Meet the Team

The Board of Directors

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  • Martin Rice

    Chairman

    Martin Rice

    Chairman

    How long you have been an esbs Non-Executive
    Director (NED) and your current position(s) held?

    I joined the Society as a NED in August 2013 and became Chairman in August 2014. I am also a member of the following sub-committees of the Board: Nominations, Assets and Liabilities and Risk and Compliance.

    Career background?

    I have always worked in Financial Services since leaving school. For 37 years I worked for the former Alliance & Leicester, now part of Santander UK. Latterly I worked for Barclays Bank within their Barclaycard division and I returned to Santander briefly in 2012 before joining the Board in August 2013. From October 2013 to April 2016 I also worked as an independent compliance consultant. My career has included a period in mortgage underwriting, qualifying as a Solicitor in 1994 whilst working for Alliance & Leicester and latterly becoming a compliance officer dealing with the prevention of financial crime within banking.

    Why did you join the esbs Board?

    I have always recognised the tremendous importance of small building societies in ensuring the customer comes first. It was a dream come true to become a Non-Executive Director and latterly the Chairman of the Society and to help support its continuing development.

    What it is about working at the Society which you enjoy the most?

    esbs is a tremendous place to work. There is an incredible team spirit and a real commitment to customer service, as well as a recognition of the Society’s heritage and its importance to the town. I’m very proud to be associated with the Society and its staff.

    Hobbies and Interests outside of work?

    My family and children have always been a huge focus but in terms of interests, I would list reading (I usually manage to have three books on the go at once), a life-long passion for music (spanning 45 years of scouring independent record shops for obscure albums), gardening and all things associated with cars.

  • Paul Tilley

    Chief Executive

    Paul Tilley

    Chief Executive

    How long you have been in your current role?

    Since December 2011

    Career background?

    I’ve worked in building societies my entire career in roles ranging from sales, compliance, risk management and governance to operations

    Why did you join esbs?

    I joined because of the opportunity I was given to lead and run a well-respected building society

    What it is about working at the Society which you enjoy the most?

    The wide variety of the role ranging from strategy and oversight to speaking to members

    Hobbies and Interests outside of work?

    I’m a Justice of the Peace (Magistrate) and a rugby union referee

  • Ian Dale

    Non-Executive Director

    Ian Dale

    Non-Executive Director

    How long you have been an esbs Non-Executive
    Director (NED) and your current position(s) held?

    I have been an esbs Non-Executive Director since May 2015. I am the Society’s Senior Independent Director and I am also a member of the Society’s Assets and Liabilities Committee and the Audit Committee.

    Career background?

    I am a Chartered Accountant and have spent the majority of my career working in the mutual building society sector, particularly within the balance sheet management field.

    Why did you join the esbs Board?

    Since retiring, I’ve wanted to try and use my skills, knowledge and experience to help people in their local communities. I’m passionate about the difference that mutual, community orientated building societies can make to local people and wanted to help the Society to continue its long and successful track record in doing this.

    What it is about working at the Society which you enjoy the most?

    Working with all the directors and staff at esbs, and getting involved as much as I can in meeting members and new customers and learning more about the local community whilst participating in Society events.

    Hobbies and Interests outside of work?

    As well as esbs, I am also a Board Member of Aspire, a Staffordshire based Housing Association, and a Trustee Director for a pension fund – so perhaps not entirely retired! I enjoy all sports especially football and cycling. I am a keen cyclist and participate in a 100 mile charity ride every year. My wife and I also enjoy travelling and have a “bucket list” of destinations which we are slowly working through.

  • Darren Hickman

    Non-Executive Director

    Darren Hickman

    Non-Executive Director

    How long you have been an esbs Non-Executive Director (NED) and your current position(s) held?

    I have been a Non-Executive Director since November 2020. I chair the Risk and Compliance Committee and am a member of the Assets and Liabilities Committee.

    Career background?

    Until December 2019 I was the Finance and Relationship Director for the Insurance Company of Santander Bank, based at Narborough. I worked for the Bank, under its different names, for 37 years, starting with the Leicester Building Society. I held a variety of executive positions including Operational Management, Marketing, IT and Change Management.

    I am a qualified accountant and an associate member of the Chartered Banking Institute.

    Why did you join the esbs Board?

    There are two main reasons why I was keen to join the esbs Board. Firstly, having lived and worked in Leicestershire all my life I am a passionate supporter of esbs’ local community-based approach. Secondly, after a career working exclusively in financial services, I hope my skills and knowledge will help to ensure the Society continues to be successful in the future.

    What it is about working at the Society which you enjoy the most?

    There is a great team spirit and positive belief to drive the Society forward, maximising its mutual status and delivering benefit for all of its members and community.

    Hobbies and Interests outside of work?

    I also hold NED positions at Leicestershire Partnerships NHS Trust and Northampton Children’s Trust.

    I am a keen supporter of Leicester’s football, rugby and hockey teams. I try to keep active by cycling, walking and going to the gym. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading and am very content just pottering in the garden.

  • Laura Mackie

    Non-Executive Director

    Laura Mackie

    Non-Executive Director

    How long you have been an esbs Non-Executive
    Director (NED) and your current position(s) held?

    Since November 2017. I am also chair of the Remuneration Committee, and a member of the Society’s Assets and Liabilities Committee, and the Risk and Compliance Committee.

    Career background:

    I am a Chartered Banker and spent my early career with HSBC Bank, primarily in retail branch management. I moved out of financial services into the fast-moving consumer goods sector, predominantly within finance, sales and marketing.

    Why did you join the esbs Board?

    As part of the esbs team, I welcome the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the prosperity of my local community. I feel proud to have joined an organisation that has put its customers first for over 160 years and am eager to safeguard and promote the benefits of mutual membership for future generations.

    What it is about working at the Society which you enjoy the most?

    Delivering results as part of a diverse, talented and driven team, with a shared set of beliefs and heartfelt commitment to its customers, colleagues and community.

    Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of work?

    Most of my time outside of work is spent with family and friends.  I’m constantly planning adventures and have recently discovered the joys of camping and climbing.

  • Alex Robinson

    Non-Executive Director

    Alex Robinson

    Non-Executive Director

    How long you have been an esbs Non-Executive Director (NED) and your current position(s) held?

    Since November 2020. I chair the Nominations Committee and I am a member of the Audit Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

    Career background?

    I originally started in the City and then took an MBA at Cambridge and enjoyed specialising in investing in businesses to help them grow and prosper. Before starting a portfolio career in 2019, I was Group Commercial Director for Skipton Building Society for 10 years. At Skipton, I had the pleasure of running a portfolio of 11 companies, where I was typically chair of the board or a Non-Executive Director. I am currently Vice-Chair of Kent HoldCo, which employs over 1,600 people and is a holding company for a range of businesses, from school supplies and consultancy to a legal firm, low carbon advisors and IT infrastructure support. I am also a co-founder and chair of SREG, which is a network of individuals providing free mentoring to small businesses and has assisted over 200 businesses.

    Why did you join the esbs Board?

    I was originally involved with esbs over 10 years ago when I was chair of Mutual One, which provided esbs with compliance and internal audit support (and still does, although it is now part of RSM). The team has a great reputation and I always believe that Building Societies have a very important place in helping individuals own their homes and offer savers security and returns. esbs is a great example of this and I will enjoy offering my help to support esbs in its success.

    What it is about working at the Society which you enjoy the most?

    Although the Covid-19 restrictions have complicated matters and Zoom has featured more than I would like, I have enjoyed meeting the team and find their friendliness, enthusiasm and professionalism inspiring.

    Hobbies and Interests outside of work?

    I enjoy working with people and businesses and, in my spare time, I mentor individuals and help them to develop and grow their businesses. I like walking, especially if this can be combined with a beer and a friendly village pub, pandemic permitting! I appreciate spending time with my family and like to travel, read and invest in wine. I enjoy the odd rugby match and have been known to fish, take a stroll on the golf course and go running.

  • John Stables

    Non-Executive Director

    John Stables

    Non-Executive Director

    How long you have been an esbs Non-Executive
    Director (NED) and your current position(s) held?

    Since November 2017. I am also the Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Society’s Nominations Committee.

    Career background:

    I am a Chartered Accountant and retired as Chief Financial Officer of Openfield Group in December 2016. Openfield is the UK’s largest farmer-owned grain marketing mutual.

    Why did you join the esbs Board?

    Many people do not understand the mutual business model and the concept of being responsible to the individual members of the Society, who all have equal standing. I am keen to support the executive management and employees in delivering continued long-term benefits to members.

    What it is about working at the Society which you enjoy the most?

    Working with fellow Directors and other stakeholders in problem solving, promoting lateral thinking, encouraging, challenging, mentoring and supporting, drawing on nearly 40 years of diverse business experience in finance and general management.

    Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of work?

    I have a keen interest in the UK’s  Inland Waterways. I enjoy travelling, following England cricket as a Marylebone Cricket Club member and rugby (live and from the armchair). I also love spending time with my children and, particularly, my grandchildren, who leave insufficient time to get the golf handicap lower!

  • Stephen Wigfull

    Finance Director

    Stephen Wigfull

    Finance Director

    How long have you been in your current role?

    Since August 2019

    Career background?

    I qualified as an chartered accountant in 2007 and worked for Barclays Bank (both in the UK and abroad) before joining the Society in 2016.

    Why did you join esbs?

    To contribute to a building society who promote saving and home ownership which align with my values. I was also, and continue to be, impressed by the skills and character of the staff at the Society.

    What is it about working at esbs which you enjoy most?

    Supporting the success of the Society through financial analysis and strategic decision making.

    Hobbies and interests outside of work?

    I enjoy running, swimming and cycling and have competed in triathlons. I am also a member of a sailing club in Wanlip and am hoping to start sailing more.