Maria Darby-WalkerSenior Non-Executive Director – Senior Leadership Team & Board
“The Personal Group culture and values are what really drew me to the business. Our mission of protecting the vulnerable really resonates with me. I am proud to be a part of an organisation that encourages, supports and enables employers to look after the financial health and wellbeing of their workforce, no matter what they do or where they are.”
Maria joined Personal Group as Non-Executive Director in June 2019 and is Chair of the Remuneration Committee.
Maria began her career in financial services and became a Partner and Board Director of consumer financial PR agency Lansons, where she launched the Churchill Insurance brand and helped to grow this over a 10-year period. She then joined Barclays as the Group PR Director before joining aerospace company Rolls-Royce as Financial PR Director, overseeing the Group’s centenary celebrations and responsible for investor and media relations.
In 2005 she started her own consultancy, advising the Boards of leading brand names on business-critical issues including mergers and acquisitions, crisis management, brand and reputation, ESG, equality and diversity, and financial regulation. With a strong focus on managing risk and reputation, she helps businesses to develop their narrative, engage with stakeholders, bring in new customers, grow their brands and increase their value. The household names on her client list include: The Financial Conduct Authority, The Investment Association, Unum, Iglo / Birds Eye, Cadbury and Rio Tinto amongst others.
Beyond her technical and industry qualifications, Maria is also an excellent networker and influencer with extensive business relationships; a qualified leadership coach and mentor, she also counsels Boards on organisational change, culture and leadership. She was nominated by Cranfield School of Management as one of the ‘top 100 Women to Watch’ in 2018.