The key figures who head up The Openwork Partnership

Andy Smart

Chair

Andy Smart

Andy has worked with Openwork, or its predecessor firms, in one role or another since August 1984 when he joined the legal department of Hambro Life. Subsequent roles include Allied Dunbar’s Compliance Officer in the mid to late 90’s and British American Financial Services’ Risk Director for Allied Dunbar and Eagle Star. His final executive role was as Chief Risk Officer for Zurich’s life companies worldwide, before retiring in 2013. Andy held subsequent non-Executive roles, including chairing Generali’s Irish Life company, and joined the Openwork Holdings Limited Board in 2017 as chair of the Risk & Compliance Committee. He took the chair of Openwork Limited, the principal subsidiary, the following year and became our Group Chair in June 2020.

Philip Howell

Chief Executive Officer

Philip Howell

Philip joined The Openwork Partnership in March 2020 bringing with him a great depth of experience in Financial Services and Wealth Management. Following an early military career, Philip enjoyed a 24-year investment banking and private banking career with Barclays Group, including assignments as Regional CEO of SE Asia and of South Africa, and as Head of Strategy & Corporate Development. Post Barclays, Philip has focused on the wealth management sector for over 15 years, serving as CEO of Fortis Private Banking, Williams de Broe and latterly Rathbones Brothers Plc, where Philip spent 5 years as Chief Executive. Philip is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, AMP.

Richard Houghton

Chief Financial Officer

Richard Houghton

Richard joined The Openwork Partnership in February 2020 and brings us more than 20 years of experience in senior positions across insurance and banking, including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and non-executive director roles. Prior to this, Richard was in public practice, specialising in audit, corporate finance and corporate recovery. Richard worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group for nearly a decade, holding senior finance and executive roles at Direct Line, Insurance, Ulster Bank, and RBS Insurance Group. Between 2007 - 2012 he served as Group Chief Finance Officer at Aspen Insurance Holdings before joining RSA Insurance Group in 2012 as Group Chief Financial Officer. From 2016 to 2017 he served as Interim CFO at Co-operative Insurance and held the same position at Hyperion Insurance Group throughout 2019. Richard is also an experienced non-executive director having served as Chair of the Audit Committee at Standard Life Assurance Ltd between 2017 - 2018, and on the Phoenix Life Boards from 2018 - 2019. Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, having qualified with Deloitte and Touche.

Mike Morrow

Chief Commercial Officer

Mike Morrow

Mike joined us in July 2015 as Wealth Director from his position of Sales & Marketing Director at Ascentric. Mike’s extensive career includes time as Head of Platform and Investment Distribution at AXA and HSBC where he was Head of Insurance & Investment. He brings extensive experience of the wealth management and protection distribution area to The Openwork Partnership. Mike sits on the Board of The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) the UK’s leading trade association for firms that provide investment management and financial advice to everyone from individuals and families to charities, pension funds and companies.

Claire Oldstein

Chief Marketing Officer

Claire Oldstein

Claire joined The Openwork Partnership in 2018 but, as the daughter of one of our advisers, has been a true part of the family for much longer. Claire brings extensive experience of Financial Services marketing drawn from many years in the sectors with companies that include MetlLfe, Bank of Ireland and The Post Office. Claire was a founder member of Post Office Financial Services, a joint venture between the Post Office and Bank of Ireland and was responsible for launching and marketing the full range of Post Office branded financial services products. Joining The Openwork Partnership from MetLife, one of our partner providers, Claire held various roles, including UK Marketing Director, Chief Marketing Officer for Western and Central Europe and, most recently, Head of Brand and Integrated Marketing for EMEA. Claire launched the MetLife brand into the UK when she joined in 2008, elevating it from zero recognition into a top player in Wealth Management and Protection. Claire was responsible for developing and delivering the marketing and communications strategies for the UK and 10 other countries across Western and Central Europe and in her later role, led all brand and marketing activity across the EMEA region.

Mark Knowlton

Chief Operating Officer

Mark Knowlton

Mark has led the business operations, technology and change teams since 2019. He is passionate about making The Openwork Partnership “easy to do business with” and the delivery of great customer service. He joined from GBST, a global provider of financial services, where he had been Chief Technology Officer based in Australia. He was previously Chief Information Officer for Macquarie Retail Bank and held senior technology roles within AXA UK plc. He spent the first half of his career working as a management consultant leading transformation change within Financial Services, Grocery Retail and Government sectors.

