Keynote speakers

  • Mandy Hickson

    Mandy Hickson

    former Combat Survival & Rescue Officer, RAF

    Mandy Hickson was one of the first female pilots to serve in a front line Tornado GR4 squadron, playing an active role in the conflict in Iraq. Obsessed with flying from a very young age, Mandy applied to join the RAF while at university. After twenty years service, she now talks about the personal and strategic lessons learned with frankness and appropriately wry humour. From motivation to decision-making, Mandy gives a vivid insight into the leadership, teamwork and communication required to define and then realise specific goals in high-pressure situations.

  • James Green

    James Green

    Futures Programme Director, National Housing Federation

    After previously working on the Homes for Britain and Owning our Future campaigns for the NHF, James Green now heads the Creating our Future programme. The programme is bringing together housing associations from across England to work together in solving some of the most pressing challenges facing the sector. Throughout the 18 month programme, we will generate ideas; develop these ideas into investable and scalable propositions; and we will pilot our ideas in pioneering housing associations. 

  • David Orr

    David Orr

    Chief Executive, National Housing Federation

    David is former president of CECODHAS-Housing Europe, has chaired the mobility taskforce, and also sits on the board of The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC). He was a member of the Social Investment Task Force and is one of the founding directors of My Home Finance, a social enterprise set up by the Federation to provide a new high street service offering affordable loans, money advice, bank accounts and linked savings accounts. Previously, David has been chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and of Newlon Housing Trust.

  • John Straw

    John Straw

    Author, iDisrupted

    John Straw is a serial entrepreneur with four startups and four exits behind him, and a leading authority on emerging technologies. He was Chair of Thomas Cook’s Digital Advisory Board until recently, is an active investor in early stage start-ups, is a non executive director for Provident Financial and a Senior Advisor to Mckinsey and Company. In his speech John will turn his attention towards the housing sector, and what the likes of blockchain, VR, drones, 3D printing and the emergence of the gig economy mean for the way housing associations will work in the future.

  • Trevor Williams

    Trevor Williams

    Chairman, Institute of Economic Affairs, Shadow Monetary Policy Committee

    Trevor Williams is the former Chief Economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, a position he held for over 10 years. During this time he established a highly-regarded, award-winning team of economists analysing global and domestic data to support clients ranging from financial institutions, large corporates to SMEs with bespoke insight. He is a visiting Professor at the University of Derby, rotating Chairman of the Institute of Economic Affairs Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) and author of Trading Economics: A Guide to Economic Statistics for Practitioners (with Victoria Turton).


  • Hamid Ghafoor

    Hamid Ghafoor

    Partner, BDO

    Hamid is an audit and assurance partner at BDO and is presently the social housing lead for BDO across the North of England. He has been involved in the sector since 1999 including being a financial controller at The Riverside Group as well spending 12 years as a Board member at New Charter Housing Trust (including a stint as Chair). He is currently Chair of Audit at Aspire Housing Group. This experience has provided Hamid with an insight into how to approaching assurance from a number of different angles which his clients find invaluable.

  • Waqar Ahmed

    Waqar Ahmed

    Group Finance Director, L&Q

    Waqar has worked for London & Quadrant Housing Trust for 17 years and has been in the social housing sector for 21 years. In 2008, Waqar was appointed as the group finance director. His immediate priorities included simplifying the group structure, supporting cultural and organisational change that pursued strong commercial discipline in all activities whilst retaining the social values of L&Q.

  • Walter Akers

    Walter Akers

    Partner, RSM

    Walter specialises in advising enterprises on commercial contract risk and maximising value from complex commercial arrangements. Walter has over 25 years’ experience working in industry in senior commercial management roles and as a professional advisor in the commercial assessment and optimisation of contracts, procurement and contract management. Walter is a Partner at RSM, where he leads the UK RSM Contract & Procurement Consulting business. He is a member of the International Association for Commercial Contract Management and a guest lecturer at University College London. 

