Ben CEO David Main Announces Retirement

  • David Main steps down after 7 years with BEN
  • Zara Ross, from the St Monica Trust in Bristol, named as new Chief Executive

David Main, Chief Executive of BEN, has today announced he is to retire from the organisation in July 2016.

David has led BEN’s Executive Management Board since 2009, and has been instrumental in its progress. He is credited with overseeing the restructure and expansion of the Support Services function, enabling BEN to help many more people from the automotive sector – and their dependents – with a broad range of support and care needs.

Robin Woolcock, President and Chair of the Board of Trustees at BEN, said: “It is no exaggeration to say David has been the major driving force behind the success and transformation of BEN in recent years.”

“His financial background has proved invaluable as BEN transitioned from its 100-year-old legacy to the modern multi-faceted, not for profit organisation we are today. These achievements would not have been possible without David’s business acumen and extensive experience across many different market sectors, putting in place measures to make us far more financially durable and securing our long-term stability.”

David leaves BEN in July, and says his tenure has seen big changes, including the development of the new, award-winning integrated Lynwood Care Centre and Retirement Village: “I am very proud of overseeing the work at Lynwood. This integrated facility answers a real need for the wider community, and is a model I firmly believe will become more common in the future, helping solve problems of isolation, loneliness and ongoing care for the elderly.

“It was fantastic to be a part of the design and build of this new complex and to see the positive effect it has had on our residents and care team.”

David started his career with the Dunlop Group where he qualified as an accountant, before moving to the BOC Group, where in 1977 he became Chief Accountant of its medical devices business and then moved into a business development role. Following a merger, David moved to New Jersey in the 1980’s to establish the new corporate HQ for the enlarged healthcare group.

Returning to the UK, David became Chief Financial Officer for the Group’s Medical Sales and Distribution activities outside of North America, and was then appointed Managing Director of BOC’s UK Medical Equipment business in 1990.

David left BOC in 1994 to become Managing Director of a clinical software business before taking the role of Chief Executive in a professional services firm, where he led two mergers, doubling the size of the firm.

David joined the Civil Service Benevolent Fund in 2003 as Chief Executive and after six years in this role, was recruited to join BEN as Chief Executive. As well as the development of the new facilities at Lynwood, more latterly David appointed a new senior management team, and oversaw the refocusing of its Support Services.

Changes include the new Four Pillars framework, launched in 2015 to highlight more clearly the key areas in which BEN can help people: Financially Fit, Mentally Fit, Socially Fit and Physically Fit.

David said: “People in the automotive industry seemed to know who BEN was, but were often not so sure about what BEN did. We set up the Four Pillars to clearly explain the reach of our Care and Support Services, and how we can help. We wanted to show that while our care centres are a large part of what we do, we offer a lot more to support those in need across the automotive industry, and I am very proud to have been a part of this initiative.”

David has served in a voluntary capacity in a charity supporting the rehabilitation of ex- offenders and as a trustee of a care homes charity. His career has spanned a number of different industries and sectors and he plans to use the experience he has gained to take up several advisory roles during his retirement.

David added: “My work at BEN has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I will certainly miss my colleagues and our residents at BEN, but am fully confident I am leaving the organisation in very good hands. The experience and focus of our highly skilled senior management team will certainly lead to great things for BEN in the future.”

BEN has appointed Zara Ross as the new Chief Executive Officer, due to take office following David’s retirement in July.

Zara joins the organisation from her current role as Director of Transformation & Development with the St Monica Trust in Bristol and has a wealth of experience in the care sector. She has been responsible for the development and management of a number of new care services for children, families and people with disabilities in Scotland and was Head of Care and Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development with the St Monica Trust.

Robin Woolcock added: “We are all thrilled to have Zara on board and warmly welcome her to the BEN family.

“I would like to take the opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to David Main for the outstanding work he has done in navigating BEN through the significant transformation we have seen in the past few years. BEN truly is a totally different organisation from the one David joined.”

Sign up to hear more from Ben