Carrie Morris

Chief People Officer

Carrie Morris

Carrie joined us as Chief People Officer in 2018 but her connection with us began in a previous incarnation of The Openwork Partnership. Carrie started her career at Zurich Financial Services, where she spent 10 years. With a passion for driving cultural change and engagement, Carrie has held multiple HR Director roles as well as Board membership in a range of industries sectors including telecoms, manufacturing, technology, music, and IT, both in the UK and with International responsibility. Working with global players with over 10,000 colleagues through to tech start-ups has given her a wealth of experience to draw from. Her last role before joining us was as European HR Director for AXA IT, where she was responsible for driving the people agenda to support them on their technology and cultural transformation.

Paul Mitchener

Chief Risk & Compliance Officer

Paul Mitchener

Paul leads The Openwork Partnership’s assurance teams which include: Compliance, Corporate & Legal Services, Risk Management, Complaints and Business Reviews. His 40 year career history has been spent exclusively in Financial Services, holding Senior Management positions in Legal & General’s Retail Distribution and Wealth Management businesses before joining us in 2010. As an active supporter of the charitable sector, Paul has also held trustee appointments and, in this capacity, is the Executive representative for our own charity, The Openwork Foundation.

John Cupis

Mortgage Director

John Cupis

John joined us, as our Mortgage Director, in February 2016 from Sesame Bankhall Group, where he had been Managing Director of Mortgages for eight years. John has had a career focus on mortgages and brings a fantastic pedigree to The Openwork Partnership. He has overseen the growth and development of expert, profitable mortgage advice businesses throughout his career. Prior to his time at Sesame, John’s career included starting at NatWest in mortgage marketing before rising through the ranks for eight years at Legal & General to become Mortgage Propositions Director.

claire Limon headshot

Wealth Director

Claire Limon

Claire joined The Openwork Partnership in August 2017 heading up the sales network in Owl Financial. Following an early career in retail with Next Plc, Claire enjoyed an 18-year insurance and banking career with Lloyds TSB (formerly Halifax Bank of Scotland). Claire brings us more than 30 years’ experience in senior positions across the insurance and banking industry including Wealth Director and Sales and Marketing Director in the Lloyds Banking Group after which Claire joined the property group, Countrywide Plc for 7 years as Group Insurance Director. Claire led and developed sales, marketing and product teams, priding herself on disrupting the norm and achieving step changing results. As a qualified Wealth Adviser herself, Claire understands what a good client experience looks like and uses this knowledge to shape her approach.

Andy Smart
Chair
Philip Howell
Chief Executive Officer
Richard Houghton
Chief Financial Officer
Mike Morrow
Chief Commercial Officer
Claire Oldstein
Chief Marketing Officer
Mark Knowlton
Chief Operating Officer
Carrie Morris
Chief People Officer
Paul Mitchener
Chief Risk & Compliance Officer
John Cupis
Mortgage Director
claire Limon headshot
Wealth Director

The key figures who head up The Openwork Partnership

Andy Smart

Andy Smart

Chair

Andy has worked with Openwork, or its predecessor firms, in one role or another since August 1984 when he joined the legal department of Hambro Life. Subsequent roles include Allied Dunbar’s Compliance Officer in the mid to late 90’s and British American Financial Services’ Risk Director for Allied Dunbar and Eagle Star. His final executive role was as Chief Risk Officer for Zurich’s life companies worldwide, before retiring in 2013. Andy held subsequent non-Executive roles, including chairing Generali’s Irish Life company, and joined the Openwork Holdings Limited Board in 2017 as chair of the Risk & Compliance Committee. He took the chair of Openwork Limited, the principal subsidiary, the following year and became our Group Chair in June 2020.

Philip Howell

Philip Howell

Chief Executive Officer

Philip joined The Openwork Partnership in March 2020 bringing with him a great depth of experience in Financial Services and Wealth Management. Following an early military career, Philip enjoyed a 24-year investment banking and private banking career with Barclays Group, including assignments as Regional CEO of SE Asia and of South Africa, and as Head of Strategy & Corporate Development. Post Barclays, Philip has focused on the wealth management sector for over 15 years, serving as CEO of Fortis Private Banking, Williams de Broe and latterly Rathbones Brothers Plc, where Philip spent 5 years as Chief Executive. Philip is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, AMP.

Richard Houghton

Richard Houghton

Chief Financial Officer

Richard joined The Openwork Partnership in February 2020 and brings us more than 20 years of experience in senior positions across insurance and banking, including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and non-executive director roles. Prior to this, Richard was in public practice, specialising in audit, corporate finance and corporate recovery. Richard worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group for nearly a decade, holding senior finance and executive roles at Direct Line, Insurance, Ulster Bank, and RBS Insurance Group. Between 2007 - 2012 he served as Group Chief Finance Officer at Aspen Insurance Holdings before joining RSA Insurance Group in 2012 as Group Chief Financial Officer. From 2016 to 2017 he served as Interim CFO at Co-operative Insurance and held the same position at Hyperion Insurance Group throughout 2019. Richard is also an experienced non-executive director having served as Chair of the Audit Committee at Standard Life Assurance Ltd between 2017 - 2018, and on the Phoenix Life Boards from 2018 - 2019. Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, having qualified with Deloitte and Touche.

