Stuart Purdy has joined Beverley Building Society to help the grassroots, East Yorkshire-based mutual – which is one of the UK’s oldest – ready itself for the next century.
Stuart has had a distinguished financial services career so far, having worked all over the world and helped some of the UK’s biggest financial services brands, including RSA and Aviva, deliver significant change in senior leadership roles in Europe, Asia and India. He is currently a Non-Executive Director at financial mutuals British Friendly and Scottish Life (part of Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investments provider).
Stuart is also a Trustee of Age UK, the UK’s largest later-life charity and Police Care UK, supporting the families of officers injured or killed on duty, and is passionate about helping organisations set and deliver impactful and successful strategies.
“Over the years I have seen just how powerful outstanding service can be in businesses, particularly in organisations with a purpose centred on delivering benefits for their members. It’s great to see businesses move towards the next stage of their evolution and do it in a way which remains beneficial to those they serve,” said Stuart.
He added: “Mutual organisations have a special responsibility to be at all times focussed on member benefits and delivering what is in their members’ best interests – while at the same time recognising the requirement of them to be modern and relevant, and offer appropriate products and services for people’s changing needs.”
So, what brought him to the Beverley?
“I think there is a very different opportunity at the Beverley. It’s a financially strong and capable organisation with a very effective team and an outstanding reputation for customer service.
“Having worked in York for General Accident earlier on in my career, this is also an opportunity for me to renew my links with the Yorkshire region, which I very much welcome.”
And Stuart is looking forward to playing his part in helping the Beverley to cement its unique place in East Yorkshire and beyond.
“The question we are currently asking ourselves is ‘how can we make sure our great service remains appropriate for our current and future members, rooted in a place with such a strong sense of community?’,” he added.
“The first thing I noticed when I walked through the door of the Beverley was how well our people here interact with customers, which is really special and reflects the standing the society has within the town of Beverley and its surrounding region.
“Our Board want to ensure we remain very relevant within that community and being part of that process of evolution represents a wonderful opportunity for me. I share the enthusiasm and positive commitment of our very high-calibre team for doing that.
“At the same time, financial services is changing and we have an opportunity to move with that. We know we will need to become increasingly efficient and offer people options in terms of how they want to continue interacting with us, while keeping our distinctive, personal approach as a member-driven organisation.
“We will keep these important values front and centre as we continue to grow and develop the Society.”
Of his role on the Beverley Board, he added: “My role is to lead the Beverley Board and harness the passion, ambition and vision I see, while, at the same time, hopefully adding some benefit from my experience of helping businesses achieve their goals through delivering effective change programmes.
“I’ve been in enough different situations, in different businesses and even different countries, to realise that there’s never just one simple answer, but it’s important to go in search of the answer and not shy away from it, through colleague and member feedback all captured in an effective future strategy.”
When not working, Stuart is a keen rugby supporter and traveller. He lives with his wife and family in Edinburgh.
Karl Elliott, Beverley Building Society chief executive, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome such a skilled and experienced new chairman as Stuart on board.
“His knowledge, experience and insight will be invaluable to us and I am very much looking forward to us all benefiting from his guidance, wisdom and leadership in helping us achieve our ambitious goals for the future.”