The board of directors sets the strategy of our service and makes sure we plan effectively for it. The board also makes sure we have the resources we need to work successfully and independently.

Each director is appointed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an independent member of the board. They don’t represent any particular group or sector. They’re also ‘non-executive’, which means they don’t get involved with individual complaints.

The board approves our annual report and accounts, which looks at the performance of our service over the last year. The report describes the board’s responsibilities in more detail and includes information about their fees, which are set by the FCA.  

Board members

exec board members 06 ZManzoor smiling square web v2

Baroness Zahida Manzoor CBE

Chair of the board

Baroness Manzoor was appointed to the House of Lords in 2013, where she served as House of Lords Government Whip and Minister between March 2018 and May 2019. Before joining the Lords, Baroness Manzoor spent over 20 years at board level within large, complex organisations. She served as The Legal Services Ombudsman for England and Wales and The Legal Services Complaints Commissioner.

While a member of the NHS’ policy board, Baroness Manzoor was one of eight Regional Chairs overseeing the NHS’ operations and was involved in leading significant transformation programmes.

View profile

Gerard Connell board director

Gerard Connell

Member of the board

Gerard is chairman of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. He is also a non-executive director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Fund Company Ltd, and a council member and chair of the remuneration and finance committees of the Science & Technology Facilities Council.

He was previously a senior independent director and chair of the audit committee at Pennon Group Plc, a non-executive director of Bournemouth Water Plc, a non-executive director and chair of the audit committee of the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory, and a non-executive director of the Land Registry.

During his executive career, Gerard was group finance director and managing director western Europe at Wincanton Plc, a regional director at Hill Samuel and a managing director at Bankers Trust.

View profile

Alan Jenkins board member

Alan Jenkins

Member of the board

Alan is a non-executive director of the Pension Protection Fund; Northcourt Ltd; Gross Hill Properties Ltd; Sydney and London Properties Ltd; GPS Associates; GPS Malta Ltd; and chairman of the Roehampton Club Ltd. He is also a trustee of the charity, Kids for Kids.

During his career, Alan has been a non-executive director of the Crown Prosecution Service, chairman of the board of trustees of Mencap Trust Company Ltd and a trustee of the London Middle East Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Alan has also been chairman of Lattitude Global Volunteering and a vice chairman of the International Institute for Environment & Development, managing partner of Frere Cholmeley Bischoff, a partner and chairman at Eversheds LLP, and an independent non-executive at PKF (UK) LLP.

View profile

Jenny Watson CBE

Jenny Watson CBE

Member of the board

Jenny is chair of the Independent Complaints Panel at the Portman Group, chair of the House of St Barnabas, chair of the National Online Self Exclusion Scheme, a non-executive director of the Financial Reporting Council and a governor at Mossbourne Parkside Academy.

Previously, Jenny was chair of the Electoral Commission, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, deputy chair of the Banking Code Standards board (now the Lending Standards board), deputy chair of the Money Advice Trust and a non-executive director of WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme). She is former vice chair of the Citizens UK Commission into Islam and participation in public life, commissioner at the Audit Commission and member of the Advertising Advisory Committee. Jenny served as chair of the Transparency Independent Review Panel of UK Nirex Ltd and as member and deputy chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.

View profile

Heather Lauder 01

Heather Lauder

Member of the board

Heather is currently Non Executive Director at the National Museums of Liverpool and Chairs their Audit, Risk and Remuneration Committees. She is also a Non Executive Director at the professional services firm Dow Schofield Watts.

Heather has spent over 30 years in financial services across organisations such as Tesco, RBS, Natwest and Northern rock in roles such as HR, Operations, Distribution and Strategy. In her Executive Board Career she was the Executive Director for the Retail & Business Bank and then Chief Customer Officer for the Co-operative Bank where she also Chaired the Executive Operating and Customer Committees. Prior to that she was the Customer Strategy Director at Virgin Money.

View profile

Graham Brammer

Graham Brammer CBE

Member of the board

Before joining our board, Graham was Chief Operating Officer at the Valuation Office Agency and a member of the board. Before that he was director of debt management and divisional director of customer services at HM Revenue & Customs. Graham has also worked as an executive director and board member at The Pensions Regulator.

Graham has spent the majority of his career in banking at Barclays including as Chief Executive of its Group Property Services, Chief Operating Officer of UK Retail Banking and as a member of the UK Retail Bank board and risk committee. 

View profile

Bill Castell edited square 3

Bill Castell

Member of the board

Bill is a chartered accountant and is Group Chief Financial Officer at OVO Energy and a member of the board. He is also on the Board of Governor’s at Whitgift School and sits on its finance committee.

Bill started his career in the British Army before holding senior cross-functional roles in finance and operations. Bill has worked across a variety of sectors, ranging from finance and the media to energy. Before OVO, Bill’s previous roles include chief financial officer positions at Barclays Bank and Virgin Media.

View profile

Board meetings and subcommittees

The board meets regularly throughout the year and publishes minutes from each meeting.

Members of the board also meet in three subcommittees – these are the:

Audit committee

  • reviews our accounting policies and the effectiveness of our internal auditing
  • oversees our relationship with the National Audit Office

Nomination committee

  • reviews the composition of the board and makes recommendations about appointments to the FCA
  • makes recommendations to the board about the appointment of the chief ombudsman & chief executive

Remuneration committee 

  • oversees the pay strategy for the executive team and other senior staff
  • looks at proposals from the chief ombudsman & chief executive about pay across the service