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Meet the Board of Directors

Our Board members, who are elected by delegates at a Society Conference, have a responsibility to make decisions in the best interests of our members.

The Board of Directors is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Society, monitoring and oversight of operational activity and compliance with current legislation including our own Rulebook and propositions passed at Conference.

Operational responsibility for the conduct of the Society’s business is delegated to the Chief Executive, so it isn’t the Board’s responsibility to manage the Society. The Board is responsible for providing oversight and constructive challenge to the executive directors.

 

The Board comprises:

  • The Chairman who is one of the Independent Non-executive Directors

  • Six Branch-nominated Non-executive Directors

  • Six Independent Non-executive Directors

  • Two Executive Directors, who are senior employees of Benenden Health

Directors serve a two-year term of office but can re-stand for election (subject to nomination) until they have served a maximum of eight years, at which point they are no longer eligible for re-election. Elections are held every two years at the Society’s Conference & AGM.


The Board of Directors is supported by several Committees. Learn more about these below.

David Furniss
David Furniss

Chairman - Chair of Nomination Committee

Board involvement: Elected to the Board in June 2017 and Board Chairman since July 2017.

Business skills: Experienced Group CEO with excellent leadership skills, strong analytical skills, with a pragmatic approach to strategic positioning and problem solving, sound commercial judgement underpinned by a strong mutual ethos.

Background and experience: A Chartered Insurer and Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and a director with over 35 years’ experience of regulated Financial Services, 32 years of which were in the mutual and friendly society sector. Wide experience of corporate governance issues and current regulatory compliance experience. David is also an independent director of Bournemouth University where he chairs the Remuneration Committee, is Deputy Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee and a member of the Nominations Committee.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Nominations Committee (Chair)

Remuneration Committee

Gwenda Binks
Gwenda Binks MBE

Vice Chairman - Chair of Remuneration Committee

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in June 2013 and has worked in a range of roles since then, including as Chairwoman from 2016 to 2017. Currently Vice-chairwoman of the Board.

Business skills: Strong leadership skills, significant representational experience including negotiating and decision making over an extensive area. Sound judgement with a broad range of practical management experience. Good communicator.

Background and experience: Proud to have worked in the public sector as a Civil Servant in the Valuation Office, HMRC Executive Agency (retired October 2013). Former national Trade Union representative and President and TUC General Council Executive. Strong mutual ethos. Currently sits in the South East for HM Courts as Employment Tribunal panel member.

Committee/Board membership:

Benenden Hospital Trust (Chairwoman)

Group Remuneration Committee (Chairwoman)

Mike Bury
Mike Bury

Independent Non-executive Director and Chair of Group Audit Committee

Board involvement: Appointed and co-opted to the Board in November 2017 and elected in June 2018.

Business skills: Considerable experience of partnerships between businesses, many of which have been mutual organisations. A charity volunteer (principally with the Prince’s Trust) where he uses his skills to train and mentor young people setting up their own businesses.

Background and experience: A Chartered Treasurer and Chartered Accountant, with 30 years’ experience as Chairman, Chief Executive or Chief Financial Officer of banks, insurance companies and investment companies in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Audit Committee (Chair)

Group Risk Committee

Benenden Hospital Trust

Ian Blanchard
Ian Blanchard

Independent Non-executive Director and Chair of Group Risk Committee

Board involvement: Co-opted to the Board in February 2018 and elected in June 2018.

Business skills: An experienced Chief Financial Officer and a Fellow of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries with wide experience of risk management, investment strategies and mergers and acquisitions.

Background and experience: Over 39 years’ experience in regulated financial services, much of it in the mutual and friendly society sector. An independent non-executive member of the LV= With-Profits Committee and a Trustee Director of Bournemouth & Poole Citizens Advice.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Risk Committee (Chair)

Pension Trustees

Paula Clark
Paula Clark

Independent Non-executive Director

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in June 2019

Business skills: Strategic Planning, Corporate and Clinical Governance, NHS Commissioning and Service Provision/Service Improvement..

Background and experience: Over 20 years’ experience in the NHS as CEO in both commissioning and challenging hospital settings. Having led turnarounds for 3 hospital trusts and with other key stakeholders and partners in health and care systems, she has an in-depth understanding go the workings of the NHS and policy.

Committee/Board membership:

Benenden Charitable Trust (Chairman)

Benenden Hospital Trust

Group Remuneration Committee

Ken Hesketh
Ken Hesketh

Branch-nominated Non-executive Director and Chair of Membership Committee

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in June 2016.

Business skills: Strategy development, change management, human resource management, clinical services management.

Background and experience: Healthcare management, including hospital director, NHS Health Authority general manager, NHS Trust chief executive, Director of Hospital Management (private healthcare company), Chief Executive (Benenden Healthcare).

Committee/Board membership:

Membership Committee (Chairman)

Benenden Charitable Trust

Angela Hays
Angela Hays

Branch-nominated Non-executive Director

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in June 2017.

Business skills: Experienced Senior Finance Leader. Strong commercial and strategic acumen, change management, transformation programmes, articulate communicator, relationship management of external advisors and third party service providers, corporate governance.

Background and experience: A Chartered Accountant with significant experience including external and internal audit supporting an extensive knowledge of controls and processes. Manage and develop successful teams for global organisations covering all areas of finance from tax and treasury to payroll. Operate in private and public environments across a broad range of sectors. Company Director.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Audit Committee

Group Risk Committee

Benenden Wellbeing Limited

Deryck Lewis
Deryck Lewis

Branch-nominated Non-executive Director and Chair of the Lord Plant Travelling Fellowship Committee

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in June 2015.

Business skills: Operations management, project planning and stakeholder management, leadership, performance management and data analysis using Continuous Improvement principles.

Background and experience: Seventeen years’ Civil Service experience with over 10 years’ experience using Continuous Improvement tools and techniques to deliver national projects and build capability in the organisation.

Committee/Board membership:

Membership Committee

Group Nominations Committee

Lord Plant Fellowship

Les Philpott
Les Philpott

Branch-nominated Non-executive Director

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in June 2017.

Business skills: Board director in both executive and non-executive capacities: strategic, financial and change leadership across the public, private and voluntary sectors, including leadership of public health and safety regulatory bodies; corporate governance; audit, assurance and risk management.

Background and experience: Member of Benenden Health for 30 years. Former Chief Executive (acting) and Accounting Officer, Office for Nuclear Regulation, with a successful 13-year record in senior leadership roles in a public-sector career spanning 40-plus years. A Chartered Accountant, with over 12 years’ experience in non-executive/similar roles. Les is an independent trustee of a commercial educational charity and chair of its Audit Committee. He also coaches and lectures in strategic leadership and finance as an Associate for the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Remuneration Committee

Group Audit Committee

Pension Trustees

Andy Tucker
Andy Tucker

Branch nominated Non-executive Director

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in June 2016.

Business skills: Leadership, communication/representation, change management.

Background and experience: Over 28 years in HM Diplomatic Service, including HM Ambassador, Baku; Alternate Permanent Representative to the UN Agencies, Nairobi; Deputy High Commissioner, Nairobi; Programme Director, Enterprise Resource system implementation, Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Risk Committee

Membership Committee

Adrian Humphries
Adrian Humphreys

Independent Non-executive Director

Board involvement: Co-opted to the Board in December 2017 and elected in June 2018.

Business skills: Extensive knowledge of the health and insurance markets (particularly in the not-for-profit sector).

Background and experience: Sixteen years’ experience in the not-for-profit healthcare insurance business, latterly as Managing Director of Corporate Business at WPA and also a non-executive director of the Holloway Friendly Society. For the last three years has worked for JLT Employee Benefits with the last year as Chairman of Workplace Protection, Benefits Consulting practice JLT Benefits Solutions (ended 31 January 2019).

