Mukesh Malhotra (Chair)

For over 30 years, Mukesh has played a role in the international corporate world in areas such as Risk, Audit, Compliance and Business Management, with such prestigious names as British Airways.
In more recent years, he has undertaken several, largely non-executive, roles with pension funds and within the Third Sector. Mukesh has a Master’s Degree in Management & IT, and also holds a specialist qualification of CISM – Certified Information Security Manager – issued by ISACA. With particular skills and experience in asset allocation and strategy, he has also acted as Chair of a Local Pension Panel which managed a fund selection in excess of £1.2 billion.
He has also presided as Chair to many charities and Third Sector organisations. In his “downtime”, through his involvement with the Hounslow Rotary, he has co-founded a project called “Rotary World’s Greatest Meal to Help End Polio”, which has helped to save over 16.5 Million children from Polio. He had been a Councillor & the Deputy Mayor Of The London Borough of Hounslow during 2017/18. He is married with three children, he has also become a grandfather of three.

Sarah Gardner (Vice Chair)

Educated to masters degree level Sarah is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

She holds an array of specialist qualifications including project management, marketing and change management.

Currently working as a Project and Improvement Manager. Sarah specializes in project and change management and has previous work experience in marketing, and has worked as an investigator.

Sarah is a mum of two, a school governor and is also a commissioned army officer (ACF) who has volunteered for over 13 years and has been awarded a Cadet Forces Medal.

In her free time, Sarah likes writing books and working on design projects.

As well as Vice Chair, Sarah is the Homeware lead for Thamesbank and also sits on the strategy working group.

Steve Laffey (Treasurer)

Steve has been the treasurer of Thames Bank Credit Union for just over a year. Professionally, Steve is a project manager and chartered engineer with nearly 40 years of experience in the oil and gas processing industries. He has a MBA from Warwick Business School and a Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance, coupled with strong commercial awareness and genuine business acumen.

He is also a member of the Honorary Treasurers Forum and well versed in the application of risk management.

He is married with three children and spends his spare time target shooting and keeping fit by cycling, Pilates and swimming.

Paul Oppe (Secretary)

Paul OppePaul has 35 years of business experience with large British and America multi-nationals. Roles include: financial systems management; internal auditor; project and programme management. Last formal employment was the re-organisation of London Borough of Ealing Adult Social Services to meet the new Personalisation Agenda.

Paul is very involved in Athletics with Thames Valley Harriers. A past Chair and team manager he is currently coaching middle and long-distance athletes, including Internationals and recently the Pole Vault.

Paul was Chair of Governors at Green Dragon J & I schools for many years.

Paul is married with three children and two grandchildren.

Pernille Holtedahl (Director)

Pernille has a Ph.D. in economics and over 20 years of experience as a consultant and advisor to private and public-sector clients in the areas of environment, energy, and sustainable development. Originally from Norway, she has worked and travelled extensively internationally but is now a happy resident in Richmond-upon-Thames! Prior to joining the board of Thamesbank in March 2018, she served on the board of Christ’s School and Sixth Form in Richmond for four years. She is also on the advisory board of the Hawthorn Club, a network promoting women’s careers in the energy industry. She is passionate about the role credit unions can play in providing access to ethical financing solutions, and a fairer and more equal world.

Nic Dowler (Director)

Nic has a BA in Business Studies and has over 30 years banking experience specialising in leveraged finance and change management. Latterly he held a number of senior management roles at an international bank in the City. He has been a resident in Richmond-Upon-Thames for over 35 years and has recently been appointed a Trustee of Richmond Council for Voluntary Services. He is also a school governor and Treasurer of the local SW London SSAFA (the Armed Forces charity) Branch.

Recently retired Nic hopes to bring his banking knowledge and experience to Thamesbank as he believes that credit unions will have an increasingly important role to play in allowing people who have previously been financially disadvantaged to access the banking system in a fair and ethical way. In his free time Nic likes to watch a wide variety of sports.

Carys Haf Davies (Director)

Carys works in London’s insurance industry specialising in marketing and sales. She is an avid communicator and coordinates and takes an active role to implement multi-channel marketing strategies.

Keen on developing her understanding of the wider financial industries, her position as board member ThamesBank Credit Union will oversee raising the organisations profile in align with its goals and business objectives.

Carys graduated with 2:1 (Hons) Fine Arts degree in 2011. Following that she pursued a career in the city’s Finance sector. Her creativity lends itself well to writing and she has successfully held various Marketing roles in that capacity.

Arts continue to interest Carys in her spare time. She occasionally exhibits her paintings when the opportunity arises, most recently her work was seen at Canary Wharf Windows Gallery. She also regularly volunteers for local arts and heritage.

Farida Aslam

Farida works for the London Borough of Hounslow as the Financial Inclusion Manager and Welfare Reform Lead.

Prior to joining Hounslow, Farida worked in Wales in a variety of roles within the private voluntary and public sector. With a background of over 20 years in Social Housing and having trained as a legal advisor in Social Welfare Law, Farida has managed advice services and has been responsible for strategic financial inclusion and anti-poverty work serving communities in Wales and more recently in Hounslow.

She was a Welsh Government Ministerial appointee prior to joining Hounslow and sat on the Welsh Governments Financial Inclusion strategy delivery group. Farida was also a longstanding member of the Chartered Institute of Housing Wales and recently stepped down from this role.

Farida is also currently a public appointee and sits as a lay member of the Social Care Wales fitness to practice hearing for Social Workers, Registered Care Practice Managers and Domiciliary Care Workers in Wales.

Farida holds a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) and is passionate about making a difference. Being an active public servant and citizen to this end, Farida has held a variety of other voluntary roles such as a school parent Governor and Vice Chair of the Welsh Government anti-poverty programme Communities First in a LSOA in Cardiff; has been a member of a women’s domestic abuse charity; the Chair and member of the Wales Community Coalition; and is a Parton to the Fatima Zenab Welfare Society Pakistan.

Farida also held a non-executive director role at GUAC and represented her previous employers as a registered social landlord on that board. GUAC is a lobbying organisation which help social landlord promote employment and employability opportunities for those residing social housing.

Farida thus has a keen interest in Governance and was trained as part of a Women Lead the Board campaign to increase the number of women on boards. She holds a qualification in Governance and is a member of the Association of Governance Practitioners.

Farida also sits on the Funding and Marketing sub-committees on the Thamesbank Credit Union Board and has an active interest in the customer experience.

Hilary Ellwood

Hilary was trained and worked as a Primary class and Head teacher in London schools for over 30 years. In her spare time she volunteered on the Management Committees of emerging Housing Co-operatives across Southern England, particularly West London, working to bring empty properties back into use as family or shared houses. On retirement from education, she picked up her voluntary interest in co-operative organisation, working to support housing co-operatives and develop grassroots community activities. One of these community activities became Thamesbank Credit Union. She oversaw the training of the first prospective Board members, applied for the first registration with the FSA and still continues to provide the volunteer Board with basic administration support.

Hilary also belongs to a local choir, regularly attends West End and local theatre productions, is an active gym member and, these days, is able to develop her interest in different cultures and languages by visiting other countries.