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

Abby Thomas

Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman

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

Abby joined us in October 2022 from Virgin Media O2, where her roles included leading the Virgin Media Customer Operations function, and leading the Virgin Media O2 B2B Strategy, Marketing and Transformation teams.

Abby started her career as a strategy consultant, working for Accenture, Hedra (a specialist public sector consultancy), and EY. Moving into the telecommunications industry in 2014, Abby was responsible for BT’s flagship digital transformation programme for the Consumer division. Abby then moved to oversee the global Customer Operations function at Vodafone, before moving to Virgin Media.

View Abby Thomas profile

James Dipple-Johnstone

Deputy Chief Ombudsman

James is responsible for leading our Ombudsman and Investigations teams in the delivery of high-quality investigations.

James joined us in October 2022 from the Information Commissioners Office, where he was Deputy Commissioner and Chief Regulating Officer, leading their regulatory service.

James has also worked as an Operations Director for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Commissioner for North West England Police Forces and Director of Investigation and Supervision for the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (England and Wales). James also held the role of Independent Assessor for Ombudsman Services.

View James Dipple-Johnstone profile

Jane Cosgrove

Chief People Officer

Jane is responsible for delivering our people strategy, learning and development function and promoting diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation.

Jane joined us in January 2023 from the Civil Aviation Authority, where she was People Director, leading a major change and culture programme. Before that, Jane was Head of HR Delivery at the FCA, leading the people agenda for their relocation programme. Jane has also held roles at the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office.

With significant experience in transformation, people strategy and operations delivery across private, government and regulatory sectors, Jane is passionate about people and committed to helping them be at their best.

View Jane Cosgrove profile

Jenny Simmonds

Chief Finance and Risk Officer

Jenny leads our finance, procurement and risk management functions. She also acts as Company Secretary.

She joined us in January 2023 from Virgin Media O2 Business & Wholesale UK, where most recently she was Strategy, Commercial & Data Director following four years in Virgin Media Business Commercial & Economics Director roles. She has over ten years’ experience as a Finance Director, having held this role across various divisions of Virgin Media, including Business & Wholesale, Group Finance (Treasury, MI/BI, Financial Planning & Analysis, Shareholder Reporting), Virgin Mobile and Virgin Television.

She holds a Masters degree in Information Technology from Queen Mary University, London and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from City University, London.  She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales having qualified with PwC.

View Jenny Simmonds profile

Karl Khan

Chief Operating Officer

Karl is responsible for the Casework Operations function at the Financial Ombudsman Service which includes oversight of customer experience, quality and operational performance.

Karl joined us in October 2022 from the UK Health Security Agency where he was on secondment as Operations Performance and Improvement Director to support the UK’s response to the pandemic. 

Karl has also worked at the Department for Work and Pensions, in the role of Director, Operations Planning and Performance, before moving to HMRC, as Interim Director General, Customer Services Group. Karl has worked as a Senior Research Fellow for several universities.

View Karl Khan profile

Owen Brace

Director of Communications

Owen leads the Communications function at the Financial Ombudsman Service and is responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of our internal and external communications strategies.

Owen joined us in July 2023 from the Office for National Statistics where he was the Director of Communications and Digital Publishing.

Owen started his career in journalism and was editor of several digital and print titles. Before joining us, he held a variety of senior communications and policy roles across central government.

View Owen Brace profile

Yvette Bannister

General Counsel

Yvette is responsible for providing legal support to our Executive team and to our Board. She works on key projects and strategic initiatives. Her role covers a broad range of legal and regulatory issues arising in the context of the work of the Financial Ombudsman Service in carrying out its core statutory function.

Yvette leads our Legal & Jurisdiction team, providing advice and support to our Casework function to resolve disputes, and to the wider ombudsman service.

Yvette is a solicitor, having trained and qualified at Hogan Lovells. She joined the Financial Ombudsman Service in 2000, from the Office of the Investment Ombudsman, where she was Assistant Director.

View Yvette Bannister profile

Rick Farrow

Interim Director of IT Delivery

Rick supports the ongoing development of our technical and digital roadmaps. He focuses on setting objectives and defining projects, budgets, policies and procedures for IT delivery to help us achieve our ambitious goals.

He joined us in October 2023 from DHU Healthcare, the UK’s largest 111 supplier, where as CIO and Executive Director of Strategy and Transformation he was responsible for business strategy and digital transformation and innovation. Before that Rick was Group CIO for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Rick brings more than 20 years’ experience in IT and technical transformation, the last eight of which were in highly regulated environments at board and executive level. He's worked in many different sectors including energy, education, the NHS, and construction.

View Rick Farrow 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