Ralph Swoboda, Chair, is the Managing Director of CUFA Ltd., the Dublin-based provider of financial analytics software to credit unions and other mutual financial firms. An attorney by training, he has over forty years of experience in the USA and international credit union sector, having served as President/CEO of Credit Union National Association (the primary U.S. credit union trade body), as Chairman of the Management Committee of the Association of British Credit Unions, Ltd. (ABCUL), and later as head of International Operations for CUNA Mutual Group.

After leaving CUNA Mutual in 2005, Ralph co-founded CUFA Ltd. and has provided consulting and executive-level project management services to credit unions and credit union organisations in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and China and to the World Council of Credit Unions. Over the years, Ralph has also served as a director of numerous credit union and co-operative organisations in America and internationally, including CARE USA, US Central Credit Union, and the Filene Research Institute (of which he was one of the founders).

Contact Ralph: ralphswoboda@cfcfe.eu

Nick Money, Director of Development, is an independent management consultant to co-operative and not-for-profit enterprises. Since 2011, Nick has built a practice specialising in advising executives and boards on governance, strategy and business development. Nick is an associate with the Research Unit for Financial Inclusion at Liverpool John Moores University, and with Stepping Out, a consultancy supporting public service mutuals. He is also a consultancy project supervisor for students on the MBA programme at the Alliance Manchester Business School.

Prior to consultancy, Nick worked in a variety of head of function and managerial roles at The Co-operative Bank plc, in particular in business strategy and planning, business change and marketing. Nick is a volunteer board adviser at The Co-operative Credit Union in Manchester, and he chairs the Co-operative Governance Expert Reference Panel of the trade body Co-operatives UK.

Contact Nick: nick.money@cfcfe.eu

Dr Paul A. Jones, Director of Research is Reader in the Social Economy at Liverpool John Moores University, where he heads up the Research Unit for Financial Inclusion. He is also visiting lecturer in the social economy at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague. Paul has had over twenty-five years’ experience in academic, action and evaluative research in credit union organisational development, financial services for lower and moderate-income households, and money and debt advice services.

The subjects of Paul’s research studies have included widening access to community finance in London, credit union strengthening in the UK and Romania, credit union governance (for the UK Government), access to affordable credit in Europe (for the European Commission), and credit union engagement with prisons (for the UK Ministry of Justice). Paul is also a frequent speaker at international credit union and co-operative events throughout Europe. He was the Editor of the Journal of Co-operative Studies from 2006 to 2015, and is currently its Deputy Editor. Paul is a director of Enterprise and Manchester Credit Unions.

Contact Paul: paul.a.jones@ljmu.ac.uk

Research Advisory Board

The Research Advisory Board advises the Centre on its research methodology, standards and quality, and oversees peer review of the Centre’s publications. Its members are distinguished academic and professional experts who have demonstrated qualifications in specialist areas relevant to the Centre’s work.

Current members of the Advisory Board:

  • Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK