ERC makes board appointments following election

Ryan Fowler

April 22, 2020

The Equity Release Council (ERC) has made a number of director appointments following the latest election of members to its board.

Claire Singleton, CEO of Legal & General Home Finance; Greg Neilson, MD at Aviva Retirement; Matthew Burton, MD of Mortgages at Hodge; Tom Evans, MD of Canada Life Home Finance, and; Vanessa Owen, vice president, private markets UK of Reinsurance Group of America have been elected to the 15-strong board of directors.

The five appointees join three existing directors who have been reappointed to serve an additional two years: Dave Harris, CEO at More2Life; Paul Barber, CEO at Retirement Bridge, and; Paul Carter, CEO at Pure Retirement.

They will sit alongside three further industry representatives, who are part-way through their terms: Will Hale, CEO at Key Retirement; Paul Turner, MD of Retail at Just Group; and Dan Baines, commercial director at Age Partnership.

The Council’s main board is completed by the Council’s executive team: David Burrowes, chair; Jim Boyd, CEO; Donna Bathgate, COO, and; Chris Pond, standards board chair.

The board of the Council has expanded following a modification of its constitution last year. This will enable the Board to co-opt further directors to bring additional skills and experience and to provide broad representation across all member categories, as appropriate.

The expansion of the Board’s industry representation follows a period of growing consumer interest in accessing property wealth as part of later life planning, which has been met by an increase in product choice and flexibility.

A growing number of firms have also signed up to deliver the Council’s best practice standards for consumer protection, with membership doubling over the last two years to over 430 firms.

David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: “The expansion of our board follows a period where equity release has become established as a mainstream financial services product, among the most carefully regulated in the UK, to help finance later life and meet a host of financial and social purposes.

“Our new directors will add to the industry expertise that guides our work. Together with the efforts of our standards board, their efforts will ensure the council continues to lead the way in raising and standards in the equity release market, to provide the highest level of consumer protection for any property-based loan.”

The Council’s standard’s board – which develops and oversees consumer protections across the market – has also appointed Barbara Emmett, head of operations at OneFamily.

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