Realising that his childhood dream of being an archeologist would not be like the Jurassic Park movie, Paul Barrett took careers advice and trained as a solicitor.

He came over from his home in Northern Ireland to study Law at the University of Northumbria, and liked the North-East so much, that he decided to stay after he graduated. He also met his wife at university, and they now live in Houghton-le-Spring with their little boy.

Paul was employed in a legal firm for nearly two years before changing direction and working with a couple of the big banks.

In 2016, he joined the Society as a Regulatory Intelligence Officer. In 2018, he was seconded into a Project Management Role, a key part of which was to oversee the introduction of GDPR within the Society.

Following that, Paul was made Operations and Conduct Risk Manager, and at the end of 2020, he became Head of Operation and Conduct Risk.

Paul and his team provide advice, support and independent challenge in relation to the Society’s operational resilience risk profile, including legal, conduct, compliance and operational risk. They are responsible for the continued development of risk and compliance frameworks and practices that help support delivery of the Society’s Strategy and Corporate Objectives.

Paul believes that the Society demonstrates a very good balance of both a professional and a family atmosphere, saying that they do a lot for their staff as individuals.

“I take pride in saying that I work for this company,” he says, “and the investment they have made in me, makes me prepared to invest back into the Society.”