HFMA's team of executive coaches share a passion for supporting and challenging you to perform at your very best. They have held senior leadership positions in organisations like yours and know what it takes to achieve the results and improvements you desire.

With a range of expertise, including extensive NHS board level finance experience and commercial business experience outside the NHS, they offer a totally confidential service external to your organisation. HFMA coaches take part in regular supervision to continuously improve their skills and knowledge.

"Finding some protected time, time that I initially thought I didn't have, has always saved time in the long run."

Letsie Tilley
HFMA executive coach

Elaine Sutton


Elaine has been working as a coach and leadership development consultant for over 20 years. She provides coaching services to leaders, managers and professionals in large, complex organisations in both the private and public sectors. The core common theme is often around transition as clients move into a more strategic leadership role. Elaine is a full member of the Association for Coaching, member of the British Psychological Society, has an ILM certificate in coaching and is licensed to use a range of psychometrics. She is currently working towards the Ashridge Diploma in Executive Coaching.

Style:People coached by Elaine often describe her style as an “expert mix of challenge and support” through which they “achieve their goals surprisingly quickly.”
Her purpose as a leadership coach is to support clients to develop real, measurable and sustainable results.  Her particular area of focus is to help people understand the system in which they work, the networks and relationships they need to navigate and to enable them to take up their leadership role effectively.

Chris Brown

Experience: Chris is a former NHS Director of Finance/ Deputy Chief Executive with a deep understanding of the issues affecting Finance professionals in the NHS. He is also an experienced coach and mentor offering services tailor-made to the needs of NHS Finance people. Chris's coaching skills were recognised in the Coaching Academy's inaugural International Coach of the Year Awards when he was awarded runner up in the Executive Coaching category. As his reputation among that community is vitally important to him, he can only maintain and enhance this through consistently delivering excellent service

Style: Examples of comments from his clients have been:

"The best part.....- hands down- was working with Chris Brown. He gave me just the friendly 'kick' I needed to help me land a DoF job way quicker than I ever expected."

"Working with Chris has been the best personal development experience I have ever had"

"Chris has a style that makes me people feel at ease instantly" 

Jonathan Bowyer

Experience: Jonathan is an independent coach, trainer and facilitator with over 30 years’ experience of helping people and organisations to develop and grow. He has held senior management roles including marketing, operations and HR in one of Europe’s largest outdoor education centres. Jonathan is an experienced coach with a post graduate certificate in executive coaching and is a regular trainer of coaches and mentors. He has considerable experience in many different sectors. In the health and social care sector he has worked in primary, acute, tertiary, mental health and community care as well as commissioning organisations, a Royal College and a national palliative care organisation. His coaching clients include senior managers, clinicians and finance professionals in the NHS.

Style: Jonathan’s training as a coach has been heavily influenced by the Solutions Focus approach. He aims to build rapport quickly, with a friendly and relaxed approach. He aims to find the most productive level of challenge and to encourage coachees to think creatively and make firm decisions.

Pamela Dyson

Experience: Pam is a freelance consultant who works with a wide variety of people, places and possibilities to facilitate the creation of sustainable futures. Using structured, focused conversation she collaborates to enable the development of strategic thought, motivation, commitment and resilience. 
A qualified accountant (FCCA and CIPFA) and Chartered Manager with a Masters degree in Management learning, Pam has over 30 years' experience of the NHS, much of it leading the national Finance Staff Development Programme. 
She served as a Public Governor for the North West Ambulance Service for four years and is an active, passionate member of the HFMA Environmental Sustainability Group. 
Pam understands the business context and professional environment of the NHS Finance Function and the impact of the issues that arise. She also has a diverse background across the wider UK accountancy profession. Currently Vice Chair of the ACCA Health Sector Panel, she is also a Past President and lifelong ambassador for the AAT   

Style: Pam is an experienced mentor and coach who works with individuals to initiate a long term, sustainable approach to professional development strategy by: identifying goals and expectations; exploring the gap between potential and existing performance; helping to create a wider view of context, perspectives, opportunities, resources and potential outcomes; enabling the development of plans for change and related actions; reviewing progress and evaluating outcomes.

