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Nationwide sees mutual benefit in naming Parry as next chairman

Written by on 06/09/2021

Britain’s biggest building society is preparing to name a former Schroders and KPMG executive as its next chairman.

Sky News has learnt that Nationwide is lining up Kevin Parry to succeed David Roberts next year.

City sources said on Monday that the mutual was in the process of seeking regulatory approval for Mr Parry’s appointment, which would be likely to take effect next year.

Nationwide Building Society in London
Image: Nationwide’s current chairman David Roberts has been on its board for seven years

Mr Parry has been Nationwide’s senior independent director (SID) since early last year, and has been on the building society’s board since 2016.

Under the corporate governance guidelines which govern major listed companies, the elevation of a SID to the chairmanship would be frowned upon, although Nationwide’s mutual status means it does not have external shareholders.

Nationwide has not previously announced Mr Roberts’ decision to step down, although he has just marked his seventh anniversary on its board.

Mr Parry is an experienced figure in the financial mutuals sector, also serving as chairman of Royal London.

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His promotion to the Nationwide chairmanship will come on the back of a surge in profits despite the initial freeze in the UK housing market after the pandemic hit last year.

It has 16 million members, making it one of the UK’s biggest financial services groups.

Nationwide declined to comment on Monday.

 Sky News

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