David Austin to retire as Managing Director of Hodge

David has been a great ambassador for Hodge for the best part of 28 years, first as Finance Director, and for the last 20 years as Managing Director. In that time Hodge has grown significantly, increasing its assets from £70m in 1990 to £1,846 million today.

Commenting on his retirement, David Austin said:

“The past 27 years at Hodge have been immensely rewarding. I’m delighted to say Hodge is stronger than ever and I’m proud that the business supports thousands of customers every day across various businesses. Through the work of the Hodge Foundation, the impact of Hodge’s success has been shared with many charities supporting a variety of causes. I’m confident Hodge will continue to flourish and I will be working with the Board to ensure a smooth handover to my successor”.

Adrian Piper, Chairman of Hodge said:

“Working alongside David as Managing Director has been a privilege. His experience and knowledge of the group has been invaluable to me personally, and to the Board. David is widely respected across the organisation and has been instrumental in building Hodge to be the strong and successful business it is today. We wish David well in his upcoming retirement, but will continue to benefit from his leadership until his successor is appointed and handover complete.”

The Board has engaged Odgers Berndtson to support the search for a new CEO. Whilst the search is ongoing, it is business as usual for Hodge, continuing to offer great products and services to both existing and new customers across its key markets of commercial lending, lending into retirement and savings.


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Hodge reports record results

Hodge Bank, which specialises in commercial and later life lending recorded pre-tax profits of £22.8 million, driven primarily by excellent new business and fee levels in commercial lending. Net interest income rose by 97% to £13.2 million and net operating income from trading activities rose by 86% to £14.3 million. Hodge Life Assurance Company, which offers equity release and annuities under the Hodge Lifetime brand, made £27.4 million pre-tax, resulting from strong trading underpinned by a significant increase in pension annuity new business premiums which were 61% up on the previous year. Group total assets exceeded £1.9 billion at the end of the financial year. Keith James, Chairman of both companies said: “It has been a tremendous year. Following the business’ move to One Central Square last September, and its rebrand to trade under the Hodge name, the group’s result has been underpinned by a record performance in both of our main businesses, and we have created a very strong platform for future growth” David Austin, Group Managing Director noted: “We are very proud of our 2016 results, and I’m grateful to our staff who have played an important part in this achievement. Nevertheless, we enter 2017 with a degree of caution. The adoption of a new financial reporting regime has meant that market factors such as interest rates and house prices have a much greater influence on the reported outcome than previously, and whilst the effect has been favourable in 2016, our results will inevitably be more volatile in future. However, the fundamentals underpinning our business remain strong and I have no doubt we can deal with the vagaries of market movements as they occur.” The success of the Hodge group has enabled dividends to be paid to The Hodge Foundation, a charity supporting welfare, medical, academic and religious causes which owns 79% of the Hodge group. By helping its customers to achieve their goals and being successful in its own right, the group assists the Foundation in meeting its charitable objectives.

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Respected City economist Roger Bootle to give annual Julian Hodge lecture

As the UK continues to digest the potential ramifications of Brexit, Mr Bootle will look across the Channel at the broader issues affecting our near neighbours in his lecture entitled “The Future of Europe”. Roger Bootle is the founder and chairman of Capital Economics, one of the world’s largest economics consultancies. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee. Roger is a regular columnist for The Daily Telegraph. Roger has written several books, including his widely acclaimed latest, The Trouble with Europe, which examines how the EU needs to be reformed and what could take its place if it fails to change. It follows The Trouble with Markets, Money for Nothing and the prophetic The Death of Inflation, published in 1996. In July 2012 Roger and a team from Capital Economics won the Wolfson Prize. The Julian Hodge Institute of Applied Macroeconomics was established 17 years ago in association with Cardiff Business School. Its aim is to carry out research into the UK economy and the UK’s relationship with other European economies. Its director is Professor Patrick Minford of Cardiff Business School, who is also the economic adviser to the Hodge group. This year’s lecture takes place in Cardiff on 10th May.

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The Hodge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Immunology

The new five year partnership will establish The Hodge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Immunology and bring together leading experts in both neuroscience and immunology. The Centre will facilitate collaboration between Cardiff University’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute and Systems Immunity Research Institute under the leadership of their respective directors, Professor Jeremy Hall and Professor Paul Morgan. It’s expected that the virtual Centre’s focus on the immune system will help gain a better understanding of why disabling conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia develop and which factors cause them to progress. “We are extremely grateful to the Hodge Foundation for their generous donation,” said Professor Jeremy Hall, Director of Cardiff University’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute. “Sadly, for many diseases like Alzheimer’s there have been few recent advances in treatment and no new drugs, whilst treatments that do exist are limited and often associated with unpleasant side effects. “However, we do know that changes in our immune system is a factor in the development of brain disorders but more work is needed to explore this fully…” The Hodge Foundation supports medical research, principally in the areas of cancer and mental health, through the provision of grants to universities, medical institutions and research charities. Jonathan Hodge, Chair of the Hodge Foundation, said: “As a Foundation, we are truly proud to support the world leading research taking place at Cardiff University. “We have already seen our support produce tangible benefits in key areas of public health. Now Cardiff’s strengths in both neuroscience and immunology put them in an excellent position to make a rapid step change in their knowledge in this field and open up the hugely exciting possibility of new treatments for patients. “We are delighted to play a part in this.” The £1m donation from the Hodge Foundation will fund a Senior Fellowship which will help attract some of the very best young researchers already working in neuropsychiatric immunology to Wales. It will also fund six Hodge Foundation PhDs, five pilot research studies and seed funding for innovative new ideas. The Centre will also host a series of public lectures. Professor Paul Morgan, Director of Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute added: “The link between the immune system and brain disorders has long been suspected and offers the potential for a new route to developing treatments for those at risk of developing these conditions. “The Centre is an extremely important development as it will mean that we have a real opportunity to put the immune system at the centre stage of our understanding…” Major mental health disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia are estimated to cost the UK economy over £37bn per year. They continue to place a significant burden on patients and their relatives through reduced quality of life, increased physical illness and disability, lost employment, discrimination and isolation.

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