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Nationwide is committed to best practice in corporate governance and complies with the BSA Guidance for Building Societies on the Revised UK Corporate Governance Code issued by the Financial Reporting Council. In accordance with the requirements of the Revised UK Corporate Governance Code, which came into effect for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2019, information regarding the Board and its Committees is provided here.

The Board

Nationwide is run day-to-day by a Senior Management Team overseen by an elected Board of Directors.

The Board focuses on formulation of strategy, control and review of business performance. There is a framework of authorities in place which maps out the structure of high level delegation below Board level and specifies those issues which remain the responsibility of the Board.

Summary of the Chair's role

  • Leads the Board, ensuring it operates effectively in setting the strategic direction of the Society, including shaping the culture in the Boardroom;
  • Sets the tone from the top and epitomises the Society’s culture by fostering open and honest debates in the Boardroom;
  • Fosters a culture of open dialogue and mutual respect between executive and non-executive directors, both in and outside of the Boardroom, including ensuring that each non-executive director provides valuable contributions;
  • Together with the other members of the Board, promotes the long-term success of the Society and ensures the accountability to its members;
  • Provides support and advice to the Chief Executive Officer while respecting executive responsibility.

Summary of the Chief Executive’s role

  • Responsible for the day to day running of the business and accountable to the Board for the Society’s financial and operational performance;
  • Responsible for providing leadership and direction to implement the Society’s strategy having regard to the duty to promote the success of the Society in the interests of members, colleagues and Nationwide’s public and social responsibilities within the wider community;
  • Embodies the Society’s culture and values and develops policies for the Society’s people that drive the right behaviour;
  • Implements and monitors systems for the apportionment and oversight of responsibilities, controls and best practices within the Society, which maintain its operational efficiency and high standards of business conduct.

Summary of the Senior Independent Director's role

  • Provides a sounding board for the Society Chair, providing him with support in the delivery of his objectives;
  • Available to directors if they have concerns when contact through the usual channels (Chair, Chief Executive Officer or other executive directors) has failed to resolve the issue or for which such contact may not be appropriate;
  • Acts as a trusted intermediary for other directors when necessary;
  • Leads the annual review of the Chair’s performance by the Board and responsible, in conjunction with the Nomination and Governance Committee, for the succession process for the Society Chair.

Board of Directors


Joe Garner

Appointment

Chief Executive Officer since 5 April 2016.

Skills and experience:

Joe has spent his working life in consumer-focused businesses, starting his career with consumer product companies Procter & Gamble and Dixons Carphone. He later took on leadership roles, first as Head of HSBC’s UK retail and commercial businesses and then as CEO at Openreach. Joe was also previously a non-executive director of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Throughout his career, Joe has championed the interests of colleagues and customers, believing that looking after both is not only the right thing to do, but the key to commercial success. Since joining Nationwide, Joe’s mission has been to inspire colleagues to remain true to the Society’s social purpose, using the power of the collective to improve people’s lives. Joe is passionate about Nationwide’s core purpose of ‘building society, nationwide’.

Current external positions:

  • Director, UK Finance
  • Member, Financial Conduct Authority Practitioner Panel
  • Patron, British Triathlon
  • Member, Economic Crime Strategy Board
  • Co-chair, Inclusive Economy Partnership Financial Capability and Inclusion Steering Committee.

Chris Rhodes

Appointment

Executive director since 20 April 2009

Skills and experience:

Chris was appointed Chief Financial Officer in October 2019; he is a chartered accountant with over 30 years’ experience in retail and commercial banking, holding senior leadership roles across finance, treasury, operations, retail distribution and risk management. His previous positions include Group Finance Director for Alliance and Leicester Group, Board Director at Visa Europe and Deputy Managing Director for GiroBank.

Chris was a Director of the Lending Standards Board Limited and a Trustee of National Numeracy. His broad background means he has a deep understanding of the Society and the mutual business model and he is ideally placed to oversee the long-term financial stability of the Society, ensuring the Society continues to invest for the future on behalf of its members.


