Louise Thorpe

Distribution Director

A bit of background

Louise Thorpe is glowing example of how Darlington Building Society grows its own talent, having been added to the executive team at the beginning of 2022.

As Distribution Director, she has overall responsibility for regulated residential mortgage lending, as well as intermediaries, and the distribution of products and services to customers. That includes through the branch network, relationships with brokers, direct sales, and online.

Louise joined the Society in 2004 as a part-time customer service consultant because it fitted well with her home life. Though she came in to cover maternity leave, she was quickly made a permanent member of the team.

As her children grew up, she completed a Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice and became a mortgage advisor, helping families to find homes.

Having lived in Guisborough all her life, it was fitting that Louise’s managerial career really took off when she became manager of her local branch, and later the Middlesbrough branch.

She was then offered the chance to oversee an additional four Teesside branches. Eventually, she accepted responsibility for all nine branches as our Branch Operations Manager.

On the counter in Guisborough

In 2017, a restructure saw Louise form a centralised mortgage advisor team and oversee our intermediary team as Sales Operations Manager.

Two years later, a decision was made to split the direct distribution and intermediary functions, which created two new roles: Head of Intermediaries and Head of Direct Distribution.

With Louise’s history of working directly with customers and her flair for strategy, she was a perfect choice to fill the new Direct Distribution role.

Meanwhile, the Society supported Louise through a three-year Master’s Apprenticeship in Strategic Leadership at Loughborough University.

Her progression has now continued with her promotion to the executive team – a move that has made her “really proud”.

She added: “It demonstrates the commitment Darlington Building Society has to developing its people and is a clear reflection of our core values. The message is ‘work hard and the Society will reward you by opening up new opportunities’.

“Having progressed through the Society, I’ve gained a rounded understanding of the daily challenges facing staff in various roles, and how we need to keep evolving to ensure the best outcomes for our members and colleagues.”