  • Michelle Allott

    Michelle Allott

    Director of Finance, Together Housing Group

    Michelle is Group Director of Finance for the Together Housing Group as well as a non executive director on a number of boards. Before this, Michelle has held a number of positions in other housing groups, where her involvement was in all aspects of accountancy, treasury management and system implementation.

  • Heather Ashton

    Heather Ashton

    Group Director of Resources, Thirteen Group

    Heather is responsible for finance, ICT, HR and governance. She has worked in the quasi-public sector for the last 10 years in both housing and higher education. She also has many years of commercial experience in both the retail and manufacturing sectors. Having qualified as an accountant a number of years ago, she also holds a diploma in company direction from the Institute of Directors and is a chartered member of the CIH. She sits as a governor on a local academy governing body and Teesside University’s student’s union. She is a board member for NEP and chairs the Federation’s Finance Policy Advisory Group. She applies the learning she gains from these roles when presenting to her own boards.

  • Ned Beale

    Ned Beale

    Partner, Trowers & Hamlins

    Ned Beale is a partner of Trowers & Hamlins LLP, a 150 partner law firm headquartered in London with 10 offices in the UK, the Middle East and Malaysia. Ned specializes in commercial disputes and regulatory advice. Ned and his team are recommended by The Legal 500 for commercial disputes, which describes them as "excellent; the practice has a powerful work ethic and achieves the best results". His housing sector work includes contractual claims, joint venture disputes, allegations of fraud and internal investigations. As one of his firm’s MLROs, Ned advises his own firm and its clients on managing risk. Ned has recently advised housing providers on whether they fall within the AML rules, updated their policies to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and advised on specific concerns, including preparing NCA reports.

  • Adrian Bell

    Head of Social Housing, JCRA

    Adrian is the Director and Head of JCRA's Social Housing Team. Adrian started his career with Hambros Bank where he built the fixed income business in a number of Eurobond markets and developed specialist institutional placement in long dated Sterling Bonds and US$ private placements. This team pioneered using the bond market to fund housing associations and were responsible for most of the innovations in this area benefitting the sector. In 1998 he joined RBC, rising to Chairman of RBC Europe, which during this time became one of the pre-eminent sterling bond houses in the City, and established the bank’s global Infrastructure Advisory Team. In 2009 Adrian retired from RBC to start a new, non-conflicted advisory business, focussed on assisting businesses previously reliant on bank and derivatives markets to access the bond market. This team now advises approximately 50 housing associations on all aspects of treasury, risk management and funding.

  • Stuart Blackie

    Property Team Leader - North West, Zurich

  • Richard Blakey

    Director of Finance, Peabody

  • Paul Botsford

    Paul Botsford

    Head of European Sales, Secure Meters

  • Duncan Brown

    Duncan Brown

    Director of Finance & Technology, VIVID

    Duncan's responsible for maintaining Vivid's financial strength and sound governance. He makes sure Vivid's development plans are fully funded and our technology helps us deliver their services and ambitions. Duncan is a Chartered Accountant with 15 years of experience in the housing sector. He previously spent six years with KPMG where he provided financial planning and risk management services to some high-profile clients before moving into the housing sector. 

  • Jenny Brown

    Jenny Brown

    Audit Director, Grant Thornton

    Jenny was appointed as a Board Member on 26th September 2014.  Jenny is Audit Director and Head of Housing at Grant Thornton where she has worked for 15 years (starting as a trainee in Sheffield).  As Head of Housing Jenny has responsibility for all work with the social housing sector, liaising with regulators, facilitating thought leadership and writing articles and presenting on matters of interest.  In her professional role Jenny takes a keen interest in governance related issues and until recently was an audit committee member of a northern university.

  • Rhys Cartledge

    Rhys Cartledge

    Tax Director, Deloitte

    Rhys is a Director in the corporate tax practice at Deloitte, and for the last two years has led the direct taxes not for profit team nationally. Rhys has experience working with a large number of housing associations, providing support in areas ranging from corporation tax compliance through to discussions at Board level on tax strategy.

