The Executive Team

John Cowan - Executive Chairman

John Cowan - Executive Chairman, SBG

John's financial services experience now extends over 40 years. Most of his career was spent at Scottish Amicable where he was Sales and Marketing Director, Prudential as Group Sales Director and National Australia Bank / MLC Investments ( Pivotal ) where he was General Manager. He has held a number of Non-Executive Director roles for example at Paymentshield and The Consulting Consortium. Today John is the Executive Chairman at Sesame Bankhall Group, Chairman of Uinsure, Chairman of Mortgage Options.

He lives in London, owns a house in Granada and is a fan of Celtic Football Club.

Mark Graves - Managing Director, Sesame & PMS

Mark Graves - Managing Director

With 20 years industry experience, Mark previously worked at LSL for 10 years in a range of senior roles, which included leading the Pink Network. Earlier in his career, Mark helped to build one of the largest mortgage brokerages as Managing Director of Mortgages Direct. In 2003 Mark set up his own mortgage business, Linear Mortgage Network, which was later acquired by LSL.​​​​

Lisa Winnard - HR Director

Lisa Winnard - HR Director

Lisa has held a number of operational roles within the business and joined the Executive team as HR&D Director in 2010. Lisa was voted ‘HR Director of the Year’ at the HR Directors Distinction Awards.


Stuart Davies - Group Operations Director

Stuart Davies - Group Operations Director

Stuart entered the world of financial services the day after leaving school when he secured a job at Eagle Star, then Zurich, followed by SBG in 2008. He has now clocked up 25 years’ experience in the industry. He has a strong compliance and operational background with the skills to plan and implement systems and controls within an organisation, together with a proven track record in achieving operational objectives and delivering change programs within the IFA and General Insurance markets. With his natural skills in negotiating, communicating and leadership, he motivates others to achieve results and good customer outcomes. Outside work, Stuart is a Football Association Affiliated coach, and enjoys participating in most competitive sports.