The Board

Mike Merrick

Mike Merrick joined the Utmost Life and Pensions Board in March 2019, and is our Chairman. Mike also holds Non-Executive Director roles with Aegon UK, being Chairman of Scottish Equitable within the Aegon Group, Senior Independent Director of Aegon UK, and a member of the Aegon UK Group Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees, as well as Chairman of the Risk Committees of both Scottish Equitable and Aegon UK.

Stephen Shone

Stephen Shone has a long history in the UK financial services industry. Stephen was Finance Director of Royal London between 1999 and 2011, and in 2014 joined Aviva Life as Managing Director of UK Existing Business. Stephen joined the Utmost group in 2017 and was appointed as the Chief Executive of Utmost Life and Pensions in 2018

Daniel Finkelstein

Lord Finkelstein OBE re-joined the Board in January 2020. A journalist and Conservative peer, Lord Finkelstein has been a columnist on The Times since 2001 and is a former executive editor, Chief Leader Writer and comment editor. He is Chairman of the think tank, Onward, and has been a political adviser to the Conservative Party and to the Social Democratic Party. He was a non-executive Director at the Jewish Chronicle between 2011 and 2013. Lord Finkelstein holds an honorary Doctor of Science degree from City University.

Jeremy Deeks

Jeremy Deeks is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years' experience in the financial services sector, specialising in Life Insurance and Asset Management. Before joining Utmost Life and Pensions Jeremy worked for Prudential plc for over 18 years, latterly as CFO of the UK & Europe Insurance business. Prior to this, Jeremy held various senior Finance roles including as Director of Financial Planning & Analysis for the Prudential group. Jeremy trained with Deloitte and went on to become a Senior Manager, specialising in Assurance and Advisory work to the Insurance sector.

Seamus Creedon

Seamus Creedon is an actuary with over 40 years’ experience who joined the Reliance Mutual board in 2008. Seamus was a partner at KPMG, leading their UK actuarial practice from 2000 to 2003, where he was also global deputy leader. He was Abbey Life’s Chief Executive for 5 years before joining the Bank of Ireland. Seamus was a member of the EIOPA Insurance and Reinsurance Stakeholder Group for 5 years and is currently also a non-executive director of Baille Gifford Investment Management (Europe) Limited Life, Renaissance Reinsurance of Europe, and Renaissance Re Syndicate Management Limited.

Nigel Sherry

Nigel Sherry has over 40 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Nigel held senior positions at Pearl Assurance, NPI, and Prudential UK. He also held positions as both Chief Operating Officer and acting Chief Executive of MGM Assurance. In addition to being a Non-Executive Director, Nigel regularly takes on interim management assignments within the financial services sector.

Duncan Finch

Duncan Finch is a chartered accountant with a over 20 years' experience in the financial services sector. In his last executive role Duncan was Managing Director of Legal & General's Insurance division, responsible for a number of life and general insurance related businesses in both the UK and overseas. During his career Duncan has held a number of other executive roles with both Lloyds Bank and RSA. Duncan now holds a number of independent non-executive director appointments in the financial services industry.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson is a co-founder and Group Chief Executive of the Utmost Group of Companies. Paul started his career as an investment banker specialising in financial institutions. In 2002 he joined the Britannic Group as Group Financial Director, and in 2003 was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer. Paul led the merger of the Britannic Group with Resolution I in 2005, and became Group Chief Executive Officer of the merged group. He was head of Pamplona Financial Services between 2008 and 2013, and in 2013 he co-founded the Utmost Group of Companies.

Ian Maidens

Ian Maidens is a co-founder and Group Chief Finance Officer of the Utmost Group of Companies. Ian is an actuary starting his career in life insurance and actuarial consultancy. He worked for Resolution I from the start in 2003. Following the merger of the Britannic Group with Resolution I in 2005, Ian became Chief Actuary & Head of Corporate Development and a board member. In 2008 Ian became founding partner of Resolution II, and led the activity to create the Friends Life Group. In 2013 he co-founded the Utmost Group of Companies

Sue Kean

Sue Kean is a Chartered Accountant with 30 years of experience in insurance and financial services working with Boards and Executive Committees on risk and regulatory matters. She is also currently senior risk advisor at Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited and risk/regulatory partner for Hurst Point Capital Limited. Her last Executive role was the Chief Risk Officer for Old Mutual plc, part of the Executive team that led the successful “Managed Break-up” of that group in 2018. Prior to Old Mutual she spent several years with PwC in a variety of audit and consultancy roles, worked for the UK regulator implementing regulatory reforms including initial stages of Solvency II and held a series of senior risk and capital management roles in Aviva, Insurance Australia Group and Friends Provident