  • Lee Cartwright

    Lee Cartwright

    Partner and UK Head of Housing, Mazars

    Lee is a partner within Mazars social housing team, providing internal and external audit services to RPs and ALMOs across the UK. His experience in the sector extends to risk management, governance, fraud investigation, and audits conducted on behalf of the regulator.

  • Charles Cleal

    Charles Cleal

    Director – Affordable Housing Agency, JLL

    Charles is a Director at JLL where he leads the affordable housing agency team. JLL is one of the largest and most experienced advisors to the sector, valuing £25 billion of housing association assets and advising on the transaction of thousands of social housing units every year. JLL’s affordable housing agency team provides all types of transactional advice to its clients. This includes the acquisition, disposal or swaps of existing social housing stock, S106 sales and land transactions. In recent years JLL have advised on the transfer of over 7,500 units with a value of over £400 million.

  • Phil Cliftlands

    Phil Cliftlands

    Head of Not for Profit, BDO

    Phil is a Chartered Accountant and a business partner in the Not for Profit Assurance and Advisory team. He specialises in social housing but also has experience of working across the wider not for profit and public sector.

    Phil has developed extensive experience and expertise in social housing financial reporting in his 15 years in practice, having previously led another large firm's housing practice delivering both audit and other assurance and advisory projects before joining BDO.

  • Helen Collins

    Helen Collins

    Head of Housing Consultancy, Savills

    Helen has over twenty five years executive and advisory experience in the housing sector. She joined Savills in 2012 as Director of the Housing Consultancy team where she advises Boards and Executives on strategy for growth, diversification, asset management and investment, development and regeneration, stock rationalisation and merger brokerage and delivery.

  • Vicky Cook

    Vicky Cook

    VAT Associate Director, Deloitte

  • Hendrik Cornehl

    Hendrik Cornehl

    Director of Financial Consulting, EFL Expertise

    Hendrik Cornehl started his career as a bank officer, studied in three European countries and obtained two academic degrees. For three years he worked with Scandinavian family offices. In 2010 he became a specialist in analyzing and restructuring loan and security portfolios with Germany’s market leader in financing housing associations, where he later got appointed Head of Business Development. Hendrik is chairing the topic group “Finance & Investment” with European Federation for Living and is Director Financial Consulting at EFL Expertise in Amsterdam and Berlin. Furthermore, he is qualified as supervisory board member for German housing associations.

  • Steve Dungworth

    Head of Corporate Services, Accent Group

    Steve Dungworth is responsible for Accent’s digital and people strategies. He is a dedicated change agent with a passion for excellence.

  • Phil Elvy

    Phil Elvy

    Executive Director of Finance, Great Places Housing Group

    Phil is Executive Director of Finance at Great Places Housing Group based in Manchester.  He has close to 20 years senior experience in the Housing Sector and counts among his achievements being involved in: 8 successful stock transfers, 3 PFIs, the rescue of a failing housing association, a merger, a business transformation programme, a corporate restructure, and raising over £3/4 Billion of new finance.

  • Mark Foster

    Director of Repairs, Great Places Housing Group

    Mark has been involved in the management of construction and property maintenance for the past thirty years. Initially working with large private sector organisations he moved into the world of registered housing providers in 2011 with responsibility for the strategic delivery of  all aspects of property maintenance including responsive repairs, investment, development and compliance. Currently working in the Great Places Housing Group as the Director of Repairs he is focused on developing innovative approaches to providing a customer focused service to its 19,000+ residents whilst ensuring that works are delivered in a commercially effective way.

  • Robert Grundy

    Robert Grundy

    Head of Housing, Savills

    Robert heads the Housing Division of Savills which he started in 1989. He pioneered the loan security valuation techniques for Voluntary Transfers of local authority housing. He also conceived the RICS basis of valuation, Existing Use Value: Social Housing (EUV:SH) which has gone on to become the principal basis of valuation for loan security valuations of housing association assets. Robert is a Savills UK Board member, a member of the CIH Governing Board and is consulted by industry organisations including RICS, DCLG, NHF, CML and HCA. He frequently speaks at top housing sector conferences.

  • Kunal Gupta

    Kunal Gupta

    Head of Business Intelligence, Data & Analytics, Clarion Housing

    Kunal is an experienced analytics and business intelligence practitioner specialising in technical project delivery and analytics strategy. He has a strong background in hands-on business intelligence development and insight creation. At Clarion Housing Group, Kunal provides leadership in the areas of data management, data engineering, reporting and insight. 

  • Stuart Henderson

    Stuart Henderson

    Group Director of HR, Together Housing

    Stuart’s main responsibilities at Together Housing are to oversee human resources and organisational development, particularly focusing on employment law compliance, pensions, change management, OD, payroll, recruitment and staff welfare.

  • Ian Hextall

    Business Development Manager, Secure Meters

  • Susan Hickey

    Susan Hickey

    Chief Financial Officer, Peabody

    Susan has over 25 years experience in leadership and senior roles including corporate finance, finance services, governance, legal and assurance and procurement. She is a qualified chartered accountant with broad experience in accountancy practice and commerce, including property, banking and mortgage finance markets and government backed small business start-ups.

  • Frances Hipple

    Frances Hipple

    Director, HACT Digital

    Frances joined HACT as the Director of HACT Digital in January 2017. She has worked in housing for over 30 years, initially in the finance teams of four large London based associations and then moved into technology consultancy in 1999. She has worked with over 80 different organisations helping them with a wide range of technology-related issues including digital and IT strategies, procuring systems and solutions and project management.

  • Luke Hothersall

    Luke Hothersall

    Senior Consultant & Actuary, KPMG

  • Peter Hubbard

    Peter Hubbard

    Senior Partner, Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

    Peter leads the projects and governance team at Anthony Collins Solicitors, advising on major group structures and consolidations as well as on a wide variety of corporate transactions.  He advised Knowsley Housing Trust on setting up First Ark as the first unregistered Parent of a housing association group structure in the country.  

  • Kal Kay

    Kal Kay

    Director of Finance, Great Places Housing Group

    Kal Kay is Director of Finance at Great Places Housing Group. Kal has previously held Finance Director positions at Guinness Property, the Arts Council, and a national charity. She also has extensive financial management experience in the NHS and local government and has delivered many efficiencies throughout her career. Kal is passionate about celebrating success and she also enjoys being an advocate for promoting diversity within organisations. She is particularly proud of the fact that that her finance team at the Arts Council were the winners of the coveted Government Finance Team Of The Year award.

  • Peter Lunio

    Peter Lunio

    Client Services Director, I4H

    Peter is director at i4H, a new innovative social housing analytics service provider partnering with HACT and Beevers and Struthers. i4H is also a  partner in the launch of a new Digital Service with HACT/Halton Housing and was one of the initial developers in the Digital Maturity Programme. Peter has recently had published a paper titled “The next-generation RP operating model for the digital world" Previously Peter led RSM (formerly Baker Tilly) Social Housing consultancy practice. He is also Non-Executive on the EPIC Housing Association Board.

  • Joanne Martin

    Joanne Martin

    Director of Finance and Resources, SHAL

    Joanne is a confident, forward thinking leader with 12 years’ experience of the housing and commercial sectors. She is passionate about efficiency with a proven track record of using technology to improve performance. Joanne combines strong technical ability with powerful communication skills and is able to communicate financial information to a non-technical audience and link financial information with business strategy. 

  • Warren McQuillan

    VAT Associate Director, Deloitte

  • Trevor Morrow

    Trevor Morrow

    Chief Executive, Red Kite Community Housing

    Trevor is chief executive and has been since Red Kite was formed in December 2011. Some of his greatest professional achievements have been reached during his time with Red Kite, including creating a truly tenant-led organisation, the delivery of their promises on time and under budget, developing and implementing structures and financial viability that saw Red Kite achieve a G1 V1 rating by our regulator in 2016, and building a culture of innovation and creativity. 

