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Insurance leader Matthew Wilson to be next chair of trustees of Blood Cancer UK

1st Dec 2023 - Edward Pinches

Blood Cancer UK will appoint insurance leader, and advisor to Fairfax Financial and Lloyd’s of London, Matthew Wilson as its next chair of trustees. Matthew, who has been appointed after a robust, independent recruitment process, will formally start his role in early 2024, as current chair John Ormerod’s term comes to an end after 5 years in post.

Man smiling in a suit

Matthew Wilson is to be Blood Cancer UK's next chair of trustees


Matthew will lead the board at a time when the charity has ambitious plans to triple the amount of money invested into blood cancer research, as well as raise awareness of the condition, which is the third biggest cancer killer in the UK.

Matthew is an advocate for all blood cancers, diseases that affect 270,000 people in the UK alone. Since its formation over 50 years ago, the charity has invested £500m in research that has transformed the lives of people affected. Yet sadly, 40,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with blood cancer every year.

Matthew was a leader at Brit Insurance from 1999 to 2022, becoming Group CEO in 2018. He was pivotal in creating its inclusive, innovative and underwriting-centric culture. He was also the Chairman of Ki Insurance and served on the Boards of Brit Limited, Brit Syndicates Limited and Ki Financial.

In 2021, Matthew Wilson was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. He stepped down from Brit in 2022 following his treatment, and later that year founded the Matthew Wilson Multiple Myeloma fund for Blood Cancer UK. Since its launch, the fund has raised over £3 million from the many people and organisations touched by Matthew’s story. As Chair, Matthew has no decision-making power over where the money from the fund is allocated and it continues to raise money for new research projects.

Blood Cancer UK followed Charity Commission guidance, to determine there was no conflict of interest surrounding Matthew's appointment and vice-chair of the board Tim Gillbank welcomed him to the organisation, saying:
“John Ormerod has been an energetic chair and leaves our charity in a strong position to continue its aim: to eliminate deaths from blood cancer. In a very strong field of candidates, Matthew stood out during a robust recruitment process. The board of trustees is delighted that Matthew will join the organisation, bringing his proven leadership as well as his personal experience of blood cancer to help deliver our ambitious plans.”

It’s an honour to be stepping into the role of chair of trustees at Blood Cancer UK."

- Matthew Wilson

Wilson said:
"As someone with blood cancer, I know the importance that hope has in our community. Hope comes from knowing that Blood Cancer UK is working tirelessly to fund lifesaving research into all types of blood cancer.

“I’m passionate about delivering for everyone affected, having benefited myself from years of scientific research. Blood Cancer UK has an ambitious target, but one I firmly believe we can reach with a fantastic team. I hope my story and experience of the disease, coupled with leadership skills and experience fundraising, will help steer the charity over the years to come.”

Helen Rowntree, Chief Executive of Blood Cancer UK, said:
“I’m excited to continue to lead Blood Cancer UK under Matthew’s guidance and support, and to deliver on the commitments made in our strategy. He is deeply passionate for the future of Blood Cancer UK and together we will work hard to find new treatments and get to a day where no lives are lost from any blood cancer.”


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