Our Executive Team

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

Nausicaa Delfas

Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman (interim)

Nausicaa is responsible for leading the service in the delivery of our vision and strategy.

Nausicaa became interim Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman in May 2021 and will be in post while the Financial Ombudsman Service’s Board carries out an open recruitment process for a permanent Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman. 

She joined the organisation from the Financial Conduct Authority, where she had been a member of the Executive Committee since 2016, most recently as Executive Director of International and Interim Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for its global strategy and for its operations.

Nausicaa previously held other senior roles at the FCA, including in Supervision, Risk and Policy. She has led innovative and complex transformational initiatives, driving changes in culture, including most recently the FCA’s response to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Previously, she has been responsible for internal transformational changes, and for the transfer of consumer credit regulation to the FCA from the Office of Fair Trading in 2014.  She joined the Financial Services Authority’s Enforcement division in 2000, where she led investigations and disciplinary actions in both retail and wholesale markets.

Nausicaa is a solicitor, having trained and qualified at City law firm Freshfields in London.

View Nausicaa Delfas profile

Julia Cavanagh

Chief Financial Officer

Julia leads our finance, performance, customer help and property functions. 

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.

View Julia Cavanagh profile

Caroline Nugent

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.

View Caroline Nugent profile

Nicola Wadham

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.

View Nicola Wadham profile

Colin Douglas

Director of Communications (interim)

Colin is responsible for leading the communications function at the Financial Ombudsman Service and for the development and implementation of our internal and external communications strategy. He joined us as Interim Executive Director of Communications in March 2022.

He has held a number of interim roles including Interim Director of Communications and Policy with the Charity Commission, Interim Head of Communications & Engagement for the Government Commercial Function based in the Cabinet Office, Interim Director of the ‘Is Britain Fairer’ research programme at the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC), and Interim Director of Communications for the EHRC.

Before becoming an interim manager in 2013, Colin spent over 20 years in the public sector including 5 years as Director of Communications for the NHS. He has also held similar communication director roles with the Health & Safety Executive, Audit Commission, Sport England and Transport for London.

View Colin Douglas profile

Rae Stewart

Director of Communications (interim)

Rae is responsible for leading the communications function at the Financial Ombudsman Service and for the development and implementation of our internal and external communications strategy.

Rae has been in journalism and communications for more than 30 years. Following a career in broadcasting, where he was a correspondent and presenter for news outlets such as ITN, Sky News, GMTV and Scottish Television, he moved into Government communications where he held a number of roles. These included: Head of Communications for the Iraq Inquiry; Press Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg; and Director of Communications at both the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

No. 10 then asked him to set up and lead the communications function at the newly formed Department for Exiting the European Union. Since leaving the Government, Rae has headed corporate affairs for the UK water industry and has just completed an interim role as Director of Communications for NHS Test and Trace.

View Rae Stewart profile

Simone Ferreira

Chief of Staff (interim)

Simone is responsible for supporting the Executive Team in the delivery of our current strategic measures and in developing our longer-term strategy.

She works on key programmes and initiatives, helping drive improvements across the service, and is also responsible for coordinating the Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman’s Private Office – ensuring it provides effective support to the Chief Executive and the wider organisation.

Simone joined us from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), where she headed the Risk Advisory function providing oversight opinion of key risks to Executive Committees and the FCA Board. She previously held other senior FCA roles, including Head of Event Supervision and Head of European Wholesale Banks operating in the UK, having previously been a member of the General Counsel’s Division.

Before joining the regulator, Simone was a Trainee Solicitor and then Legal Advisor in Credibanco – a subsidiary of the Bank of New York in Sao Paulo, Brazil – and in Credit Commercial de France.

She holds a degree in Law from the University of Sao Paulo and the College of Law (London) and a master’s degree in law (LLM) from the London School of Economics.

View Simone Ferreira profile

Carys Williams

Operations Director (interim)

Carys is responsible for the Casework Operations function at the Financial Ombudsman Service which includes the development, running and high quality execution of our Casework divisions. She joined us as Interim Operations Director in March 2022. 

The majority of Carys's professional career has been spent in financial services working for Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), MBNA and KPMG. At LBG, Carys held roles including Fraud and Disputes Director, Branch Regional Director and represented the company as its Ambassador for Wales, where she worked alongside politicians and community leaders.

She is currently a Non-Executive Director of the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and Independent Betting Adjudication Service.

View Carys Williams profile

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 our website