Board of Directors


A board and committee structure is in place to oversee all aspects of Vhi’s activities. The Group Board has ultimate responsibility for oversight of the conduct and performance of the Vhi Group. The Group Board sets the strategic, risk appetite, risk management and cultural parameters for the Vhi Group and creates accountability around each of these parameters. It is also responsible for overseeing the delivery of the Vhi Group’s strategy through its health insurance and health services provision businesses.


The Vhi Group has established four committees to assist with its work:

  • Group Audit Committee
  • Group Risk Committee
  • Group Remuneration Committee
  • Group Nomination and Governance Committee


Greg Sparks

Chairperson (Independent Non-Executive Director)
Appointment to the Board: December 2014

Greg is both founder and former partner of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks. A Chartered Accountant, Greg has extensive experience and expertise in program planning, implementation and change management across the public and private sector. Greg has served on the board of Vhi since 2014, during this period he Chaired the Audit Committee. Greg is the Chair of VistaMilk SFI Research Centre and on the Board of the Irish Maternal Fetal Foundation Ltd. He has served on the Boards of Joe Duffy Motors, Digicel, The Irish Times and eir. He was a Director with Jigsaw the National Centre for Youth Mental Health and Chaired the Board of the Coombe Hospital for a number of years. 

Brian Walsh

Group CEO
Appointment to the Board: March 2015

Brian was appointed Group CEO of Vhi on March 1st 2023. He was appointed Interim Group CEO in May 2022 having joined as Chief Financial Officer in 2014. Prior to joining Vhi, Brian held Board and Executive roles in international financial services, telecommunications and FMCG industries in Europe and the USA. Brian is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors. Brian chairs the Board of SOS Kilkenny CLG, a not-for-profit organisation supporting people with intellectual disabilities and autism. 

Peter Cross

Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointment to the Board: January 2021

Peter is the Managing Director of Trasna Corporate Finance, an advisory firm specialising in telecoms and infrastructure. Prior to establishing Trasna he worked in a number of senior management roles including as CFO of eircom and CFO of BT Openreach. Peter qualified as a Chartered Accountant and has worked in corporate finance at Barings and at Morgan Stanley. Peter is a non-executive director of Cubic Telecom, DAA plc and Arjun Infrastructure’s wind energy companies in Ireland. He previously chaired the audit committees of Ervia and of the HSE and served as trustee of the BT Pension Scheme. 

Mike Frazer

Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointment to the Board: June 2020

Mike is an actuary with over 30 years’ experience across the insurance industry including with Irish Life and Zurich Life. He was CEO of AXA Life Invest Reinsurance and Deputy Head of Insurance Supervision at the Central Bank of Ireland. Mike is a consultant with the insurance practice of William Fry Solicitors. Mike is an Independent Non-Executive Director of Kingfisher Insurance DAC. He served as the Honorary Secretary and as a Council member of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland 2018–2021.

Karen Furlong

Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointment to the Board: January 2021

Karen is an experienced Director with over 30 years’ experience across financial services, fintech, professional services and not for profits. Her expertise spans digital transformation, strategy, change, governance and risk accrued from her roles in companies including Standard Life, Educational Building Society, Prospectus Strategy Consultants, CUNA Mutual and Allianz. Karen is a Senior Independent Director of Triodos Bank UK in Bristol and the Chair of Remuneration Committee for Progressive Building Society in Belfast. She also serves on the Boards of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board and Health Committee of Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. 

Mary Halton

Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointment to the Board: June 2020

Mary is a Chartered Accountant with international banking and insurance experience gained in Executive, Non-Executive, and advisory roles. She is an experienced board governance advisor with internationally published research on board behaviours and effectiveness. Mary is currently CFO with the Ei Electronics Group. Mary is an experienced Audit Committee Chair and has served on a number of Boards including the Northern Ireland Audit Office, and the Governing Body of Chartered Accountants Ireland. She is currently a lay member of the UK Copyright Tribunal. 

Dean Holden

Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointment to the Board: January 2018

Dean is a Chartered Certified Accountant. He spent 29 years with Bupa, growing, developing and leading Bupa’s operations across 12 countries including Spain and Saudi Arabia and latterly as Managing Director (MD) of Bupa Australia and New Zealand. He held a number of senior roles at Bupa including Group Financial Controller, MD of Bupa’s Asia Pacific Division, MD of Bupa’s International Division and International Markets Division. Dean was an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Skin and Cancer Foundation, Australia serving on the Board for nine years. Dean was also on the Board of Achieve Together UK for two years. 

Dr Paul Zollinger-Read

Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointment to the Board: November 2022

Paul is a qualified GP who pioneered the set up and rollout of the first Care Trusts in the UK. He was CEO of five NHS Primary Care Trusts, primary care advisor to the Kings Fund and Bupa’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Paul is the CMO for a diagnostic imaging company and a group providing aged care services. Paul was Non-Executive Director for Bupa in Saudi Arabia and an advisor to virtual GP organisations.

Martin Kelly

Group CFO
Appointment to the Board: March 2024

Martin was appointed the Chief Financial Officer of Vhi Group in May 2022. Having joined the company as Chief Actuary in 2013, Martin played a key role in Vhi’s preparation for CBI authorisation and the transition to the Solvency II regulatory regime. Previously Martin held a variety of actuarial positions across a wide range of areas within the life, non-life, and health insurance sectors. Martin received a BSc in Financial and Actuarial Mathematics from Dublin City University in 2002. He has been a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland since 2007 and a Certified Insurance Director since 2019.

Catherine Doyle

Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointment to the Board: May 2024

Catherine Doyle was recently appointed General Manager, Microsoft Ireland.  She was previously the Managing Director for Ireland of Dell Technologies in Ireland with overall responsibility for the commercial and enterprise businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Catherine is responsible for delivering solutions to public and private sector organisations of all sizes throughout the island of Ireland – helping them to leverage the latest technologies to support their digital transformation goals.

With over 23 years working in Dell Catherine has had various senior roles within the organisation. Initially, she worked in the Irish business before taking up various leadership roles in the UK.  Just over three years ago, she joined the Alliances team, where she ran the EMEA Strategic Outsourcers, driving growth and market share with partners such as DXC, NTT and Kyndryl.  Most recently, she led the EMEA Software Sales Division.

Jennifer Loftus

Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointment to the Board: May 2024

Jennifer is an actuary and accountant with 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry.  She is currently an Executive Director, Group CFO, Chief Risk Officer and Head of Actuarial Function with Acorn Life.  Jennifer is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK), the Society of Actuaries in Ireland and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.  She is an active member of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland through the Data Science Committee and the Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Committee.  Jennifer holds a Master's Degree in Data Analytics and is an Ambassador for Women in Data Science.  She serves as a voluntary Board member of two arts organisations in the west of Ireland.  Jennifer previously served as an INED and member of the Audit and Risk Committee of An Post.

Paul Whelan

Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointment to the Board: May 2024

Paul is a Chartered Accountant with over thirty years of extensive leadership experience across diverse sectors such as healthcare, technology, retail, and financial services.  Most recently, Paul served as the Group CFO and executive director at one of Ireland’s leading private hospital groups.  Prior to this, he held various C-suite roles at O2 Ireland, including Deputy CEO, Group CFO, Group COO, overseeing areas such as IT, technology, operations, legal, and regulation.  Paul began his career at General Electric Corporation, where he held several senior executive roles and held Board level positions within their financial services division, GE Capital Services. In addition to his corporate roles, Paul is also an independent non-executive director at Golf Ireland.

Correct as of 14th June 2024