What the executive team does, who's on it and what their responsibilities are.
Our executive team is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of our service. They’re accountable to our board of non-executive directors.
The executive team:
- proposes and manages our budget
- oversees how we act on our strategy and commitments
- makes sure we’re running effectively and efficiently
- manages how we respond to risks
Members of the executive team
Chief ombudsman & chief executive
Caroline is responsible for setting out our vision, strategy and values. She oversees the work of our service, making sure that we’re well run and that our customers receive a fair outcome and first-rate service.
Caroline joined the Financial Ombudsman Service in 2000 and has helped to lead the organisation through substantial change. She was appointed chief ombudsman & chief executive in July 2014. She’s also an experienced member of the executive team, joining it in 2011 as principal ombudsman and legal director.
Caroline was called to the bar and spent her early career working in the insurance industry, before joining the Insurance Ombudsman Bureau in 1999. Outside of our service, Caroline was appointed to the board of the Crown Prosecution Service in June 2018 and also chairs its Nominations and Governance Committee. She was appointed to the board of governors at Nottingham Trent University in September 2020 and also sits on their Audit and Risk Management Committee.
Chief financial officer
Julia leads our finance, performance, customer help and property functions, and acts as executive sponsor of Horizons, the framework for managing our service-wide change programme.
Julia joined us in 2011, having worked primarily in the support services sector. Her longest role was at Serco, a leading outsourcing firm, where she worked in divisional finance and also spent six years as the group company secretary. During her time there, Serco went through a period of significant growth, with revenue increasing from approximately £500 million to over £2 billion on a worldwide basis.
Julia trained and qualified as a chartered accountant while working for Deloitte in London.
Director of strategy and engagement
Annette leads our engagement with external stakeholders, including MPs, Government, the Financial Conduct Authority, industry bodies and consumer groups. She also has responsibility for internal communications and engagement, and the way we share our insight, including through our website and publications.
Annette joined us as director of engagement in March 2015, having previously worked for us between 2010 and 2013, latterly as a lead ombudsman. She has experience of policy, enforcement and consumer roles in a range of regulated industries, including telecommunications, energy and legal services. Annette has worked both as a regulator and within a regulated company.
Outside of our service, Annette was appointed as a lay member of the Office for Legal Complaints in February 2018.
Director of human resources
Caroline is responsible for leading our people strategy, promoting diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation.
Caroline joined our executive team in May 2018, bringing over 25 years of experience in HR. Previously, she was a member of the leadership team at oneSource, which supports council staff in the London boroughs of Havering, Newham and Bexley. She has also been a president of the Public Service People Managers’ Association (PPMA), a vice chair of the London PPMA and London Heads of HR network, and a director of VineHR, an award-winning not-for-profit made up of local-authority heads of HR in Essex.
Having started working life as an apprentice, Caroline is passionate about apprenticeship opportunities.
Principal ombudsman and quality director
Richard is responsible for leading and developing our strategic approach to high-volume casework – for example, the unprecedented size and scale of the PPI challenge. He also leads on quality and consistency in the way we handle and resolve cases, helping to continuously improve our service.
Richard has more than 12 years’ experience as an ombudsman across a range of financial services products and markets. He’s an accredited commercial mediator, with 20 years’ experience in regulation, complaints handling and dispute resolution, including both business-to-business and business-to-customer disputes.
Principal ombudsman and director of investigation
Garry is responsible for leading and developing our general casework investigation teams, making sure they provide a high-quality, efficient and consistent service for all of our customers. Garry was appointed to the executive team in 2014 and has led a number of large-scale projects, ranging from organisational expansion to leading the development of new ways for customers to access our service.
Garry joined our service when it was created in 2000 from the Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman Bureau, where he was a case officer for investment complaints. Garry spent his early career in the banking and investment sectors, later becoming an independent financial adviser.
Chief information officer
Nicola leads our technology and information strategies, ensuring that our priorities remain firmly focused on meeting our needs, the needs of our customers and safeguarding the data we hold.
Nicola joined us in November 2019 from SSE where she looked after their information and technology needs and developed the data and digital services of the business as the Head of IT Solutions.
Nicola started her career as an IT graduate with Shell and has held a number of senior positions within the manufacturing, utilities and aerospace sectors.
While at SSE, Nicola was a member of Everywoman, an organisation dedicated to advancing women in business, where she was an advocate and advised on topics including creativity, communication and networking.
Our independent assessor
Our independent assessor looks at complaints about our service and recommends what we need to do to put things right. You can find out about their role and how to make a complaint to the independent assessor on their website.