Our Board is appointed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), but acts independently of it. Appointments of the Chair and Chief Executive must also be approved by HM Treasury.
The Board’s role is to provide leadership and strategic direction, define control mechanisms and supervise the overall management of our activities.
Board member biographies
Andy Briscoe (Chairman)
During an extensive and successful career in the financial services sector Andy has chaired and served on the boards of a broad range of companies. His professional experience ranges from insurance and credit cards to private equity, and includes managing directorships with Centrica and The AA as well as spells at American Express and BUPA. He is currently chairman of the Policy Shop and a trustee of his local Citizens Advice Bureau, where he also volunteers. Andy assumed the chairmanship on 27 September 2013.
Caroline Rookes (Chief Executive)
Caroline was appointed as Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service on 1 February 2013. During a distinguished career in the Civil Service, recognised with a CBE in 2010, she has overseen a number of major developments to improve people’s personal finances. These include the introduction of automatic enrolment (the new duty on employers to enrol their staff automatically into a pension), the new NEST pension scheme, changes to private pension legislation and regulation, reviews of welfare benefits, and simplification of the pension tax regime.
Lesley Robinson (UK Debt Advice and Corporate Services Director)
Lesley is Corporate Services Director and Programme Director for Debt Advice. Her delivery areas include finance, HR, IT, procurement, programme management, change management and operations. Lesley has spent many years as a commercial operating officer in various sectors, including FMCG, leisure, media and ICT. Before joining the Money Advice Service on 16 May 2011 she spent time in the NHS executing a change management programme.
John Penberthy-Smith (Customer Director)
John is Customer Director for the Money Advice Service. He is passionate about being an advocate for consumers, ensuring that they have access to free and impartial information and guidance which will really make a difference to their lives and aspirations. His role is to ensure that the customer is at the heart of everything the Money Advice Service does, from creating new and engaging content to developing marketing strategy. His aim is to stay ahead of the latest trends to ensure that information and content is delivered in the most relevant and accessible way possible.
John has held senior commercial roles at Vodafone, 3 Mobile and Eircom. He also draws from his extensive work as a strategic consultant with a range of organisations, who he has helped to improve their business performance and develop delivery of multi-channel strategies.
David Haigh (UK Financial Capability Director)
David is UK Financial Capability Director. He is responsible for developing a Strategy to harness collective impact and drive improvements in the way people manage their money. He has held a variety of senior strategic policy and leadership roles over the last decade, and was the Commercial Director at the Department for Health, responsible for developing a programme to improve the efficiency of the NHS. David spent two years working in the Australian Treasury, leading the team in delivering the Budget and setting up the Clean Energy Investment Corporation. He also worked at the Department for Work and Pensions where he led the policy and legislation to deliver automatic enrolment into pension schemes.
Jonathan’s career has centred on learning, initially through libraries and since 2007 as Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust (NLT). He was previously Head of Policy Development at the Museum and Libraries Archives Council and also Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals. He has been on the boards of several charities relating to learning and access and literature. Jonathan was appointed 3 January 2011 for a two-year term, in January 2013 his term was renewed for another three years.
Laurie Edmans CBE
Laurie spent his executive career in the pensions and insurance sector, establishing and leading businesses, with a background of sales, strategic marketing and public/industry affairs. He is chairman of Marine and General Mutual Life Assurance, of the Trinity Mirror Pension Plan and of B Different Ltd, a specialist market research agency. He has recently left the board of NEST – the National Employment Savings Trust - and joined True Potential LLP, a substantial wealth management and advisory services business. He is a member of the advisory board of the Equity Release Council, a Trustee of the Pensions Policy Institute and of the Quest School for Autistic Children. He was formerly a Board member at The Pensions Regulator and Deputy Chair of CPA Global. He was appointed CBE in 2006 for services to pensions reform.
Richard spent the first ten years of his career as a Civil Servant, working in the Home Office, Prison Service and Cabinet Office. Since 2001 he has worked in public sector consulting for PA Consulting and Capgemini, specialising in strategy, business change and performance improvement. He also had a stint leading business development in Justice for Working Links, a provider of services to support the unemployed into work and the rehabilitation of offenders. He is currently a member of PA Consulting’s Government and Public Services team, focusing on public service reform. Richard was appointed 3 January 2011 for a two-year term, in January 2013 his term was renewed for another three years.
Stephen began his career at HMT then spent 15 years at Which?, where he was Director of Research and Policy. Latterly he joined the ITC as Director of Advertising and Sponsorship, helping to establish its successor body Ofcom before setting up as an independent consultant on regulation and consumer issues. Up to 31 March 2014, he was Vice Chair of Consumer Futures and a Board Member of the Payments Council. He is currently Chair of London TravelWatch, a Board Member of Transport Focus (formerly Passenger Focus), Chair of the Payment Systems Regulator Panel and Chair of the Advertising Advisory Committee which advises advertising regulators on TV and radio advertising rules. Stephen was appointed on 3 January 2011 for a three-year term, in January 2014 his term was extended for another 6 months until July 2014, and in May 2014 his term was renewed for another three years.
Robert is the Chief Executive of the Lending Standards Board. Prior to this he spent three years as Director General of the Money Advice Trust, a charity that provides advice to over-indebted individuals, via National Debtline and training and support to money advisers. Robert’s earlier career was spent working for Barclays Bank where he held a number of senior roles in Large Corporate, International and Retail banking. He was appointed 1 February 2012 for a three-year term.
Caroline is a specialist in customer service and excellence and bringing customers to the heart of organisations. She’s been the customer experience director and marketing director at Legal & General, customer director at the Rural Payments Agency, and has held positions as Serco, Essex County Council and the Care Quality Commission. She also has significant experience of the financial services sector – as well as her positions at Legal & General, she’s a non-executive director on the board of Co-Operative General Insurance and at OneFamily (formerly Engage Mutual Assurance and Family Investments). Caroline was appointed on 1 April 2015 for a three-year term.
Michael is the Director of the Govan Law Centre in Glasgow. This is a not-for-profit advice centre, helping people at the sharp end who are having to cope with financial disputes, including credit repayments and mortgage repossessions. He has also been a member of one of the Service’s key stakeholder groups, the Financial Services Consumer Panel. Michael was appointed on 1 April 2015 for a three-year term.
Nicola is an experienced strategist with a background in non-standard financial services. She was formerly Director of Strategy at Albermarle & Bond, one of the UK’s leading pawn brokers and non-standard lenders, and Director of Strategy & Business Development at De La Rue plc, the banknote and security printer. Prior to this, Nicola was a partner at The Monitor Company where she led strategy development and consumer research projects for financial services and consumer goods companies. Nicola was appointed on 1 April 2015 for a three-year term.
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