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New Group Board and Finance Director for merged organisation

Posted on 23 May 2016

L&Q, The Hyde Group and East Thames announce new Group Board and Finance Director for merged organisation

A Group Board and Finance Director have been appointed on Monday, 23 May to the new organisation that will be created through the proposed merger of L&Q, the Hyde Group and East Thames.

Fourteen senior figures with substantial leadership experience across the public and private sectors have been recruited from across L&Q, the Hyde Group and East Thames to form the new Group Board and drive forward the proposed merger.

Waqar Ahmed, currently Group Finance Director at L&Q, will take up the same role for the new organisation and also join the new Group Board.

The appointments were made following a robust recruitment process that sought to assess skills and bring together diverse talent from all three organisations. An independent consultancy supported this process.

Aubrey Adams, who is Chair designate of the new organisation, said: "This milestone represents the bringing together of the L&Q, Hyde and East Thames Boards. I am delighted that we have been able to recruit such diverse talent to complete our new Group Board.

"Our plans to merge three of the nation’s leading housing associations are a watershed moment for the sector that will allow us to tackle the housing crisis head on."

Waqar Ahmed said: "This merger is an exciting opportunity to combine three strong organisations and create something new in our sector.

"Our combined strength means we will be able to build 100,000 new homes – half of which will be affordable – while driving greater efficiency, improving our offer to existing residents, providing social care, investing in our people and creating sustainable communities."

Over the coming months the three organisations will be working together to develop a joint business plan, with the aim of merging towards the end of 2016. A new name will be created for the organisation and announced in due course.

L&Q’s David Montague is the CEO designate of the new merged organisation and Hyde’s Elaine Bailey is deputy CEO designate. Yvonne Arrowsmith will continue as CEO of East Thames, which will become a subsidiary of the new organisation.

The Chair designate is Aubrey Adams and the Vice Chair designate is Mark Sebba. The East Thames subsidiary will retain its own Group Board, and its Chair, Tina Tietjen, will also sit on the Group Board of the parent organisation.

The new Group Board

Aubrey Adams (Chair)

Aubrey was appointed as Chair of the L&Q Board in September 2015.  He is the former Chief Executive of Savills and has spent the majority of his career in the property sector. He previously served as the Head of Property in the restructuring division at The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC from November 2011 to April 2015.

Aubrey is also a Non-Executive Director at British Land Co. Alongside his portfolio he has an established interest in the not-for-profit sector, and is a longstanding Trustee, and now Chairman, of Wigmore Hall, London's leading chamber music venue. Aubrey is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Mark Sebba (Vice Chair)

Mark is Chair of the Hyde Group. He is a Trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) and Chair of the V&A Enterprises Board. He is also non-executive Chairman of APT Holding Worldwide Inc, an organisation that provides innovative financial security to selected artists.  From 2003 to 2014 he was Chief Executive of The Net-A-Porter Group. He is a non-executive director of GP Bullhound Ltd, a boutique investment bank specialising in the tech industry. Between 2010 and 2013 he was an independent non-executive Director of LMS Capital plc and non-executive Chairman of the Adjutant General’s Audit Committee from 2003 to 2008.

He is a chartered accountant and worked as an investment banker in London and New York for some 20 years before moving into early stage media and new technology businesses. Mark has been a Council Member of the JCA Charitable Foundation since 1993.

Waqar Ahmed

Waqar has worked for L&Q since 1998 and has been in social housing since 1994. In February 2008, he was appointed as the Group Finance Director of L&Q, where his first priorities were simplifying the group structure and developing a highly successful new financial model and investment strategy. Waqar qualified as a chartered certified accountant in 1991 from the University of Wales.

Elaine Bailey

Elaine joined The Hyde Group as CEO in June 2014 and is responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation.

Elaine has worked in both the public and private sector in engineering consultancy, HM Prison Service and, most recently, Serco.  She has run large high performing service operations and has grown businesses organically and through acquisition. She has more than 20 years strategic and operational experience in complex service delivery, development and property, and addressing complex funding challenges.

Betsy Bassis

Betsy joined L&Q’s Group Board as co-optee in December 2014. She joined the civil service in September 2014 as Director General and COO of DEFRA. In this role she is responsible for Corporate Services and DEFRA's executive agencies.

Previously, she spent 12 years at Centrica/British Gas in a number of different roles, including General Manager of Centrica Storage, Special Assistant to the Chief Executive, Programme Director for Offshoring, Director of Metering and Managing Director of Community Energy. Her most recent role was as Strategy Director for British Gas.

