In my years as Chairman I have seen the Society and its remarkable team blossom in what has been a period of unprecedented growth. Recent industry awards and commendations are a fitting tribute to all the innovation, resolve and hard work which has underpinned this.
I am proud to report furthermore, that it has been achieved in the toughest of economic and competitive environments without compromising either the creative instincts or dedication to customer care which are at the heart of our corporate belief. It is this belief, and the success which it has brought, which will continue to drive our future development.
I first became associated with Health Shield in 1974 when as an investment manager I became involved in managing the Society’s investment portfolio. I was appointed a trustee in 1998 and following incorporation of the Society was appointed as a Non-Executive Director.
Health Shield has grown rapidly over the past few years with great products, fantastic customer service and fully committed staff and Executive, and continues to win many industry awards. With the planned expansion into other areas of health and wellbeing, I am confident that the Society will continue to live up to its Mission Statement of ‘improving people’s lives by being even better tomorrow than we are today’.
2016 has been the most successful year of my tenure as Chief Executive, especially in terms of membership recruitment. I think one reason we continue to be so successful is that we work hard to understand the needs of all our stakeholders. By listening to them, we are able to develop products and services that are of interest. Continued success will be wholly dependent on being able to ensure that both existing and future products continue to be delivered with the high standards of service our members expect.
I will aim to ensure that excellent service levels and member satisfaction continue to be at the very heart of the business.
Our members expect the best. We know what they consider to be excellent service and we should aim to deliver it in every case. By gaining insight into our stakeholders, we are better able to achieve a greater understanding which means that we can tailor products and services that meet their needs.
In 2017 we intend to use our reputation and the strength of our brand to broaden our product offering and expand into new areas where we know that the Health Shield approach to quality and service will succeed.
I help provide leadership, support and direction for the sales and marketing team to achieve Health Shield’s strategic objectives, and have been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing for many years. Health Shield has a clear vision and growth strategy in place as we continue to deliver market leading health and wellbeing products and service propositions, through cost effective channels.
Our team has delivered another record year of business growth, moving the Society forward in an ever-changing digital landscape. The team have further increased new business volumes and membership numbers to impressive new highs, on a sustainable trajectory, whilst managing all associated risks.
With the support of all our people, Health Shield has proven the strength of its market leading reputation by winning more major industry Awards. We are committed to delivering Health Shield’s vision and challenging strategic company objectives as we improve our business capability and build on our strengths whilst maximising the opportunities.
I have worked at Health Shield since 2010, though have worked with Health Shield since 1999. 2016 was another record breaking year for the Society and it again picked up the leading industry awards for best cash plan. The first year under the Solvency II regime went very smoothly and we look forward to receiving feedback from the regulator on our Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA).
Operationally the teams performed excellently especially taking into account the growth achieved. 2017 will be a year when we look to streamline our processes even more in order to provide our members with a more efficient and user friendly service. The acquisition of Prevent plc enhances the offering we can provide to our members and I look forward to working to develop this and other propositions over the coming year.
I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Society in 2012. My current job is Deputy CEO for RPMI, the executive arm of the Railways Pension Trustee Company Limited. My responsibilities cover trustee and governance services, administration, communications, marketing, corporate finance, technical, policy and client services for all clients of RPMI, both rail and third party. I am also responsible for the finance and information technology functions for the group of companies.
I want to continue to bring my broad management and governance experience and my passion for customer service to help Health Shield continue to develop as a Society. I already operate within a mutual environment and am a champion of RPMI’s clear communications programme and I want to bring a healthy challenge to the impressive Executive team for the benefit of our members. I am currently chairman of the Business Development and Investment Committee and a member of the Pensions Governance and Risk Committees.
I am married with 3 children and am a Newcastle United season ticket holder.
I joined the Board in 2003, after holding a number of posts in the European Commission, the Government Legal Service and the House of Commons, involving complex international negotiations and frequent contact with ministers.
This experience has taught me the value of combining independence of mind with being an effective ‘team player’. I have had a particular responsibility for treating customers fairly and have chaired the Risk Management Committee. I retired from my post in the House of Commons in September 2016 and have since had more time to devote to the affairs of the Society (as well as becoming a grandfather for the first time).
I have served on Health Shield’s Board for a number of years and am immensely proud of the achievements the Society has gained during this time. The Society continues to go from strength to strength in a highly competitive cash plan market and has once again been recognised as the “Best Health Cash Plan Provider” at the major health insurance awards ceremonies in 2016. My professional experience on Human Resources matters at executive level within the rail industry has provided me with extensive knowledge on people issues and strategic direction to contribute to the continued growth of the Society.
Health Shield is a forward looking health cash plan provider, always looking to develop competitive new products within the healthcare arena for the benefit of our members, whilst ensuring regulatory requirements are met. A non-executive director’s role is therefore challenging, but at the same time rewarding, especially when I see the success that Health Shield has achieved.
I am immensely proud to serve on Health Shield’s Board as the Senior Independent Director and look forward to another exciting year ahead.
I am a fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and have had over 23 years’ experience in the financial services sector. It is an honour to be asked to join a team for whom passion about members and customer service is so evidently at the heart of what we do. This passion underpins the fantastic achievements of Health Shield over the past years. It is a privilege to be offered the opportunity to bring my risk and capital management experience to support the future development of our great business.
I have worked within financial services for 20 years and currently run my own consultancy company working with businesses to improve their products and services in addition to coaching sales teams to greater levels of success.
I strongly support mutuality and I’m delighted to be working with the strong Executive team and staff at Health Shield. I am particularly keen to ensure that the members of Health Shield continue to receive the highest standards of services and best products possible. I am proud to be associated with this award-winning Mutual that looks after, and makes a difference to, its members.