” he added.

Wing, who was previously head of risk and governance at Age Partnership, is a well-known figure across the finance industry having held the positions of CF1, CF10 and CF11, which include compliance oversight and money laundering reporting officer roles, within other regulated businesses.

Age Partnership chairman Andrew Thirkill added: “David has been instrumental in developing Age Partnership’s governance and risk management framework. Over the past four years he has managed a combined compliance, training and competence team of forty professionals to influence culture and drive through change.

“His appointment to the board will enable him to drive forwards, working alongside the FCA to deliver the best client outcomes at Age Partnership and of the equity release market overall.”

Equity Release Council adds board appointments and creates standards advisory panel

Equity Release Council adds board appointments and creates standards advisory panel



Nick Austin, commercial director, life at LV=, joins the council’s main 12-strong board of directors, alongside five existing directors who have all been reappointed to serve an additional two years. Those are Deian Jones, managing director at Hodge Lifetime, Paul Carter, CEO at Pure Retirement, Dave Harris, CEO at More2Life, Paul Barber, CEO of Retirement Bridge and Roger Marsden, managing director of Retirement and CEO of Equity Release at Aviva.

The six appointed directors will serve alongside Steve Ellis, managing director at Legal & General Home Finance, and Richard Overson, group director at Key Retirement, who were both elected to the board in 2017 for two-year terms.

They will also be joined by Paul Turner, managing director, Retirement Lending, International and group development at Just Group, who will sit as a board member designate in place of his colleague Steve Kyle, risk and compliance director at Just Group, who has decided, following the latest AGM, to step down from board after 13 years of service.


The ERC Board

The council’s main board is completed by chairman David Burrowes, Donna Bathgate its chief operating officer and Chris Pond its chairman of the Standards Board.

The ERC has seen the market double in size in two years to £870m of lending in Q1 2018 and has a growing membership base of over 220 firms, up from 160 in spring 2017.

The council has also evolved the role of members on the Standards Board to ensure it captures the different perspectives of adviser firms and reflects the growing number of associate member firms.

David Wright, equity release specialist at Sixty Plus, will sit as the smaller adviser firm representative while Dean Mirfin, technical director at Key Retirement, serves as a representative of a larger specialist broker firm and Nikki Smith, head of compliance monitoring and development at Just Group, will represent providers on the Standards Board for 2018-19.

They join Claire Barker, managing director at Equilaw as solicitor representative; Mel Kettle, director of client services at Gateway Surveyors as associate member representative; and independent members Liz Barclay and Jim Dredge who will all serve for an additional year under the continued chairmanship of Chris Pond.


Standards Advisory Panel

The council has also created a Standards Advisory Panel – an group of industry practitioners that will specifically advise the Standards Board, acting as an important sounding board on consumer issues and experiences.

David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: “The council is committed to leading and setting standards in the equity release market and these appointments mean we continue to have the highest calibre of industry expertise to represent our members and ensure the products and services we provide are designed to serve customers’ best interests.”

He added: “I would also like to thank Steve Kyle for his years of dedicated service to the board and Susan Jeffrey, David Forsdyke and Kate Davies for their valuable service to the Standards Board. Their collective passion and dedication to the industry has been invaluable and I wish them all the best with their new commitments.”