Our Board

View our Board’s responsibility and Terms of Reference

  • Phil Moorhouse – Chairman

    I have been the Society’s Chairman since our AGM in April 2013. I’m an experienced accountant by trade and a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. I have held a number of senior Board positions including that of Managing Director (UK) of Northgate PLC, which I held for more than seven years. This followed six years as Finance Director. I’m a Director of Molins PLC where I’m Chair of Audit and a Senior Independent Director. Additionally, I sit on the Board of Cumbria NHS Partnership Trust. I bring 35 years’ industry expertise to the Newcastle’s Board and also the Society’s Group Risk Committee, of which I am a member.

  • Jim Willens – Chief Executive

    My involvement in and passion for the building society sector spans more than 30 years. During this time, I’ve held significant senior posts including Retail Operations Director and Group Services Director at Nationwide. My roles over the years have included strategic responsibility for Branches, Telephony, Internet Services, Technology, Product Development and Central Support Services, which have involved leading teams in excess of 9,000 people.

    My career started out in the ‘field’ as a branch manager and I also held a range of retail and sales management positions. I have a strong track record of delivery, and a passion for developing the people I work with to provide excellent customer service through the mutual business model, both of which are key elements to the Society’s corporate strategy.

  • Ron McCormick – Deputy Chairman

    Ron has established a successful career in the building society sector as an experienced accountant. He is both a Fellow of theInstituteofChartered Accountantsand 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 has more than seven years experience with Guardian Royal Exchange, as well as seven with KPMG, both in theUKand abroad.

    Following three years on theNewcastle’s Board, in January 2011 he was appointed Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director. He is a member of the Society’s Audit and Group Risk Committees. 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 DevelopmentTrust Limited.

  • Angela Russell – Finance Director and Deputy Chief Executive

    I am an experienced Chartered Accountant and Certified Public Accountant with 25 years’ experience in finance in the UK and abroad. I have worked in a variety of positions covering finance, risk, audit, project and corporate planning roles. In particular, I have many years’ experience in finance roles within the building society sector including my current role as Finance Director and Deputy Chief Executive for the Newcastle, which I have held since 2010. I also held the post of Finance Director at the Universal Building Society. Prior to joining the building society sector I spent 12 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. I am also a Non Executive Director at St Cuthberts Care Limited.

  • Patrick Ferguson – Strategy, Planning and Risk Director

    Patrick is a new member to our Board having been appointed 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 15 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.

  • Andrew Haigh– Chief Operating Officer

    Andrew has a track record in transforming and developing businesses. With 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 which promotes the development of new and existing mutuals to Government.


  • John Morris – Non-Executive Director

    John is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountantsand 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, Nominations and Remuneration Committees.

  • Richard Mayland – Non-Executive Director

    I have 30 years’ experience of the accountancy world, including 17 years as a partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (PwC) before my retirement in 2003. During my time with PwC, I specialised in audit and business advisory services. My time as a partner was spent in the North East before being asked to head the financial services audit practice for the North of England. I also have significant expertise in regulatory and accounting matters as a result of this experience.

    I am Chief Executive of Norprime Ltd, which is a post I have held for five years, and I have been a member of the Newcastle’s board for more than six years. I am also Chairman of the Society’s Audit Committee and a member of both the Nominations and Remuneration Committees.

  • Catherine Vine-Lott – Non-Executive Director

    Catherine has a total of 35 years’ experience in the financial services sector having spent her entire working life in the industry. This includes 18 years at Barclays where her positions included Chief Executive of Barclays Stock Brokers, as well as Barclays Personal Investment Management. In addition, she has significant experience with Legal and General both at group Board level and in running the wealth management division. This brings an abundance of expertise toNewcastle’s Board, which she joined in January 2010, and to the Society’s

    Audit and Remuneration Committees, which she Chairs. She is also an experienced Non Executive Director and currently sits on Just Retirement Limited’s Board.

  • Ian Ward – Non-Executive Director

    Ian has spent over forty years in financial services including being Chief Executive of Leeds Building Society for sixteen years until his retirement from that role in August 2011. Ian is now a Non Executive director ofHarrogateand District NHS Foundation Trust and a member of its Audit Committee. He also undertakes consultancy work for some other businesses. Ian was a director and vice-president of Leeds,Yorkand North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of its Property Forum. Also, he was a member of the national council of the Building Societies Association and a director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Leeds Training and Enterprise Council. He has been a Non Executive Director of Newcastle Building Society since July 2013 and is a member of the Group Risk Committee and Director of Newton Facilities Management Limited (a subsidiary of the Society).

  • David Buffham – Non-Executive 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.

    Additionally, he is a Director of a subsidiary of NBS; Newton Facilities Management. He is an experienced Non Executive Director and is a Director of Zytronic PLC, William Leech (Investment) Limited and William Leech Foundation.