When Mark joined Darlington Building Society in January 2020, his role was focused on preparing for, and protecting the organisation against, severe risks.

Little did he know that within months, he would go from working on hypothetical “stress events” to the stark realism of the Covid-19 pandemic that sparked global economic turmoil.

It was a major test of the resilience of any financial institution – and Darlington Building Society came through it with strength thanks to the sensible management that has been its hallmark for 165 years.

“What attracted me to Darlington Building Society was its strong forward planning – the right mix of ambition combined with a realistic view of what’s achievable. It has a detailed understanding of its strengths, and what its key risks are, and that stood the Society in good stead during the pandemic,” he says.

Mark spent most of his early life in Stanley, County Durham. After taking a Masters in Pure Mathematics at Newcastle University, he joined PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on a graduate scheme, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2014.

After three years, he moved to Newcastle Building Society, overseeing tax, regulation, capital, and statutory accounting. Having built up a wealth of building society experience over six years, he joined Darlington Building Society in January 2020.

“My job is to look to assesses the biggest risks and advise the Board on what the Society needs to hold in reserve “now” so that we remain resilient during stress,” says Mark, who is the father of a four-year-old boy.