Two senior managers from Hinckley & Rugby Building Society have graduated in the first cohort to study a pioneering new Masters degree developed for financial mutuals.
Carolyn Thornley-Yates and Rebecca Griffin each received their MSc in Leadership and Management at a ceremony in Loughborough from the University’s Chancellor, Lord Sebastian Coe.
Watched by the Society’s new chief executive Colin Fyfe, the duo celebrated the successful completion of the three-year programme developed by Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics with the Building Societies Association.
The first UK Masters programme specifically for people in a customer-owned/mutual financial services firm covered topics including leading and managing, governance and strategy – all interwoven with the cultural and ethical approach of a modern mutual.
Carolyn, Hinckley & Rugby’s head of sales and marketing, said: “What the BSA and Loughborough created was an amazing opportunity to understand the sector and all its component parts from a high level perspective.
“The sharing of experiences with students from the other 14 societies represented was invaluable and has changed what I do in my role from both a day to day and a strategic perspective.”
Rebecca, who joined the Society in 2013 and is its head of risk and compliance, said: “The Masters gave me a great opportunity to develop myself not only academically but also within both my Society and the wider building society sector.
“The last three years have challenged me but also given me the chance to be bold and try new things, including being interviewed on camera and presenting at a conference.”
Staff from more than a dozen building societies were amongst the first cohort. Current students on the course include Michael Sharpe, head of information services at Hinckley & Rugby.
Colin Fyfe said: “Congratulations to both of our first graduates. They have blazed a trail which will inspire our current students and those who will follow in their footsteps.
“As well as operating in a highly competitive and regulated market, in competition with banks and other types of financial services providers, building societies such as Hinckley & Rugby have a unique bond with their savers and borrowers.
“Equipping the current and future generation of leaders with the skills and knowledge to nurture these member-owned organisations, this innovative course has boosted not only the careers of Rebecca and Carolyn but has also enhanced our Society’s pool of talent.”