Mike Morrow

Mike Morrow

Chief Commercial Officer

Mike joined us in July 2015 as Wealth Director from his position of Sales & Marketing Director at Ascentric. Mike’s extensive career includes time as Head of Platform and Investment Distribution at AXA and HSBC where he was Head of Insurance & Investment. He brings extensive experience of the wealth management and protection distribution area to The Openwork Partnership. Mike sits on the Board of The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) the UK’s leading trade association for firms that provide investment management and financial advice to everyone from individuals and families to charities, pension funds and companies.

Claire Oldstein

Claire Oldstein

Chief Marketing Officer

Claire joined The Openwork Partnership in 2018 but, as the daughter of one of our advisers, has been a true part of the family for much longer. Claire brings extensive experience of Financial Services marketing drawn from many years in the sectors with companies that include MetlLfe, Bank of Ireland and The Post Office. Claire was a founder member of Post Office Financial Services, a joint venture between the Post Office and Bank of Ireland and was responsible for launching and marketing the full range of Post Office branded financial services products. Joining The Openwork Partnership from MetLife, one of our partner providers, Claire held various roles, including UK Marketing Director, Chief Marketing Officer for Western and Central Europe and, most recently, Head of Brand and Integrated Marketing for EMEA. Claire launched the MetLife brand into the UK when she joined in 2008, elevating it from zero recognition into a top player in Wealth Management and Protection. Claire was responsible for developing and delivering the marketing and communications strategies for the UK and 10 other countries across Western and Central Europe and in her later role, led all brand and marketing activity across the EMEA region.

Mark Knowlton

Mark Knowlton

Chief Operating Officer

Mark has led the business operations, technology and change teams since 2019. He is passionate about making The Openwork Partnership “easy to do business with” and the delivery of great customer service. He joined from GBST, a global provider of financial services, where he had been Chief Technology Officer based in Australia. He was previously Chief Information Officer for Macquarie Retail Bank and held senior technology roles within AXA UK plc. He spent the first half of his career working as a management consultant leading transformation change within Financial Services, Grocery Retail and Government sectors.

Carrie Morris

Carrie Morris

Chief People Officer

Carrie joined us as Chief People Officer in 2018 but her connection with us began in a previous incarnation of The Openwork Partnership. Carrie started her career at Zurich Financial Services, where she spent 10 years. With a passion for driving cultural change and engagement, Carrie has held multiple HR Director roles as well as Board membership in a range of industries sectors including telecoms, manufacturing, technology, music, and IT, both in the UK and with International responsibility. Working with global players with over 10,000 colleagues through to tech start-ups has given her a wealth of experience to draw from. Her last role before joining us was as European HR Director for AXA IT, where she was responsible for driving the people agenda to support them on their technology and cultural transformation.

Paul Mitchener

Paul Mitchener

Chief Risk & Compliance Officer

Paul leads The Openwork Partnership’s assurance teams which include: Compliance, Corporate & Legal Services, Risk Management, Complaints and Business Reviews. His 40 year career history has been spent exclusively in Financial Services, holding Senior Management positions in Legal & General’s Retail Distribution and Wealth Management businesses before joining us in 2010. As an active supporter of the charitable sector, Paul has also held trustee appointments and, in this capacity, is the Executive representative for our own charity, The Openwork Foundation.

John Cupis

John Cupis

Mortgage Director

John joined us, as our Mortgage Director, in February 2016 from Sesame Bankhall Group, where he had been Managing Director of Mortgages for eight years. John has had a career focus on mortgages and brings a fantastic pedigree to The Openwork Partnership. He has overseen the growth and development of expert, profitable mortgage advice businesses throughout his career. Prior to his time at Sesame, John’s career included starting at NatWest in mortgage marketing before rising through the ranks for eight years at Legal & General to become Mortgage Propositions Director.

claire Limon headshot

Claire Limon

Wealth Director

Claire joined The Openwork Partnership in August 2017 heading up the sales network in Owl Financial. Following an early career in retail with Next Plc, Claire enjoyed an 18-year insurance and banking career with Lloyds TSB (formerly Halifax Bank of Scotland). Claire brings us more than 30 years’ experience in senior positions across the insurance and banking industry including Wealth Director and Sales and Marketing Director in the Lloyds Banking Group after which Claire joined the property group, Countrywide Plc for 7 years as Group Insurance Director. Claire led and developed sales, marketing and product teams, priding herself on disrupting the norm and achieving step changing results. As a qualified Wealth Adviser herself, Claire understands what a good client experience looks like and uses this knowledge to shape her approach.