I have two direct reports within the Finance Directorate, both experts in their own area of work.
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As Chief Financial Officer, Chris White runs the Finance and Treasury departments – charged with ensuring the long-term stability of the Society.
However, he looked destined to take a very different course in his younger days.
Born in Middlesbrough, his family moved to Cambridge when he was seven, but he returned to the North-East to study genetics at Newcastle University, going on to do a doctorate in the genetics of diabetes to gain a Phd.
Despite that scientific background, he joined PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on a graduate recruitment scheme, took his chartered accountancy exams, and rose to manager level. He spent the last four years at PWC managing external audits for North East Financial Institutions that happened to include Darlington Building Society.
He was persuaded to join the Society in 2012 as financial controller and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer two years later.
His crucial role involves reporting internally and externally on the financial strength of the Society, forecasting the Society’s financial future, and ensuring the organisation is well equipped to deal with any financial risks.
Father-of-three Chris says: “I enjoy working for the Society because it combines the challenge of having to meet the same regulations as bigger financial institutions, while carrying out those duties in a really strong and positive working environment.
“As a director of a mutual with deep roots in the region, there is a real sense of custodianship, working alongside people who want to make a positive contribution to the community.”