Graham Beale CBE (Doctor of Laws)

Wednesday 13 July, 11am

Graham Beale was until April 2016 the Chief Executive of the Nationwide Building Society.  He read Psychology at the University of Leicester before training as an accountant at  Thomson McLintock, now part of KPMG.  He then joined the  Anglia Building Society in 1985 as a chartered accountant in the internal audit function.  In 1987, the Anglia Building Society merged with Nationwide Building Society, where he was involved in a number of major transactions including the buying and selling of subsidiary businesses.  He was appointed Managing Director of a Glasgow subsidiary in 1997.  In 2002 he became Divisional Director, Commercial, and then joined the Board in 2003 as Group Finance Director. He was appointed Chief Executive on 1 April 2007.  In his first year as Chief Executive, Beale oversaw the successful merger of the Portman Building Society – the largest merger the mutual sector had ever seen.  During the financial crisis, Beale also oversaw mergers with three smaller building societies; the Derbyshire Building Society and Cheshire Building Society in 2008 and the Dunfermline Building Society in 2009.  In 2012, plans were announced to integrate these three brand names into one ‘Nationwide’ brand. More recently, he has overseen a £1 billion five-year investment in infrastructure to improve the Society’s core savings, mortgages and banking systems.  He has been a member of the FCA Practitioner Panel – representing Building Societies – since August 2011 and has served as  Chairman of the FCA Practitioner Panel since April 2013.  He was appointed CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to the financial services sector.

Press comment

“I am fortunate to have enjoyed an exceptional career and you could say that it all started with my degree at Leicester. I also met my wife in my first term, we got married at Leicester and bought our first house in the city. So the University of Leicester and the city are very special to us which makes the honorary degree all the more meaningful.”

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