  • Sanjay Narbheram

    Director, Housing Finance, MUFG

  • Sofia Nilsson

    Head of Operational Effectiveness, Standard Chartered

  • Dan Oehlman

    Dan Oehlman

    Head of Service Charge & Rents, One Housing

    Dan has worked within the housing sector for nearly 12 years, predominantly dealing with the setting or collection of rents and service charges. He has recently implemented a new service charge and rents system and a personalised service charge and rent booklet which was shortlisted for a HANA award. As Head of Service Charge and Rents at Citystyle, his remit includes the management of the rent and service charge portfolio with an annual debit of over £100 million, statutory consultations and representations at tribunal. A keen advocate for transparency, he has introduced a number of improvements to improve the resident experience and increase financial recovery.

  • Andy O’Regan

    Andy O’Regan

    Executive Scheme Manager, TPT Retirement Solutions

    Andy is an executive scheme mananger of the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) and the Scottish Housing Associations' Pension Scheme (SHAPS) and TPT.

  • Richard Petty

    Richard Petty

    Lead Director, Affordable Housing, JLL

    Richard has 25 years’ professional experience, including the last 18 years devoted to the residential sector, specialising in affordable housing. The affordable housing team at JLL specialises in valuing housing stock and land for all purposes, including loan security; stock transfer; development; and accounts. Richard and his team act for all the existing lenders in the social housing sector, and have a 'blue chip' client list amongst leading registered providers, acting for over 80 housing groups and associations. Richard’s team also advises private developers on the affordable elements of schemes, including viability assessments and partnering arrangements; and undertakes the marketing and sale of affordable housing under both s.106 agreements and for stock rationalisation. He has also had 12 years’ governance experience as a board member and chair of Richmond Housing Partnership, up to March 2012. He joined JLL in 2011, following its merger with King Sturge, where he was a partner. Before King Sturge, Richard spent 21 years at Drivers Jonas, where he was a partner and built up the residential practice before leaving shortly after the firm’s merger with Deloitte in 2010.

  • Jon-Paul Phillips

    Portfolio Manager, BAE Systems Pensions Funds Investment Management

  • Ben Powell

    Ben Powell

    VAT Partner, Deloitte

    Ben is the lead partner for Deloitte’s Local Government Tax team, providing advice primarily on VAT but also other taxes such as NNDR, employment taxes and Corporation Tax. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and has over 12 years’ experience advising public sector organisations and a variety of private sector clients. Ben and his team provide advice on structuring, refund claims and compliance issues and have added value to numerous local authorities by reducing indirect tax costs and maximising cashflow through careful planning.

  • Cliff Prior

    Cliff Prior

    Chief Executive, Big Society Capital

    Cliff Prior CBE took up the leadership of Big Society Capital in March 2016. Prior to that he was CEO of UnLtd, the UK Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, for nine years. Before UnLtd, Cliff was CEO of Rethink, the charity for people affected by severe mental illness. His earlier career includes work in counselling, youth, civil rights campaigning, social housing, supported housing, community care, offender resettlement, learning disability, dementia, research and development, and mental health. Cliff is also a founding trustee of Clore Social Leadership, a non-exec at health innovation agency UCLPartners, and member of Comic Relief’s UK Grants Committee.

  • Paul Richmond

    Director of Finance, Watford Community Housing

  • Paul Rickard

    Paul Rickard

    Group Director Finance & Resources, One Housing

    Paul started his career at the Big 4, working in real estate and banking capital markets before joining a corporate finance advisory firm, specialising in the housing association sector with a focus on finance, funding, capital markets, treasury, and business planning. Paul then joined Circle, moving to become the Group Finance Director (Corporate) and is now Group Director of Finance & Resources at One Housing. Throughout his career Paul has directly raised several billion in funding from a variety of sources including capital markets, development finance, and non-traditional direct debt finance. Paul has led a number of large teams across a range of disciplines including business transformation, governance, finance, and ICT. Paul is also actively involved in promoting affordable housing across the sector as well as sitting on the National Housing Federation's Finance Policy Advisory Group and previously chairing the Finance Group for the European Federation for Living.

