N&P directors to retire

Martyn Willgress (operations director) will take retirement in July and Ray Roberts (director of finance) retires in October.

Keith Bedell-Pearce, chairman of N&P, said: “Martyn and Ray have given 53 years to N&P between them and they’ve played a major role in the Society’s development into the modern and dynamic building society it is today. The Board, and N&P’s members, owe them a huge debt of gratitude for their skills and loyalty.”

Martyn joined the former Norwich Building Society in Norwich in 1976 as a management trainee. He became chief internal auditor in 1980, assistant general manager, IT in 1982 and general manager (IT) in 1990. Martyn was appointed executive director to the main Board in December 1994.

Martyn said: “I have had 30 very enjoyable years working for the Society and have witnessed many changes during this time whilst seeing N&P go from strength to strength.”

Martyn’s responsibilities have included directing key business operations including: commercial lending; IT; mortgage, banking, investment and general insurance administration; independent financial advice, and residential mortgage sales via mortgage brokers. He has played a key role in the formulation and implementation of the strategic direction of the Society in all operational areas. Recently his role has also included implementing a strategic plan for the development of business-to-business relationships to generate a new income stream for the Society, including the licensing or sale of intellectual property. Martyn is also retiring as chairman of Norwich and Peterborough Insurance Brokers and LynchWood Services, subsidiaries of N&P.

Martyn fully intends to continue in business life as well as pursuing his hobbies of football, golf, cricket, tennis and travelling.

Ray joined the former Peterborough Building Society in 1983 as assistant general manager (administration), responsible primarily for the Society’s mortgage department and arrears administration. This involved being part of the senior management team and participating in policy decisions, with particular emphasis on lending and system changes.

The 1986 Building Societies Act introduced a new regime for societies both in terms of regulation and opportunities to widen business activities beyond core savings and mortgages. Ray played a key role for N&P in interpreting and implementing the new legal and administrative procedures (including new Rules and Memorandum of Powers, the extent to which activities could be undertaken and how they needed to be structured, and new regulatory requirements and reporting).

1985/86 also saw a major piece of work undertaken by Ray to lead the team working to merge the Peterborough and the Norwich Building Societies, liaising with the Registry of Friendly Societies over the technical legal elements of the merger and the Building Societies Commission for the business and regulatory aspects. Internally, he ensured common procedures and processes were implemented, planned the mailing/voting and scrutineering administration and generally co-ordinated the various areas to be merged.

Ray became general manager (finance) in 1991 and finance director in 1994, with responsibility for support services in Lynch Wood (HR, facilities and internal audit) as well as the finance and treasury functions. More recently, risk management and regulatory compliance have become significant areas of growth. Ray has played a major part in the Society’s maintenance of a strong financial position and compliance culture.

By continuing his involvement on the Boards of Minster Housing Association and Stamford College of Further Education, Ray will retain a significant interest in local business activity but his main leisure pursuits will be travelling abroad and visiting sites in East Anglia and Lincolnshire associated with the Second World War, in particular airfields and air museums. He has also recently joined a local group of barbershop singers but his attempts at harmonising seem to produce some disharmony on the home front.