Rita Clifton CBE, MA (Cantab), FRSA

Appointment

Non-executive director since 1 July 2012 (independent)

Skills and experience:

As a former CEO and Chair of brand consultancy Interbrand, Rita is an acclaimed brand expert. This, and her background in consumer insight, helps ensure that member interests are central to Board business. She was Vice Chair and Strategy Director at Saatchi & Saatchi and Chair of BrandCap Group Limited. Rita has helped a wide range of iconic British organisations understand how to use research, marketing strategy and communications to build sustainable brand value. She has held previous positions as a non-executive director for ASOS plc, Dixons Retail plc, Populus Limited and Bupa. She is a committed advocate for environmental and sustainability issues and was a member of the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Commission and a former Trustee of the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

Current external positions:

  • Director, Leaderbrand Limited
  • Non-executive director, Ascential plc
  • Member, Assurance and Advisory Panel, BP’s carbon off-setting programme ‘Target Neutral’
  • Trustee, Green Alliance
  • Chair, Forum for the Future
  • Fellow, Oxford University
  • Deputy Chair, John Lewis Partnership

David Roberts CBE

Appointment

Non-executive director and Chair elect from 1 September 2014. Chair since July 2015 (independent upon appointment as Chair)

Skills and experience:

David combines a distinctive blend of leadership experience across major listed corporations, the mutual movement, and public service, including 35 years in financial services. He is a passionate champion of Nationwide’s social purpose and of the Society’s commitment to help improve the financial lives of its members. David also strongly believes in the economic value of commerce and the importance of rebuilding trust in big business. David has many years of experience at Board and Executive level; his previous positions include Group Deputy Chair of Lloyds Banking Group plc, Executive Director at Barclays Bank plc and Chair / CEO of Bawag PSK AG. He is also a former non-executive director at BAA plc and Absa Group SA.

Current external positions:

  • Vice Chair, NHS England
  • Chair, Beazley plc
  • Chair, Beazley Furlonge Limited
  • Non-executive director, Campion Wilcocks Limited
  • Advisor Board member, The Mentoring Foundation Advisory Council
  • Member, Strategy Board, Henley Business School, University of Reading

Mai Fyfield

Appointment

Non-executive director since 2 June 2015 (independent)

Skills and experience:

Mai combines her experience as an economist and strategist with considerable commercial experience to guide the Board’s strategic thinking and assessment of new opportunities and initiatives. She was Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer at Sky until October 2018, where she led strategy and commercial partnerships across the Sky Group plc. During her nearly 20 years at Sky she was a key player in the growth and diversification of the business.

Mai is a champion of diversity and helping women succeed in senior management and Board positions.

Current external positions:

  • Non-executive director, Roku Inc
  • Non-executive director, BBC Commercial Holdings Limited
  • Non-executive director, ASOS plc.

Tim Tookey

Appointment

Non-executive director since 2 June 2015 (independent)

Skills and experience:

Tim is a chartered accountant with over 30 years’ experience in finance, across retail and commercial banking, life assurance and pensions, and insurance. As a former Chief Financial Officer, Tim has the background and expertise to analyse and test the Society’s financial and risk strategies.

Tim’s previous appointments include Chief Financial Officer at Quilter plc where he led the IPO from Old Mutual Wealth Management Limited, Chair at Alliance Trust Savings Limited, Chief Financial Officer at Friends Life Group Limited and Group Finance Director of Lloyds Banking Group plc.

Current external positions:

  • Non-executive director, Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited
  • Director, Westmoreland Court Management (Beckenham) Ltd.

Kevin Parry OBE

Appointment

Non-executive director since 23 May 2016 and Senior Independent Director since 17 January 2020.

Skills and experience:

Kevin is a chartered accountant with a distinguished career in financial services and professional practice, bringing to the Board expertise in audit, regulation, risk management, and finance. As a former Chair of the Homes and Communities Agency, his perspective on housing is a valuable asset to the Society. Kevin has a wealth of experience across a broad range of organisations; he was formerly Chair of Intermediate Capital Group plc and Senior Independent Director of Standard Life Aberdeen plc, as well as holding previous executive positions with Schroders plc and Management Consulting Group plc. In addition, he is a former trustee and Chair of the Royal National Children’s Springboard Foundation, a charity providing life transforming opportunities through education to disadvantaged children.

Current external positions:

  • Chair, Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited
  • Non-executive director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, Daily Mail and General Trust plc.