Paul Miller

Experience: Paul started working in the NHS in 1983 and is a trained and experienced coach, as well as having over 25 years experience on NHS Boards in both England and Wales, including 5 years as a Chief Executive, 16 years as a Director of Finance, 3 years as a Director of Strategy and most recently over one year as a Non Executive Director in Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. He retired from the NHS in 2018 and since then he has developed a wide range of interests which all complement his coaching role. As well as being a Non Executive Director, these interests include being a tutor on HFMA Academy Leadership and Personal Effectiveness module “MBA” qualification, supporting the Future Focused Finance Best Possible Value (BPV) programme, as well delivering a wide variety of training and development activities for the NHS and Local Government.

Style: His aim is get you to "be the best that you can be”, in achieving this goal his style tends to be reflective, facilitative and constructively supportive. That said he will challenge you to think differently and to achieve this he will draw on his coaching skills, 36 years NHS experience, as well as his academic background. 

Arnold PalmerArnold Palmer

Experience: Arnold has over 20 years’ experience in the NHS including 13 years as a Finance Director. He is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant’s (ACCA), a fellow since 1985. He successfully delivered a £26m CIP Programme; has been project director for a £30m hospital rebuilding programme and improved a Trust’s financial risk rating from 3 to 4. Arnold is an experienced coach who has worked with: non-executive directors; newly appointed CCG chief finance officers; senior qualified accountants; staff studying for professional qualifications and senior clinical staff.

Style: His coaching sessions begin by gaining a clear focus for the goals for the programme. He uses questioning and listening to encourage clients to reflect on the barriers to achieving their goals. His relaxed coaching style is supported by a structured process of contracting; building wider understanding; analysis; action planning; implementation and review.

Iain CrossleyIan Crossley

Experience: Iain teaches healthcare business and finance, leadership and personal effectiveness at post graduate level for the HFMA Masters-level Qualification and the National Association of Primary Care Advanced Diploma and is a qualified coach and mentor. He is a Chartered Accountant, Business Finance Professional, and Chartered Tax Advisor. His first degree is from Emmanuel College, Cambridge and he has an MBA from Lancaster University Management School. Before retiring, he was a Finance Director and Accountable Officer in health and social care across the North of England.


Style: Iain understands the benefits of a non-intrusive style of coaching to help you deal with problems and ambiguities in complex environments. His knowledge of the developing approach to integration and system transformation is insightful. His clients say ‘your light touch gave me surprisingly deep guidance and was exactly what I was looking for’.

Letsie TilleyLetsie Tilley

Experience: Letsie is a highly experienced NHS manager with 30 years' experience working in Senior NHS Management roles, including 20 years as a Board level Director of Finance. During that time, she maintained a sound reputation for strong leadership, creating robust financial management and maintaining financial stability in times of significant turbulence and change. She was responsible for many significant change management programmes including the part she played in successfully achieving a large, complex acquisition transaction.  
She gained a wide range of experience working in acute, community, mental health and learning disabilities services organisations and more recently, in an NHS clinical commissioning group. She also worked as a senior management consultant for Price Waterhouse (formerly PwC) and in local government. 
Letsie has always been strongly committed to leadership training and development gaining a national reputation by working with NHS Finance professionals in this area. She has been an Executive Coach with HFMA since 2014 and prior to that she was a coach/mentor to senior finance managers and to NHS graduate trainees for many years. Since 2016 she has helped to develop, lead and deliver various Module on the on-line HFMA Academy Masters level Qualifications to learners from a wide range of professional backgrounds. 

Style: Her coaching style is predominantly collaborative in the way she supports individuals by helping them to focus on their key goals to enable them to realise their personal and professional potential. She explores with them the key issues they want to work on to achieve those goals. This involves her positively challenging their thinking and assumptions, to enable them to find alternative solutions, but in a supportive and encouraging way. At times, she will also complement this, by drawing on her extensive knowledge, experience and network of contacts to help signpost relevant learning resources where appropriate. 

Paul AssinderPaul Assinder

Experience: Paul is a Chartered and Certified Accountant with over 20 years board level experience of public and private sector organisations. He has worked at all tiers of NHS organisations and has a particular professional interest in staff development. Paul is an experienced coach working with NHS trainees on a fast track development programme, experienced senior finance staff that are new to the NHS and newly appointed finance directors.

Style: His coaching style is deliberately questioning and through a range of prompts he invites clients to frame their business objectives and to explore obstacles to their achievement.

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