The Exeter as it is today, was founded in 2008 when two friendly societies – Exeter Friendly Society and Pioneer Friendly Society - became one.
Both previous organisations had a rich history and heritage in their respective markets – private medical insurance and income protection - with links back as far as 1888.
This experience has brought a huge amount of knowledge and expertise, but also the stability and reliability of an organisation which has evolved and grown over the years.
The Exeter is a mutual friendly society, which means we are owned by our members and run for their benefit, rather than shareholders
The Exeter is managed by an Executive team overseen by a Board of Directors, who are elected by our members. The Directors have a wealth of experience gained within the financial services and health care sectors, which proves invaluable when it comes to delivering what’s best for our customers.
Meet the Board
Wallace Dobbin was appointed to the Board in March 2008 and became its Chairman in June 2013. He is also a member of the Nomination Committee and the Remuneration Committee.
Wallace has extensive experience in corporate strategy, marketing and communications and is a trained lawyer. Previous roles include being a member of the UK Board of Zurich Financial Services, Strategic Development Director for BAT UK Financial Services and Business Development Director for Allied Dunbar Assurance.
Wallace is a Non-Executive Director of Intrinsic Financial Services Ltd, one of the UK’s largest financial services distribution companies and was formerly Vice Chairman and Senior Independent Director of the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is a member of the Council of the Association of Professional Financial Advisers, a former member of the CBI London Council and a former Trustee of the Sir Steve Redgrave Charitable Trust.
Senior Independent Director
David was appointed to the Board as Senior Independent Director with effect from 31 January 2014. He is also Chairman of the Investment Committee and a member of the Audit Committee and Investment Committee and a member of the Governance and Risk Committee and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee.
David is a qualified actuary who, prior to his retirement in June 2012, had worked for the Hannover Re Group in the UK, acting as the Managing Director of its UK life reinsurance subsidiary from 2003. David had been with the company since 1988, and a Director since 1990. During his career David also held various roles with the Institute of Actuaries, including being a member of Council and he also served on the Health Committee of the Association of British Insurers from 2006 to 2012.
David is an independent Non-Executive Director of Chesnara Plc, the life and pensions management company, where he also serves on the Audit and Risk and Nomination Committees. He is an independent Non-Executive Director of Chesnara’s life insurance subsidiaries, Countrywide Assured in the UK and Movestic Liv in Sweden.
Independent Non-Executive Director
Steve was appointed to the Board in September 2015. He is Chairman of the Governance and Risk Committee and is also a member of the Audit Committee, the Investment Committee and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee.
Steve is a qualified Actuary who has held a variety of senior management roles in the Life Assurance industry. These include Managing Director for Protection at Friends Life (2011-2014), a FTSE100 company, where he led the integration of the protection businesses of Axa, Friends Provident and Bupa. Steve was a member of Friends Life’s Group Executive. Prior to this, he led the Bupa Protection business where he became Chief Executive (2004-2010).
Steve is a past Chair of ILAG (The Investment and Life Assurance Group), a former member of the ABI Protection Committee, and was twice chair of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Healthcare Conference.
Independent Non-Executive Director
Helen was appointed to the Board with effect from 1 September 2016.
Helen has a wealth of experience across the financial services arena with particular expertise in leadership and distribution across all channels. Helen spent many successful years at Aegon UK (a global financial services insurer), where her roles included Director of Banks, Partnerships Director and Head of International Sales. During her tenure, Helen was highly regarded for her astute commercial acumen coupled with her ability to develop key distribution partnerships, optimise new business volume and nurture new talent.
Most recently, Helen has worked with the Fintech True Potential as Commercial Director and Auto-enrolment specialist Now Pensions as Business Development Director.
Helen is also a Trustee of Edinburgh Young Careers, a charity dedicated to improving the quality of the lives of children (from age 5-19) who have caring responsibilities in their homes.
Andy Chapman was appointed Chief Executive in March 2008, following the transfer of engagements from Pioneer Friendly Society, having been the Chief Executive at Pioneer since September 2005. He is also a member of the Society’s Investment Committee. He joined Pioneer having previously been Group Director at Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society and Managing Director at Permanent Insurance.
Andy, who is a Chartered Insurer, has been a platform speaker at many industry conferences. In November 2011, he was appointed to the Board of the Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM), the trade body which represents mutual insurers, friendly societies and other financial mutuals in the UK and in 2016 he was appointed Chairman of the AFM. In 2017, Andy was appointed to the Financial Conduct Authority Smaller Business Practitioner Panel. The Panel represents the interests of practitioners of firms of small or medium size within their sector across the range of regulated activities as regulated by the FCA. He also sits on the Health Committee of the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The ABI is the voice of insurance, representing the general insurance, investment and long-term savings industry.
Andy is a Trustee of the Northbrook Trust; a charity set up to fund the provision of education and training (including support and accommodation) for any child or young person who is, or has been, in the care of or under the supervision of Devon County Council.
Paul Austin was appointed Finance Director in February 2009. He is also a member of the Society’s Governance and Risk Committee.
Paul has spent his entire career within the financial services sector in both professional accountancy practice and industry.
After qualifying with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1989, he gained experience of corporate lending, fund management and for 12 years worked with a fully-listed group running a provider of financial services outsourcing services.
In addition to these technical roles, Paul's past duties have included Group Operations, Human Resources and Information Technology, as well as Board involvement in the assessment and implementation of strategy, mergers and acquisitions.
Director of Distribution and Marketing
Steve Bryan joined the Exeter in July 2017.
Prior to joining The Exeter, Steve had a distinguished 20-year tenure with Legal & General. His last role saw him head up the Intermediary division for Legal & General Insurance, responsible for leading Legal & General's Intermediary distribution in both the protection and GI markets. He brings a wealth of experience across the protection, mortgage and healthcare markets.
Steve has spent his entire career in Financial Services, joining Lloyds Bank immediately on graduation from the University of Leeds.
In his role with The Exeter, Steve takes a place on the Main and Executive Boards and assumes the responsibility for sales, marketing and product development teams.
Professor William Hamilton
MD, BSc, FRCP, FRCGP
Willie Hamilton has been an insurance medical officer since 1990 and joined the Exeter Board in 2005. He is also a regular attendee at meetings of the Society’s Governance and Risk Committee.
Willie qualified in medicine in 1982 from Bristol, and now has a research career based on improving diagnosis. He is the professor of primary care diagnostics at the University of Exeter Medical School. There, he heads the Discovery research group, with over £28 million total research funding from Cancer Research UK, the National Institute of Health Research, the Medical Research Council, the Department of Health and others. His main research topic is improving the diagnosis of cancer, though his recent studies include a diverse range of diagnostic topics leading to over 240 publications.
Willie has written two textbooks, one on orthopaedics and the second on cancer, the latter winning a British Medical Association prize. He was the clinical lead for a NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guideline, on investigation of suspected cancer. He has won Research Paper of the Year twice.
At The Exeter, our brand is about more than just a logo and a palette of colours. It defines what we are as an organisation, what we are here to do and how our staff act and behave.
We have four core values which underpin The Exeter. These values flow through everything we do from designing and building products, to delivering service to our members.
We respect each other and our customers.
Keeping things clear and simple means our customers can easily get what they need.
Quality flows through everything we do - from serving our customers to product development.
Every second counts if we want to make a real difference - for us and our customers.
We publish our Report and Accounts on an annual basis so our members can see how we’re performing. You can download them here:
If you have any questions or queries or simply want us to send you a printed copy, please get in touch.