This week I spent 2 days in Bournemouth with the Chief Execs of 5 other building societies and 14 of our staff on the final session of our Achievers Academy, which was set up to help develop our own business leaders of the future. Over the past 12 months this group has undertaken a range of tasks and heard from various guest speakers on topics which can be broadly grouped under a leadership-development heading. It's been hugely enjoyable spending time with ambitious and dedicated people, so keen to learn more about how our mutual businesses can continue to thrive .The logic behind the Achievers Academy is that small, local building societies are distinguished by the quality of our people and the service they deliver.
Tomorrow I have the privilege of presenting the prizes to the winning runners in the Potters Arf Marathon which the Hanley is sponsoring this year, for the 3rd consecutive year. Some of our staff will be amongst the 1500 runners and several more will be around the course encouraging all the participants. The logic behind this sponsorship is that we want to demonstrate our commitment to our local community and be associated with such a successful, local event.
I guess, at a time when liquidity, capital , regulation, funding and low mortgage demand are the dominant features of everyday business life, these 2 events could be viewed as softer priorities . But they're really important to the Hanley and to our determination to carve a distinctive niche in an overcrowded financial services marketplace. They're also great fun.