Our Board


Mike Merrick joined the Utmost Life and Pensions Board in March 2019, and is our Chairman.

Until mid-2022, Mike also held Non-Executive Director roles with Aegon UK, including being Chairman of Scottish Equitable within the Aegon Group, Senior Independent Director of Aegon UK, and a member of the Aegon UK Group Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees, as well as Chairman of the Risk Committees of both Scottish Equitable and Aegon UK.


Stephen Shone is CEO of Utmost Life and Pensions Limited, a role he has held since 2018. He joined Utmost Group in 2017 as CFO of Utmost Limited in the Isle of Man.

Stephen was Group Finance Director of Royal London from 1999 to 2013 during which time he was a key player in a number of acquisitions and funds under management increased from £6bn to £72bn. On leaving Royal London he joined Aviva plc as Managing Director of UK Existing Business. Prior to Royal London, Stephen was Group CFO of Irish Life plc.

Stephen is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants and worked for KPMG for the first nine years of his career.


Chief Actuary


Duncan Finch is a chartered accountant with over 20 years' experience in the financial services sector.

In his last executive role Duncan was Managing Director of Legal & General's Insurance division, responsible for a number of life and general insurance related businesses in both the UK and overseas. During his career Duncan has held a number of other executive roles with both Lloyds Bank and RSA, as well other independent non-executive director appointments in the financial services industry.


Lord Finkelstein OBE joined the Board in January 2020. A journalist and Conservative peer, Lord Finkelstein has been a columnist on The Times since 2001 and is a former executive editor, Chief Leader Writer and comment editor.

He is Chairman of the think tank, Onward, and has been a political adviser to the Conservative Party and to the Social Democratic Party. He was a non-executive Director at the Jewish Chronicle between 2011 and 2013. Lord Finkelstein holds an honorary Doctor of Science degree from City University.


Feilim Mackle joined the board in April 2020.

Feilim’s executive experience includes roles as CEO of Services, Dixons Carphone plc, Sales and Service Director at Telefonica UK (O2), Interim Chief Operating Officer at Resolution Ltd and Executive Director of Life and Pensions Operations at AEGON UK plc.

In 2003, he joined Royal Bank of Scotland as Managing Director, Retail Banking and previously worked for Standard Life for many years. More recently Feilim also served on the board of Macmillan Cancer Support, and chaired the Fundraising, Marketing and Communications Committee.

Feilim is also a Non-Executive Director of Ardonagh Group Limited.


David joined the ULP Board in October 2023, and is currently the Chief Risk Officer and a member of the Executive Management Committee of AXA UK and Ireland. He also currently Chairs the ABI’s Audit and Risk Committee.

An economist by background, David has held a variety of senior risk and compliance roles in both the private and public sector, including in Risk and Insurance Supervision at the Financial Services Authority. David was previously also a member of the Executive team at Pearl Group Ltd. Throughout his career, David has held several Non-Executive Board roles across regulated entities. David also spent the first 10 years of his career in International Development, including a three-year period as the Government’s Chief Economist in the Solomon Islands.


Paul Thompson is a co-founder and Group Chief Executive of Utmost Group plc.

Paul started his career as an investment banker specialising in financial institutions. In 2002 he joined the Britannic Group as Group Financial Director, and in 2003 was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer. Paul led the merger of the Britannic Group with Resolution I in 2005, and became Group Chief Executive Officer of the merged group. He was head of Pamplona Financial Services between 2008 and 2013, and in 2013 he co-founded the Utmost Group.


Ian Maidens is a co-founder and Group Chief Finance Officer of Utmost Group plc.

Ian is an actuary starting his career in life insurance and actuarial consultancy. He worked for Resolution I from the start in 2003. Following the merger of the Britannic Group with Resolution I in 2005, Ian became Chief Actuary & Head of Corporate Development and a board member. In 2008 Ian became founding partner of Resolution II, and led the activity to create the Friends Life Group. In 2013 he co-founded the Utmost Group.