Aster Group appoints new customer services director

Housing association Aster Group has appointed Emma O’Shea as group customer services director and a member of the executive board.

Emma joins Aster from Peabody Group, where she was director of asset and housing strategy. Her role at Aster will be to lead the new Customer Services directorate, further strengthening the Group’s strategic customer focus, transforming the way homes are managed and maintained.

With more than 15 years’ experience in operational and strategic leadership roles, Emma has led several large-scale transformation programmes, creating long-term business sustainability and improving customer service and experience. This has included successfully overseeing the merger between Peabody and Family Mosaic, to strengthen its customer focus by coordinating repairs, housing and customer services. 

Aster owns and manages more than 31,000 homes, providing services to over 90,000 people across the south of England, with a portfolio that includes social and affordable rent and shared ownership houses. Last month the group’s G1 and V1 ratings were confirmed by the Regulator of Social Housing. Aster’s structure is modelled on the UK Corporate Governance Code, guidelines that aim to promote best-in-class governance.

Emma said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining Aster and I’m looking forward to working with the team. Our customers must be at the heart of everything we do as an industry and the sector is rightly being pushed to ensure housing associations look after their tenants. This has become even more important amid the current challenges facing the country.

“My priority is to ensure that we continue to deliver the services our customers need, both now and into the future, while strengthening the infrastructure that equips our business with the resilience to withstand any uncertainty that comes our way.”

Bjorn Howard, group CEO of Aster, added: “With her depth of expertise, Emma is the perfect candidate to lead this area of the business and it’s great to have her on board. It’s vital that we continue to invest in talent and bring on board those with a range of experience that can help our business continually improve. This has always been and will remain central to our strategy and one of the key reasons the regulator again recognised our organisation’s strong governance and financial viability.

“It is also recognition of our long-term strategic vision and our ability to harness flexible, dynamic governance and financial planning. This means we can quickly adapt to change, risk and opportunities, and continue to play our role meeting the diverse housing needs of people across the UK.”


In the year ending March 2019, Aster reported turnover of £212m (2018: £205m) and pre-tax profit of £55m (2018: £50m). It reinvests its profits into its development programme to boost the supply of social and affordable housing across the south of England.

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