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Money Advice Service appoints new chief exec

Caroline Rookes MAS Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service has appointed Department for Work and Pensions director of private pensions Caroline Rookes as its new chief executive replacing Tony Hobman.

Rookes (pictured) will be paid £140,000 a year, a significant drop from the £250,000 salary paid to her predecessor. Hobman received a total pay package of £350,000 including benefits, which FSA chairman Lord Turner admitted in June was set too high. Hobman resigned from the MAS in July, and will leave on 31 December.

Rookes will take up the role in the New Year. The appointment was made by the FSA and approved by the Treasury.

At the DWP Rookes has overseen the introduction of auto-enrolment and been responsible for the policy, legislation and regulation of the private pension regime and for its protection framework.

She has held a range of posts in social security including operations, policy and finance and has led a number of major benefit reviews. Rookes moved to the Inland Revenue in 1999 and held posts as director of charities and director of savings, pensions and share schemes. She also led a major simplification of the pension tax regime. Rookes moved to her current DWP post in 2005 and was awarded a CBE in 2010.

Money Advice Service chairman Gerard Lemos says: “I am delighted we have found someone of such calibre and experience as Caroline. She really understands people’s money needs. The board was highly impressed with her leadership skills, strategic thought, operational good sense and stakeholder management expertise. On its behalf I thoroughly look forward to working with her in the next phase of making the service even more relevant to people’s needs.”

Financial Conduct Authority chairman designate John Griffith-Jones says: “Caroline has highly relevant experience dealing with and understanding people’s financial needs.  I am sure she will help give the service a continuing strong focus on helping people to understand financial matters, thereby enhancing their ability to manage better their own affairs.”

Caroline Rookes says: “The MAS has a vital role to play in making the nation more financially capable.  It has begun the groundwork for this and I look forward to helping it make an even stronger impact on people’s lives and making good financial behaviour a desirable quality for all.”


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There are 17 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. David Trenner - Intelligent Pensions 23rd November 2012 at 10:02 am

    They are all C.Rookes and now its official

  2. David Cowell, Myddleton Croft 23rd November 2012 at 10:09 am

    So, like most of these people, she has no experience in providing financial advice. Here we go again.

  3. An organisation which has failed and continues to fail on a biblical scale by any measure !

    This would actually be quite funny if it wasnt so truly rediculous.

    A simple question springs to mind – WHY ?

  4. £140K a year for running a website!

  5. I think we need to be a bit more positive about things. The MAS has not been successful under the present incumbent. But Ms Rookes comes with a good track record. She has overseen autoenrolment which is a positive move for a large number of unpensioned people. If she is a visionary it may mean that MAS sets clearly defined objectives and may stand a chance of making a difference. Let’s hope that she does interact with the advisor community and the CAB to identify what does need to be done. We will then be able to judge whether there is likely to be a difference.

  6. A very expensive website. 1.3 million have used it and the money advice service get 78 million a year. It’ll probably be cheaper to pay the 1.3 million peoples debt for them.

  7. Whilst I thought David’s pun was clever, I say give Caroline a chance. The aims of the service are sound. It wasn’t delivering before so here’s a wonderful opportunity to get it right.

  8. I am sure she will help give the service a continuing strong focus on helping people to understand financial matters, thereby enhancing their ability to manage better their own affairs.”
    And therefore have no need to use an IFA!

  9. Why would you recruit a new CEO to an organisation that is about to go through a thorough review of its budget and function? Unless of course you already knew what the outcome of that review was going to be.

    This is a nonsense organisation that needs to be closed down now or funded by Government (they are the only ones who think it has any value) rather than remaining a further drain on a hard pressed sector

  10. Wasn`t , isn`t and will never be “fit for purpose”, funded by the people who`s interests have not been taken into account and set up by Gods own QUANGO the FSA. Every time I explain the MAS to ordinary folk they just break down laughing and ask me why we are funding it! I have no answer.

  11. Another civil servant who likely has no grasp on the real world or cost effectively running a business.

    Agree with Nick, close MAS down now. It’ll never work unless they recruit individuals from the private sector with experience of money and running a proper business – of course that won’t happen.

  12. Nick I am with you. This is very bad news as it means thatthey are NOT going to dump it in its rightful place – Room 101.

  13. She’s probably leraving the DWP to get away from that buffoon MacHoban

  14. I’m director of wonderful and brilliant things. Gis a job. What has this person actually made, sold, advised on in the real world please?

  15. If that money is spent on training young graduates as advisers and reduce the costs to networks and intermediaries, the Public will get much better value? MAS should be disbanded by the FSA or Government and the money used better? How can this industry accept an organisation like that? We need leaders who can stand up and tell the Government when it goes wrong?

  16. RegulatorSaurusRex 23rd November 2012 at 3:31 pm

    This is the most disorganized chaos imaginable, if the great unwashed do actually read all this news it can’t give them much confidence can it?

    On another point, I was hoping that the MAS advisers on the ground would not profit from their position, I know £20k isn’t much of a wage but imagine how many leads you could produce if you had your wits about you.

  17. Presumably the old incumbent has been given a year’s pay to go (a la BBC)? That seems to be the general reward for failure.

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