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Meet our executive team

Consisting of industry experts in fields including finance, people services, and business development, our executive team bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the charity.

Phil Andrew
Phil Andrew

Chief Executive

Gail Arkle
Gail Arkle

Director of Client Experience

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Richard Britten

Director of Finance

Vikki Brownridge
Vikki Brownridge

Director of Operations

Sian Evans
Sian Evans

Director of People & Culture

Richard Lane
Richard Lane

Director of External Affairs and Operating Subsidiaries

Ian Phillips
Ian Phillips

Director of Risk and Compliance

Jo Smith
Joanna Smith

Interim Chief Information Officer

In this section

 
Ian Phillips

Ian Phillips

Director of Risk and Compliance

Ian is responsible for the delivery and oversight of the Charity’s risk and compliance arrangements.

Ian brings a wealth of financial services experience, recently helping Equifax build their risk management framework and supporting the development of data-driven solutions around Consumer Vulnerability.

He has also worked as consultant for UK Finance and the Money Advice Trust, where Ian led their award-winning Consumer Vulnerability Academy. This has now seen over 100 strategic leaders complete a six month programme on best practice for applying FCA guidance and legal requirements to ensure vulnerable consumers receive outcomes at least as good as everyone else.

Ian previously spent thirteen years with the Lloyds Banking Group in various leadership roles.

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Richard Britten

Richard Britten

Director of Finance

Richard provides strategic and financial leadership to ensure that the charity’s financial objectives are met. He’s a Chartered Accountant having qualified at EY in London.

Richard brings a wealth of commercial financial management experience gained in regulated financial services at Mitchell Farrar Group and Provident Financial plc as well as previously at Enterprise Oil plc.

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Richard Lane

Richard Lane

Director of External Affairs and Operating Subsidiaries

Richard leads the charity's External Affairs department, which covers our policy, campaigning, communications and digital functions.

He also oversees StepChange’s two operating subsidiaries – StepChange Financial Solutions and StepChange Voluntary Arrangements.

Richard has worked across the charity sector in a number of roles, notably leading the communications and campaigns teams at the national disability charity, Scope, and working on campaigns and public affairs at the LGBT charity Stonewall.

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Sian Evans

Sian Evans

Director of People & Culture

Sian started her career in Human Resources at Morrison’s Supermarkets in 1990. Her experience spans a wide range of industries including roles at Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Redcats UK, Callcredit Information Group where she was Group HR Director from 2008 to 2011.

From 2011 until 2013, Sian ran an HR business providing consultancy services to the professional services and logistics sectors. Sian joins us from Severfield Plc where she was Group HR Director.

She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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Joanna Smith

Joanna Smith

Chief Information Officer

Joanna is an accomplished international CIO. Having started her career in Pharmaceuticals, in HR then Sales & Marketing, she moved into IT in the mid 80’s and subsequently led large global programs alongside delivering IT services in Europe and Asia.

In more recent years she moved into Healthcare and was CIO at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust where she successfully delivered a large transformation program including the complete overall and replacement of their IT infrastructure and the introduction of a number of new critical clinical applications including digitising patient records, replacing an aging patient administration system and implementing a new electronic prescribing and medicines administration solution. She is a strong advocate for and an early adopter of cloud technologies.

In 2018 she joined Sidra in Qatar as CIO and delivered a major restructure of their IT organisation and the upgrade of their electronic patient record solution.

Since her return to the UK she has been providing consulting and advisory services including as interim CIO at Great Ormond Street Hospital and interim Group Chief Informatics Officer at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, where she played a key leadership role in their Epic EPR programme and led the development of their new Digital and Data strategies.

Alongside her interim CTIO role at StepChange she is also Digital Advisory Lead for Lexica and a member of Ideal Health Consulting’s Advisory Board.

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Gail Arkle

Gail Arkle

Director of Client Experience

Gail leads the charity’s Client Experience directorate, which covers the marketing, strategic relationships, business development and client journey functions.

With over 22 years’ experience working across both B-2-C and B-2-B audiences, she has successfully led Marketing and Business Development teams across a number of sectors, in the delivery of corporate and commercial strategies. Most notably, in leadership roles bidding for and delivering services to the public and charitable sectors.

She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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Phil Andrew

Phil Andrew

Chief Executive

Phil has over 30 years’ varied experience as Chair, CEO, CFO, NED and Treasurer in government owned organisations, blue-chip companies and charities in the UK, Ireland, Russia, France and the Far East.

Phil is a Chartered Accountant, qualified treasurer and Chartered Marketer.

Prior to joining StepChange in 2017, Phil was CEO of Working Links and prior to this CFO, Sodexo UK & Ireland and CEO, Sodexo Justice Services.

Over the last 15 years he has specialised in environments where social good is the primary objective but in environments requiring very high levels of commercial efficiency.

Phil is Vice-Chair of Raven Housing Association and Chair of the Marketors Trust.

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Vikki Brownridge

Vikki Brownridge

Director of Operations

Vikki leads the charity’s operational teams who provide debt advice and ongoing solution service provision for our clients across a number of sites and all jurisdictions in the UK.

She has worked at the charity for over 16 years in a number of senior leadership positions including Head of Debt Advice and Director of Client Experience.

Earlier in her career Vikki held leadership positions within outsourced providers and financial services organisations.

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