Strengthening our board and committees

We are always focused on the future, change and growth has always been a part of who we are. To make sure we achieve this growth, and to ensure our business' long term sustainability, we need to have strong boards and committees with the skills and vision to support continued growth of our business and the successful delivery of our strategy.

We’ve recently made a series of new appointments to our board and committees as Sally Higham,  Philip Owens  and Baroness Watkins of Tavistock  come to the end of their terms.

Sally, Baroness Watkins and Philip have made a huge contribution to the success of our business over many years and their input and advice has been greatly appreciated by our executive team.

When we were looking for new individuals to further strengthen the team it was important to us that they were drawn from different backgrounds and sectors, providing the experience, challenge and rigour to make sure we continue to provide reliable services and build more high-quality homes.

We were also delighted that through our selection process we were able to make appointments that recognise the significant talent base we possess within our current cohort of independent members, with Caroline Wehrle, Tracy Peters and Clive Barnett all joining our Overlap Boards as non-executive directors, having served as members of our committees.

Former housing ombudsman Mike Biles, one of our current NEDs, takes on the role of senior independent director, succeeding Phillip Owens and three members who currently serve on our committees have been appointed to new roles. 

This month we were also delighted to welcome Michael McCullen, a technology entrepreneur and business adviser, as a non-executive director and Julie Kortens, an experienced board member and former head of corporate services at Channel 4, as an independent member on two committees.

These appointments are really exciting for the business and the result of a thorough selection process which confirms our commitment to robust, best-in-class corporate governance. They bring a balance of skills and experience in key business areas like risk, compliance and digital transformation and will support our boards and committees in making mindful, informed decisions.

More information about the changes:

• Clive Barnett has been appointed as a co-optee to the overlap boards and a co-optee member and chair of the group audit committee. Clive spent over 40 years at RBS, latterly as managing director and head of housing finance.

• Mike Biles, who was housing ombudsman for 13 years until 2014, has been appointed senior independent director. He previously chaired the group audit committee.

• Julie Kortens has been appointed as an independent member on the group risk and compliance and group remuneration and nominations committees. Julie is a non-executive director with HM Courts & Tribunals Service and shopping centre group Intu Retail Services. She spent over 20 years at Channel 4, including eight as head of corporate services

• Michael McCullen has been appointed as non-executive director to the overlap boards and as a non-executive member on the group risk and compliance and group remuneration and nominations committees. Michael co-founded and was managing director of project management software company Asta Development and was a group board director of AIM-listed construction software business Eleco plc (now Elecosoft). He is an adviser to private equity firms investing in tech and chairs a venture capital-backed tech start-up.

• Tracey Peters has been appointed as a non-executive director to the overlap boards and non-executive director on the group remuneration and nominations committee, of which she was previously a member. She continues to chair the committee of customer and community network. Tracey is an experienced former HR director in the retail, leisure and healthcare sectors and was previously senior independent director of Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

• Caroline Wehrle has been appointed as a non-executive director to the overlap boards and non-executive member of the group treasury committee. She will also chair the group risk and compliance committee, of which she was previously a member. Caroline is global risk and compliance director at Diageo, the FTSE 100 drinks company, where she is responsible for ethics and compliance.

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