Press release

BSA & Loughborough University's School of Business and Economics launch first Masters for customer-owned financial firms

6 October 2015

The Building Societies Association (BSA) and the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University today launch the first UK Masters programme geared specifically for those who work in a customer-owned/mutual financial services firm.

The three year MSc in Leadership and Management includes all of the elements that would be in a standard business school Masters on this topic, such as: Leading & Managing People, Corporate Governance and modules on Financial, Operations and Marketing Management, Strategy and Planning. But, unlike a more conventional business school Masters - which focus almost exclusively on operating in a PLC/shareholder owned business structure - woven throughout will be the practical, cultural and ethical approach required to lead a modern mutual.

A total of 26 staff drawn from 17 building societies of all sizes have signed up to the three year part-time programme with the support of their societies. Students will spend between 12 and 14 days a year, across four modules, at the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University as well as undertaking significant personal study. They will be supported both by the Loughborough tutors and a mentor within their own society.

Commenting, BSA Chief Executive, Robin Fieth said: "The rigour with which a building society has to be led and managed is no different to that of a PLC. But customer-owned businesses take a different approach to how they operate and make decisions. Their focus is not on maximising shareholder value, but on delivering real and sustainable value to current and future generations of members. Profit is important for growth, strength and stability but it's about making enough rather than going for the maximum. This programme provides the rigour and focus to develop the mutual leaders of tomorrow."

Speaking at the programme Induction, Alison Robb, Group Director, People, Customer, Communication and Commercial at Nationwide said: "Nationwide is a people business which thrives on staff talent. This means we are serious about continually investing in the growth of the individual talent we already have in our business, as well as bringing in new skills and perspectives from outside. I'm excited about this programme as for the first time we have a Masters purpose-built for modern financial mutuals, building societies and others."

Martin Reason, CEO of the Melton Building Society, said: "For a smaller society like the Melton, this ground-breaking programme allows us to broaden our talent management capability and supports the identification of future leaders in the building society sector."

Professor Stewart Robinson, Acting Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University said: "This is a unique and exciting joint initiative. It is designed to equip participants with the skills needed to meet the strategic and management challenges they face in an environment where competition and regulation are constantly increasing. The School has considerable expertise in delivering professional development programmes and a well-established reputation in the analysis and support of the mutual sector. We look forward to delivering this Masters programme in conjunction with the BSA and welcoming our new students onto campus for their induction programme."


Press Contacts:

BSA Hilary McVitty
07507 837 326

Nationwide Building Society Anne Huggett

01793 655199

Loughborough University Vicki Unwin

Ondine Barry

07816 977 643

07947 3752 452

Notes to Editors:

1. The BSA is the trade association for all 44 UK Building Societies and three Credit Unions Between them they serve over 20 million customers across the UK.  Currently building societies deliver over half (57%) of all net new mortgage lending.  They provided mortgages to 189,000 home buyers in the first half of this year, 29% of the total mortgage market.    

2. The School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University (SBE)
SBE research is comprehensive in scope and very highly regarded by academics and practitioners alike, with 75% of our output considered 'world-leading' or 'internationally relevant' (and 100% of our Information Management research rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'), according to the REF 2014 results. The SBE is also in the top 1% of business schools in the world to hold AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditation, underpinning the School's commitment to enhancing its international reputation and relevance.



Hilary McVitty

Head of External Affairs

Tel: 0207 520 5926

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