Tamara Rajah MBE

Appointment

Independent Non-Executive Director since 1 September 2020

Skills and experience:

Tamara has extensive experience in entrepreneurial ventures and technology and is founder and CEO of an award-winning, venture capital backed global consumer healthcare platform. She has published widely on high growth entrepreneurship and was formerly a non-executive director of the ScaleUp Institute Limited and Entrepreneur First Operations Limited. Prior to launching her own company Tamara was one of the youngest partners at strategy firm McKinsey where she spent a decade in the healthcare practice and led McKinsey’s knowledge and client work on entrepreneurship and technology clusters in life sciences, digital and technology. She brings to the Board vast experience of digital transformation, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Current external positions:

  • Non-executive director, Holland & Barrett Limited
  • Founder and CEO, Live Better With Limited
  • Board Director, London & Partners Limited and Chair, London & Partners Ventures Limited

Gunn Waersted

Appointment

Non-executive director since 1 June 2017 (independent)

Skills and experience:

Gunn has a distinguished international career, including senior leadership positions in financial services, telecommunications and petrochemicals. Gunn previously served as Group Vice President at Nordea Bank Group and was CEO of Nordea Bank Norway. In addition she has been CEO at SpareBank Group and Vital Forsikring. Gunn was a non-executive director of Statkraft, Statoil. She brings to the Board vast experience of driving large-scale operational change, cultural change and digital transformation programmes to improve customer experience.

She is a strong advocate of the need for strong people cultures and creating genuinely diverse organisations.

Current external positions:

  • Chair, Telenor ASA
  • Chair, Petoro AS
  • Member, Fidelity International
  • Non-executive director, Saferoad Holding ASA.

Albert Hitchcock

Appointment

Non-executive director since 2 December 2018 (independent)

Skills and experience:

Albert is a leader in information technology with over 30 years in the technology industry. His experience is of huge value to the Society as we continue our ambitious transformation programme to meet the expectations of our members today and in the future.

Albert was previously a Technology Advisor to the Board of the Royal Bank of Scotland plc and has held executive positions as a Group Chief Information Officer at Vodafone plc and Nortel Networks.

Current external positions:

  • Chief Technology and Operations Officer, Pearson plc.

Phil Rivett

Appointment

Non-executive director since 1 September 2019 (independent)

Skills and experience:

Phil is a chartered accountant with over forty years’ experience of professional accountancy and audit with a focus on banks and insurance companies. Phil has a wealth of experience advising major financial services providers in the UK and on a global basis; he has held various senior positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and was Chair of its Global Financial Services Group prior to retiring from the firm.

Phil has an exceptional leadership track record advocating a collaborative and inclusive approach.

Current external positions:

  • Non-executive director and Audit Committee Chair, Standard Chartered Plc

Debbie Klein

Appointment

Independent Non-Executive Director since 1 March 2021

Skills and experience:

Debbie has extensive experience in commercial brand and marketing roles. She is currently Group Chief Marketing, Corporate Affairs and People Officer at Sky, where her remit includes responsibility for overall brand and marketing development, as well as leading corporate communications, public affairs, internal communications, and human resources. She is also responsible for Sky’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme (‘Bigger Picture’). Her expertise in sustainability and CSR matters will assist with building Nationwide’s future Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) agenda.

Debbie was previously Chief Executive Europe and Asia Pacific at The Engine Group, an integrated marketing services business where she worked closely with Sky for 12 years. She held various leadership roles in her 20 years at the firm, including Head of Strategy. Earlier in her career she worked in Strategy and Insight at Saatchi & Saatchi and Nielsen.

Current external positions:

  • Group Chief Marketing, Corporate Affairs and People Officer, Sky

Nationwide Leadership Team

  • Joe Garner ‐ Chief Executive Officer
  • Chris Rhodes ‐ Chief Financial Officer
  • Sara Bennison ‐ Chief Product & Marketing Officer
  • Gavin Smyth ‐ Chief Risk Officer
  • Mark Chapman ‐ General Counsel
  • Jane Hanson ‐ Chief People Officer
  • Steve Evenden – Chief Internal Auditor
  • Patrick Eltridge - Chief Operating Officer
  • Claire Tracey - Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer
  • Janet Chapman – Mission Leader, Moments that Matter
  • Rachael Sinclair – Mission Leader, Homes and Dreams
  • Paul Riseborough – Mission Leader, Hassle Free Money.
  • Mandy Beech – Member Experience Director, Retail Distribution and Servicing