Our Board


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

Mike also holds Non-Executive Director roles with Aegon UK, 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.


Jeremy Deeks is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years' experience in the financial services sector, specialising in Life Insurance and Asset Management.

Before joining Utmost Life and Pensions Jeremy worked for Prudential plc for over 18 years, latterly as CFO of the UK & Europe Insurance business. Prior to this, Jeremy held various senior Finance roles including as Director of Financial Planning & Analysis for the Prudential group. Jeremy trained with Deloitte and went on to become a Senior Manager, specialising in Assurance and Advisory work to the Insurance sector.


Duncan Finch is a chartered accountant with a 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. Duncan now holds a number of 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.


Vicky joined the Board in January 2022 and will chair the Risk and Compliance Committee. Vicky is a non-executive director and board advisor following a career establishing and leading risk, compliance and assurance functions in financial services firms including AEGON UK, AXA UK and the Police Mutual Group. Her experience working with boards spans FTSE 100 companies, public and private companies as well as start-ups.

Vicky’s non-executive portfolio includes the First Sentier Investors EMEA Group of companies, Sesame Bankhall Group, where she chairs the Risk and Compliance Committee, Specialist Risk Group, with a role as Chair of the Risk and Audit Committee, and, until 2020, private bankers Hampden & Co where she also chaired the Risk and Audit Committee.


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.