  • Ceri Ross

    Pension Consultant, KPMG

    Ceri is a pensions actuary who provides advice on a range of engagements for employers, in both the private and public sector. She is also part of the KPMG team who act as pensions policy adviser to the National Housing Federation. Ceri assists clients with the management of the costs and risks associated with their pension schemes including SHPS and the LGPS. Her clients include housing associations, universities, and FE colleges as well as large private sector organisations.

  • Stephen Russell

    Stephen Russell

    Director of Commercial Services, HouseMark

    Stephen is responsible for developing and delivering our data and business intelligence service. He joined HouseMark in June 2017 having worked extensively within housing research, data and policy. This includes 10 years at a large housing association, working there most recently as Director of Business Insight and Communications. In this time, Stephen delivered a range of innovative research and data solutions to guide strategic decision making.

  • James Shand

    Managing Director, TriPartum Ltd

  • Steve Sharples

    Head of Treasury, Aldwyck

  • Steve Simkins

    Partner, Head of Public Sector Pensions, KPMG

    Steve leads KPMG’s not-for-profit pensions team, including social housing and the public sector. He is an actuary with over 20 years’ experience of advising employers and pension schemes on a wide range of issues from funding through to effective governance and administration. He is a regular commentator on pensions in the social housing sector.

  • Tom Smith

    Associate Director, Deloitte

  • Anne Southern

    Anne Southern

    Corporate Services Director,, Arcon Housing Group

    Anne joined Arcon in 2005, as Finance Director and Company Secretary and has recently been appointed as Corporate Services Director. Anne has built up impressive experience, in the social housing sector, having worked for a range of housing associations for more than 20 years. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, holding a Certificate in International Treasury Management. As an experienced Board and Committee Member, she also plays a valuable role in the running of other housing associations.

  • Gail Teasdale

    Gail Teasdale

    Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services, Accent Group

    Gail is a board and audit committee member of both Johnnie Johnson and Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Associations. At Accent Group she is responsible for reporting to the board on finance, legal and governance, HR, ICT and business intelligence. Her background is in commercial manufacturing and engineering businesses and she is a qualified chartered accountant.

  • Ray Tierney

    Ray Tierney

    Relationship Director – Social Housing, Lloyds Commercial Bank

    Ray is a relationship director within Lloyds Banking Group's Social Housing Team. This team provides financing and risk management solutions to support the development of affordable housing in the UK. 

  • Clare Togneri

    Head of Finance, RHP

  • David Viles

    Partner, Deloitte

  • Mark Wells

    Mark Wells

    Head of Structured Capital, MUFG

  • Allison Whittington

    Allison Whittington

    Head of Housing, Zurich

    Starting her career in Zurich in 1998 as a Graduate within the Finance function, Allison has held a wide variety of roles.  In 2003 Allison became Finance Manager within the Commercial Broker business.  For the following six years she continued to focus on Business Partnering, working with all parts of the UK business.  In 2009 Allison was promoted to the Head of Planning and Performance Management for UK General Insurance.  After three years in this job she moved to a global role, based in Switzerland, to implement a new financial planning tool worldwide.  Upon returning to the UK in late 2012 Allison joined Zurich Municipal as Head of Finance, before starting her current role, Head of Housing, in November 2015. As Head of Housing, Allison is responsible for the end to end business including the customer journey, proposition, business plan delivery and staff development.

  • Piers Williamson

    Piers Williamson

    Chief Executive, The Housing Finance Corporation

    Piers has been chief executive of The Housing Finance Corporation for the last 13 years. He has nearly 30 years' experience of the UK, US and European financial markets specialising in bank treasury risk management and securitisation. He holds professional qualifications in both treasury and banking. Subsequently, Piers was appointed as a founder non-executive member of the Homes & Communities Agency’s Regulation Committee for Social Housing between 2012 and 2015.  He recently received a lifetime contribution award at the Housing Association National Accountancy Awards

  • Dr Tom Wormald

    Managing Director, Deliberata