Marks & Spencer yesterday announces the appointment of Laurel Powers-Freeling as a main board director, with effect from 6 November 2001. Laurel will be appointed Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer Financial Services, subject to the normal regulatory procedures.

Laurel joins Marks & Spencer from Lloyds TSB Group plc. She was previously Managing Director responsible for Lloyds TSB Wealth Management, a business that has grown rapidly over the last few years, and she has recently re-shaped the business and re-launched it under a new brand. Laurel joined Lloyds TSB in 1994 as Group Finance Director for Lloyds Abbey Life and was subsequently Director of Finance and Retail Development within UK Retail Banking.

After graduating from Columbia and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Laurel worked for McKinsey in the US and Europe and briefly at Morgan Stanley before joining Prudential plc where she was responsible for corporate strategy and planning, and the development of the personal financial planning business.

The Chief Executive role of Marks & Spencer Financial Services has been made a main board appointment in order to strengthen and develop further the synergies between the retailing and financial sides of the business.

Luc Vandevelde, Chairman & Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer plc, said: “I am delighted to welcome Laurel to the Board. Her successful track record in developing financial services and retail banking will be a huge asset to us as we shape our plans for the development of our Financial Services business.”


Laurel is 44 years old and lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two children. Laurel is American and was educated at Andover High School, Michigan, Columbia University, New York and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.