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Board Members

Swan Housing Group* Board Members

  • Board Members

    In addition to John Synnuck and Geoff Pearce, the following people make up the Swan Board as of May 2020:

    Valerie Owen (OBE) - Board Member (Chair Swan Housing Association)

    Valerie is a multi-disciplinary property professional, a Chartered Architect, Chartered Town Planner, Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Environmentalist who specialises in complex community regeneration and sustainable development projects. She was previously a Director of international real estate consultants Jones Lang LaSalle. 

    Valerie serves on the Boards of a variety of public and private sector organisations including the Planning Inspectorate, the Church Buildings Council, the Defence Infrastructure Board, the East Kent Hospitals NHS University Foundation Trust, the Environment Agency and Hanover Housing. She chairs the Sector Skills Council for Land-based and environmental industries, and was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to architecture and to the community in East London.

    Peter Baynham - Group Board Member

    Peter is a Chartered Accountant with broad business experience in both director roles and as a management consultant in leading UK and international organisations. He has experience in both the public and private sector.

    Peter's sector experience includes property, service companies and health care. Peter was most recently a partner at Mercer and headed their Corporate & Private Equity M&A for the UK and Middle East.

    Peter also holds a number of other non-executive roles in not for profit and commercial organisations.

    Steve Akeju - Group Board Member

    Steve Akeju is Senior Executive Manager for Telereal Trillium since November 2015, working on £6bn portfolio and brings his experience of generating shareholder value from asset base as well as delivering development projects including sale of investments and residential development sales.

    Prior  to Trillium he held a senior role at Tesco PLC / Spenhill Development as a Development Executive where he was responsible for advancing mixed use developments from acquisition to investment sale, store opening and disposal of residential assets in the London and South East area. Steve reported to the property board on all matters relating to sites, assets and stores in the area. He also has over 10 years sector experience with his last role as Development & New business Director at Horizon Housing Group.

    Elizabeth Sipiere - Board Member (Independent, Swan Housing Association)

    Elizabeth Sipiere joins us as a digital professional with a wealth of experience gained from a career in commercial businesses.  She has used digital solutions to deliver customer value and business transformation. She has been a Board participant for 17 years, with Private Equity and Public Listed Companies both as an Executive and Non-Executive Director.

    Elizabeth was recently NED and COO of Brady plc (energy software and data), CEO of Valueworks (SaaS for maintenance and repairs in social housing), as well as executive roles in a number of technology companies including Global Head of Capital Markets at Hewlett Packard. Currently Elizabeth is advisor to two software companies and non-executive director at another. Elizabeth has a BSc and MSc from the London School of Economics.

    Elizabeth is technology and transformation focused and brings to Swan digital strategy 'know how' and a strong commercial, financial and governance focus.

    Devan Bala - Board Member (Independent, Swan Housing Association)

    Devan is currently part of the one of the UK's largest student accommodation providers where he is responsible for all of the Group's corporate finance matters. Prior to this he headed all capital markets activity for GLP in Europe (a US$66 billion global investment manager) and has also worked for Centrus Advisors, an organisation that advises on debt, derivatives and corporate finance to a number of sectors including social housing.

    Devan is also a member of the Group Treasury Committee responsible for capital management at Riverside a large housing association based in Liverpool.  

    Devan brings to Swan over 15 years' of capital markets and real estate experience which has consisted of investor relations, strategy, debt raising and risk management, securitisation, M&A and equity management.

    Jane Bristow - Board Member (Independent, Swan Housing Association)

    Jane is currently a Crown Representative at the Cabinet Office for the facilities management sector. She has over thirty years experience of working in hospitality, services and supply chain sectors across private and public clients in the U.K. and internationally .

    She started her career at Whitbread where she gained extensive experience of multi-site retail and marketing operations and subsequently supply chain including procurement, warehousing and distribution. More recently at Sodexo her responsibilities included the development and management of student accommodation portfolios for both University and private clients. She was CEO Schools for the UK & Ireland, Benelux and Nordics and a member of the worldwide Schools Executive Committee.

    She also is a Senior Ambassador for the Imagine Campaign at Reading University and the Chair of the Danes Multi Academy Trust.

    Jane brings to Swan consumer focus and insight, commercial acumen and operational experience.

    Simon Harden - Chair, Swan New Homes

    Simon Harden joins us straight from his Director role at WSP Group that he held since 2014. Simon role was to lead the retail sector which includes all the master planning and infrastructure for new mixed use developments in UK and overseas. His multidisciplinary team of around 80 had a consultancy fee turnover of £12M.

    Prior to this Simon was PLC Director for 7 years since 2007 at Waterman Group with director responsibilities for International operations as part of strategy to grow overall business to £200M and international business to 40% turnover.

    Simon offers experience from managing major projects in UK and overseas, including Bullring in Birmingham a 200,000 sqm retail development described at the time as the largest urban regeneration project in Europe, and as lead consultant on Al Muneera at Al Raha beach a 550,000 sqm mixed use development in Abu Dhabi and the design and construction of the largest opening bascule bridge in China in Tianjin.

 * Swan Housing Association Limited and Swan New Homes Limited

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Registered address: Pilgrim House, High Street, Billericay, Essex CM12 9XY.
Regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing.
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