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Newcastle CEO retires

Amanda Jarvis

April 7, 2006

He will leave on 30 June 2006 and will be succeeded by Colin Seccombe, the current finance director at the Society, who has been appointed chief executive designate.

Robert, 51, has been with the Society since 1992 and has been chief executive for the past eight years. Under his leadership the Society has developed significantly with assets under management doubling from £1.94 billion in 1998 to in excess of £3.86 billion today. Newcastle is the 13th largest building society in the UK. 

Robert has also spearheaded the Society’s successful expansion in a range of non-traditional areas including the launch of outsourcing services and product partnerships with other major financial services companies and major brands.

Chris Hilton, chairman of Newcastle Building Society, commented: “It is with great sadness that we will say farewell to Robert. He has been a superb CEO and has contributed tremendously to the Society. 

“Under Robert’s leadership the Newcastle has built a reputation as one of the most innovative building societies in the industry, and a leader in technology. The Newcastle was the first building society, for example, to offer online savings accounts. 

“It was also Robert’s vision to embark on a strategy of offering our market-leading services to third parties. Our outsourcing arm, Newcastle Strategic Solutions Limited, launched at the end of 2002, has grown dramatically over the past few years at a time when margins have been squeezed for traditional building society business. Partnership agreements have been signed with a number of prestigious companies, including Bradford & Bingley.

“Testimony to Robert’s achievements is also in the number of awards the Society has won recently, including the Mortgage Finance Gazette’s Innovator of the Year award three times in succession. It is also fitting that last year Mortgage Finance Gazette recognised his role with the Leadership Award. Most recently, at the end of March this year, Newcastle Strategic Solutions was named Best Outsourcing Partnership of the Year at the Financial Sector Technology awards 2006.”

Robert Hollinshead said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Newcastle Building Society and it has been immensely satisfying to see the progress that we have made in so many areas. However, after 14 hard but successful years at Newcastle, and having taken some advice from my doctor, I have decided to take an early retirement and move permanently to my family home in Suffolk. 

“I know I leave the Society in capable hands with my successor, Colin Seccombe. Colin has been finance director and valued member of the board for the past eight years. I am confident that the changeover between us will be seamless and I wish him well in his new role.”


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