ERC appoints Bathgate as ops director

Bathgate started her career in the finance services sector with equity release provider LV= where she was regional customer service manager for the South East.

Nigel Waterson, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: "I am delighted to welcome Donna to the Equity Release Council at a time when it is growing in both its influence and reach. She brings valuable expertise from her background in mortgages, property and financial services and I am confident she will embrace the challenges that face us going forward.”

She also spent time with the Society of Mortgage Professionals and was instrumental in the creation of the Personal Finance Society, overseeing the operational aspects of the merger between the Life Insurance Association and the Society of Financial Advisers.

Waterson said her appointment will strengthen the council’s team at a time when the equity release market is experiencing considerable growth.

Increasing activity in the first six months of 2013 makes the year to date the most successful since 2009 in terms of the total value of plans agreed.

This puts the industry on course to agree £1bn worth of equity release plans this year for the first time since 2008.

Waterson added: “The council has grown from a dozen members to approaching 300 in a short time and we speak for 90% of the sector.

“Our ambition is to continue to improve how we operate to support the industry as it grows. Donna’s project management experience will help to coordinate a collective push that puts equity release at the forefront of people’s retirement planning agenda.”