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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 and AGM.

Read our Board of Directors Terms of Reference


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

 

David Furniss
David Furniss

Chairman

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 and Remuneration Committee

Ian Blanchard
Ian Blanchard

Independent Non-executive Director and Chair of Group Audit and 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 Audit and Risk Committee (Chair)

Pension Trustees

Paula Clark
Paula Clark

Independent Non-executive Director and Chair of Benenden Charitable Trust

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 (Chair)

Benenden Hospital Trust

Group Nominations and Remuneration Committee

Angela Hays
Angela Hays

Branch-nominated Non-executive Director and Vice-Chair

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:

Benenden Hospital Trust (Chair)

Group Nominations & Remuneration Committee

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 and Remuneration Committee

Lord Plant Fellowship

Les Philpott
Les Philpott

Branch-nominated Non-executive Director and Chair of the Group Audit and Risk Committee

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 Audit and Risk Committee (Chair)

Membership Committee

Helen Chamberlain
David Fletcher

Branch Nominated Non-executive Director

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in September 2020.

Business skills: A qualified accountant and internal auditor with strong people and communication skills, a track record of leading and delivering change, implementing systems and also delivering large complex projects.

Background and experience: Commencing in the health sector, qualified as an accountant and spent time with the National Audit Office, then held Senior Finance Manager roles: including ECGD and  a member of the Valuation Office Agency Audit Committee. 10 years as Head of Local Taxation in Wales, carrying out the very sensitive council tax revaluation of 1.3million homes. Senior Private Secretary for a Cabinet Minister and finally Head of Science at the Welsh Government.  Previously Chair of St Martins High School for 8 years.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Audit and Risk Committee

Benenden Wellbeing Limited

Helen Chamberlain
Brian Eaton

Branch Nominated Non-executive Director

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in September 2020.

Business skills: Brian holds an MBA and is a qualified teacher working in the University sector. He has a depth of understanding of leadership, improvement and governance, and an ability to scrutinize and challenge so as to influence policy formation. 

Background and experience:  Currently working in University Business Schools in the UK and overseas. A trustee of Eden Special Multi-Academy Trust since 2018, with experience of Finance Committee, Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee. He has a special interest in South East Asia.

Previously FSA-approved with Royal Liver, Chair of Governors of James Rennie School and was for six years a member of the Children’s Services Scrutiny Board of Cumbria County Council.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Audit and Risk Committee
Membership Committee

David Furniss
Jo Andrews

Branch Nominated Non-Executive Director

Board involvement: First elected to the Board in June 2021.

Business skills: Professionally qualified as a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment and a member of the Edinburgh University Business School. Diplomas in Business and Finance, Regulation, Fund Management and Marketing Communications. A creative thinker, combining insurance sector knowledge and skills and experience of listening, contributing to discussion, challenging and supporting directors.

Background and experience: Over 25 years’ experience in governance roles within Financial Services, commencing in Frankfurt with Commerzbank and subsequently in senior governance positions in Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority registered firms in Glasgow and Edinburgh, including mutual insurers. Managed Promote Compliance Limited since 2012, providing financial services regulatory advice and training.

Committee/Board membership:

Group Audit & Risk Committee

Membership Committee

Adrian Humphries
Adrian Humphreys

Independent Non-executive Director and Chairman of Benenden Wellbeing Limited

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: 16 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 (Chair)

Group Nominations and Remuneration Committee

Benenden Hospital Trust

Louise Fowler
Louise Fowler

Independent Non-executive Director and Chairman of Membership Committee

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 and Risk Committee

Membership Committee (Chair)

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

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 and Risk Committee
Group Nominations and Remuneration Committee
Membership Committee