Introducing

The board

  • Paul Austin

    Non-Executive Director

    Paul was co-opted to the Board as a Non-Executive Director in December 2022 and elected in July 2023.

    Paul is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience within the investment and insurance sectors across a range of organisations including member owned mutuals. He previously held the position of Finance Director at Exeter Friendly Society for 10 years before stepping away from full time roles. He also holds a non-executive role with Health Shield Friendly Society and also with Ivy Education Trust.

    Chairman of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.  He is also a member of the Nominations and Remuneration Committee.

  • Janet Clements

    Non-Executive Member Director

    Janet was elected to the Board as a Non-Executive Member Director in July 2022.

    Janet has been an active member since the 1980s, holding various officer roles including the Society’s presidential role of High Chief Ranger (2013/2014) which encompassed Chairing the Membership Committee. She has extensive knowledge of the Society’s branches and general membership. She was previously a teacher and worked in a variety of settings including Barnardo’s. Janet is also Chairman of The Friendly Societies Convalescent Scheme.

    Chairman of the Nominations and Remuneration Committee. She is also a member of the Membership Committee and the With-Profits and Unit-Linked Advisory Arrangements.

  • Richard Dickinson

    Risk and Compliance Director

    Richard was co-opted to the Board as an Executive Director in August 2023.

    Richard re-joined the Society in June 2022 as Chief Risk & Compliance Officer, having worked at the Society earlier in his career, and was appointed as Risk and Compliance Director in August 2023. He has over 30 years of Financial Services industry experience of which more than 15 years was within the mutual sector working for the Society, Teachers Assurance and LV= (formerly Liverpool Victoria). He is a Presiding Justice for the Southampton Magistrates Court and is also a Director of the St Peter’s Academy in Bournemouth.

  • Rachel Webb

    Chief Executive

    Rachel has had a long association with Foresters stretching back to 2006 when she was part of the external audit team performing the Society’s annual financial audit. Rachel, impressed by the Society’s culture and member focus, then joined us as Head of Finance in January 2015. After a brief interlude back in consulting, she re-joined us as Finance Director in September 2017 and was elected to the Board as an Executive Director in June 2018. In January 2020 Rachel was appointed as Chief Executive.  This role  incorporated the responsibilities of the Chief Finance Officer until September 2020. She was also appointed a Director of Foresters General Insurance Services Limited.

    Rachel has over 20 years’ experience in commercial businesses and large accountancy practices enabling her to approach issues from both a strategic and regulatory perspective. Prior to joining the Society, she was with Smith & Williamson LLP, where she was a statutory Director of one of the group’s subsidiary companies and a Senior Statutory Auditor.  She holds a pro-bono Non Executive role at Social and Sustainable Capital LLP which she is Chairman of its Audit, Finance and Risk Committee.

    Rachel has a BSc in mathematics from Imperial College, London and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

  • Annabel Venner

    Non-Executive Director

    Annabel was co-opted to the Board as a Non-Executive Director in August 2022 and elected in July 2023. She was appointed as Senior Independent Director in August 2022.

    Annabel has over 20 years’ experience as a commercial marketer across FTSE100 and Blue Chip organisations specialising in strategy and business growth, brand and marketing. She is a Non-Executive Director of TML Partners and Director of Brand Semiotics, and previously held the position of Global Brand Director for Hiscox Insurance.

    Member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, Nominations and Remuneration Committee, and the With-Profits and Unit-Linked Advisory Arrangements.

  • Erik Vynckier

    Non-Executive Member Director

    Erik was elected to the Board as a Non-Executive Member Director in September 2020. He has formerly served on the Board as a Non-Executive Professional Director between February 2016 to June 2019 and then between June 2019 to December 2019 he held the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer.

    Erik is also an advisor on the Industrial Advisory Board at University College London (Chemical Engineering Department), and Maxeler Technologies Limited, following a career in investment banking, insurance, asset management and the petrochemical industry. He co-founded EU initiatives on high performance computing and big data in finance and co-authored “High-Performance Computing in Finance” and “Tercentenary Essays on the Philosophy and Science of Leibniz”. Erik graduated as MBA at London Business School and as chemical engineer at Universiteit Gent (Belgium).

    Chairman of the Investment Committee and the With-Profits and Unit-Linked Advisory Arrangements. He is also a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance, and the Membership Committees.