She holds a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and an MBA at Wharton.

Alan Collett

Alan is Chair of the Hyde Group’s Investment Committee.  He is a Chartered Surveyor and was President of the RICS for 2012/13. He has worked extensively in private sector housing development, investment and valuation, being senior and managing partner of Allsop LLP until his retirement. Alan is Residential Sector Consultant at M&G Real Estate and an Honorary Fellow of the College of Estate Management.

Past non-executive roles have included being a Trustee of the College of Estate Management, a Board Member at the Empty Homes Agency and a Vice Chairman of the British Property Federation Residential Committee.

Paula Hay-Plumb

Paula chairs the Hyde Group's Audit Committee and is a member of the Group Remuneration and Appointments Committee.
She is currently a non-executive director at the Crown Estate where she also chairs its Audit Committee. She is also a non-executive director of the Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust plc and Finance Director at Rosling King LLP.

Past non-executive directorships include the National Audit Office, the Forensic Science Service and the Skipton Building Society.

Duncan Ingram

Duncan is Chair of the Hyde Group’s Housing Services Board and a member of the Group Remuneration and Appointments Committee.

Duncan has spent most of his career in the telecommunications industry. He was managing director of the broadband and the customer service divisions at BT and group director responsible for London. Duncan is currently Chair of the Children’s Trust, a non executive Director of South West Water, a Trustee of YMCA England (Chair of its retail division comprising over 160 shops); an independent Director of Faster Payment Scheme Ltd (Chairing its Risk Committee); independent Director of Paym and a member of OFCOM’s Advisory Committee for England.

He has been a Non-Executive Director of the Tullis Russell Group, Think London, London First, the British Quality Foundation as well as a number of BT subsidiaries and a Member of the British Olympic Association’s Advisory Board.

David Montague

David has been chief executive of L&Q since February 2008. He has been with L&Q since 1988 and served as Group Director of Finance before his current appointment.

In 2013 David was elected to the Board of the National Housing Federation and awarded a CBE for services to housing in London.
He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
In September 2015 he was appointed Chair of the g15 group of London’s largest housing associations.

Mike More

Mike joined L&Q’s Group Board in September 2015. He began his career in finance roles at Cambridgeshire County Council before joining Suffolk County Council in 1999, initially as Director of Resources and then becoming Chief Executive in 2002.

In 2008 Mike was appointed Chief Executive of Westminster City Council. He drove through major strategic and operational changes, including a pioneering service delivery partnership between three London boroughs. He retired from this role in winter 2013.

Mike is also a Board Member and Chair of the Audit Committee with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation trust.

Trevor Moross

Trevor was appointed to L&Q’s Group Board in September 2014. He is a Chartered Surveyor who has been involved in the residential property industry since 1975. He is Joint Managing Director of London based Dorrington PLC, a privately owned residential and commercial property investor and developer. He is a Governor of 'The Dolphin Square Foundation', a housing charity with a focus on the City of Westminster; a Trustee of Salusbury World, a charity based in The London Borough of Brent, which supports refugee children, and is Chair of the Development Board of The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the renowned chamber orchestra.

Simon Rubinsohn

Simon joined L&Q’s Group Board in November 2011 and serves on the Development Committee. Simon is the Chief Economist for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Prior to this, he was Senior Strategist for Barclays Wealth. He initially came into the financial services industry in 1985 when he joined ANZ Merchant Bank as a UK economist.

Tina Tietjen

Tina is the independent Chair of the East Thames Board and a member of the Governance and Remuneration Committee. She was appointed in September 2010.

Awarded an OBE for her services to the transport industry, Tina has a wealth of experience in the public, private and voluntary sectors, and also provides consultancy services on leadership and change management. She was formerly Chair of the Air Transport Users Council and Women’s Voluntary Service Council.

Piers White

Piers is a member of the Hyde Group’s Housing Services Board and of the Group Audit Committee. He is a banker by profession and was UK Chief Executive of Bank Insinger de Beaufort NV until the sale to BNP Paribas in 2008.

Prior to that he was Chairman of Flemings Offshore Private Banking, a Director of the Save and Prosper Group Ltd and spent 15 years at Barclays where his last role was Service Director running all the UK branch staff.

Piers holds a number of non executive positions including; Ploughshare Innovations, Courier Facilities Ltd, Nominet and ACS International Schools. He is also a Governor of Croydon College.