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Money Advice Trust chief executive to step down later in 2023

Joanna Elson CBE appointed chief executive of Independent Age

Posted June 16, 2023

Joanna Elson CBE has announced today that she will be stepping down as chief executive of the Money Advice Trust in early September, after 17 years leading the debt advice charity. Joanna will take up a new role as chief executive of Independent Age, the charity focused on financial hardship in later life.

Since her appointment in 2006, Joanna has led the Money Advice Trust to become a successful and highly regarded provider of free, impartial debt advice for people struggling with problem debt.

The Money Advice Trust was recently successful in winning major new debt advice contracts from the Money and Pensions Service, with three-year funding. The charity’s National Debtline and Business Debtline services will help 440,000 people over the next three years through the new contracts.

The Trust will commence its search for a new chief executive as soon as possible. During the period between Joanna’s departure and the permanent appointment of a new CEO, the Trust’s chief operating officer David Cheadle will assume the role of Acting Chief Executive, working closely with Jane Tully as Acting Deputy Chief Executive.

Joanna Elson CBE said:

“I feel humbled to have had the opportunity to lead such as a dedicated team of colleagues at the Money Advice Trust, who work tirelessly to help people in financial difficulty. Over the last 17 years this extraordinary charity has risen to meet challenge after challenge facing the people we help – the financial crisis and its aftermath, a global pandemic and more recently the cost of living crisis.

“Ensuring access to information, advice and support for people in financial difficulty is more critical than it has ever been. That’s why I am excited to remain focused on these issues as I join Independent Age later this year.

“While I will be sad to leave the Trust, I know my talented colleagues will continue to ensure the charity goes from strength to strength as a leading force in debt advice provision.”

Adam Sharples CB, outgoing Chair of the Money Advice Trust, said:

“Joanna is leaving the Money Advice Trust in an exceptionally strong position, and the Trustees are extremely grateful to her for her outstanding leadership of the charity over more than half of its existence. Joanna can be proud of the organisation she has built and led in that time, which has had a life-changing impact on so many people across the UK.”

Christine Farnish CBEincoming Chair of the Money Advice Trust, said:

“Thanks to Joanna’s leadership we can move forward confident that we can help even more people in future. This is important, as good debt advice has never been more crucial. We will start the recruitment process for a new Chief Executive shortly.”

“In the meantime, the people we help and our many partner organisations can rest assured that it will be business as usual. I am delighted that David Cheadle and Jane Tully will assume new roles as Acting Chief Executive and Acting Deputy Chief Executive from September – as our exceptional executive team continues its important work.”

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