Harriet Baldwin

Top Minister pays a visit to Seaham

It’s not every day that a top Government minister drops by to see how you’re doing – but that’s exactly what happened to Great Annual Savings Group one Wednesday earlier this month.

Harriett Baldwin, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, took a whistle-stop tour of the North East to witness first-hand the achievements of the local financial services industry. And as a fast-growing company that’s creating wealth and jobs for local people, our Seaham office was naturally a key port of call!

Although she was working to a very tight schedule, the minister took time to tour our office (and yes, we had tidied up beforehand), listen to a short presentation from our CEO Brad Groves and chat with our valued members of staff.

There was no pomp or ceremony; she just wanted to hear about our development as a business, our future growth plans and how our staff made the office such a fun, fabulous place to work.​

In an age where politicians are accused of ignoring the North East, it was nice to see a Government minister taking the time to visit local businesses and finding out what makes them tick.

A message to the rest of Westminster: more of the same, please!​​​

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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.