Committee/Board membership:

Benenden Wellbeing Limited (Chairman)

Group Nominations Committee

Louise Fowler
Louise Fowler

Independent Non-executive Director

Board involvement: Co-opted to the Board in December 2017 and subsequently elected in June 2018.

Business skills: Leadership, marketing and digital transformation.

Background and experience: More than 25 years’ senior experience in consumer services, leading brands from First Direct and the Co-Operative Group to British Airways and Barclays. Sits on a number of boards across business, the arts and education. Owner of Davenport Strategy, advising clients on their strategic customer proposition.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Audit Committee

Membership Committee

Bob Andrews
Bob Andrews

Chief Executive Officer

Board involvement: Appointed in December 2017, co-opted to the Board January 2018 and elected to the Board in June 2018.

Business skills: A wealth of experience at main Board level, having held senior roles in financial services. Also experience of leading businesses and large operational, support and customer-focused teams.

Background and experience: Over 30 years in financial services operating at senior levels, most recently as CEO at Capital Home Loans and Landmark Mortgages Ltd. Previous roles include Chief Operating Officer at HML (part of Skipton Building Society) and senior operational roles with Nat West Bank and Direct Line Group.

Committee/Board membership:

Benenden Wellbeing Limited

Group Nominations Committee

Benenden Hospital Trust

Helen Chamberlain
Helen Chamberlain

Chief Finance Officer

Board involvement: Co-opted to the Board in November 2017 and elected in June 2018.

Business skills: Experienced CFO, leading on business strategy, transformation and assurance programmes. Sensible pragmatic approach to problem solving, good communicator.

Background and experience: A Chartered Accountant with a wealth of senior finance experience predominantly gained in large financial services organisations. Helen has also led large teams through extensive operational and regulatory change. Previously Finance Director for a regulated legal services organisation.

Committee/Board membership:

Benenden Wellbeing Limited

 

Board Committees

Group Audit Committee

The Audit Committee supports the Board by monitoring and reviewing the organisation’s systems of internal control. This includes providing assurance to the Board on the financial statements, internal financial controls, and the effectiveness of the internal audit function.  The Committee also make recommendations to the Board on the appointment of the external auditor.

Members of the Group Audit Committee are:

  • Mike Bury (Chairman)

  • Louise Fowler

  • Angela Hays

  • Les Philpott

Group Risk Committee

The Risk Committee assists the Board to oversee the Society’s internal control and risk management systems providing assurance of the effectiveness of the Society’s Risk Management Framework. This will include reviewing and monitoring principal risks to the delivery of objectives and risk appetite tolerance and strategy.

Members of the Group Risk Committee are:

  • Ian Blanchard (Chairman)

  • Mike Bury

  • Angela Hays

  • Andy Tucker

Group Remuneration Committee

The role of the Remuneration Committee is to advise the Board on matters relating to remuneration of the CEO, Society Secretary, and Society Executive; as well as to make recommendations to the Board regarding remuneration of the Independent Non-executive Directors. The Committee also approves the Society Rewards strategy as well as the Expenses Policy.

Members of the Remuneration Committee are:

  • Gwenda Binks MBE (Chairwoman)

  • David Furniss

  • Les Philpott

  • Paula Clark

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee leads on engagement with Society Members. It oversees administration of the Branch Structure and democratic process and is responsible for the planning and recommendations to Board on the delivery of the Society’s Annual Conference.

Members of the Group Asset and Liability Committee are:

  • Ken Hesketh (Chairman)

  • Louise Fowler

  • Deryck Lewis

  • Andy Tucker

Group Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee supports the Board to ensure there is the right skills, knowledge, experience and diversity as well as the appropriate composition of the Board. The Committee makes recommendations and supports the recruitment process for identification of Non-executive Directors and the CEO as well as oversight of succession planning activities.

Members of the Nominations Committee are:

  • David Furniss (Chairman)

  • Adrian Humphreys

  • Deryck Lewis

  • Bob Andrews