Show me the money!

Steve DouglasIf we thought the landscape couldn’t become any trickier to navigate, with the HCA’s new regulatory framework, in-depth assessments, and a continued reduction in public funding for new homes being key challenges, along came the Budget in July 2015. It has turned many organisations’ business planning assumptions on their head.

The pressure is on boards and executives to ensure that they provide sound governance of the organisations they represent, and have a clear understanding of the regulator’s expectations.

I’m really pleased that the second event in the leadership series with Northern Housing Consortium picks up these big themes and has a great line up of speakers and contributors prepared to share their experiences and learning.

The seminar will have both the regulator’s view on the future landscape – the expectations of chairs, boards and executives – as well as first hand practitioner experience.

The first round of in-depth assessments, following the successful pilots, will soon be undertaken for all larger providers and they are likely to scrutinise the stress testing that associations have been doing over the summer. However, they won’t just be an exercise in testing good governance, they will start from first principles. “Show me the money” – the famous quote from the Tom Cruise film Jerry Maguire – will be the mantra. If you are not sure what this means: there are lessons that can be learnt both from those who have been part of the pilots and also those organisations who have previously felt the strong arm of the regulator and have come through it.

For some associations, the reviews of their business plans will almost certainly require a re-appraisal of the organisation’s purpose and future strategy. For others it will mean considering whether they have an independent future. Julian Ashby has kick started the discussion about the sector having a take-over code. It makes sense that the National Housing Federation helps the sector to work through what this might look like, before someone else does it. It’s great that the NHF Head of Governance, Stephen Bull will be at the event to talk about progress on the work that has been recently commissioned.

Throughout the debate on effective assurance, a constant theme will be exploring whether your board have the right information, and whether executives are providing the right data to manage the business effectively. The event will therefore look at data, information and the responsibilities of boards and executives.

The intention is a focussed half-day session aimed at board chairs, board members, chief executives, directors of governance and company secretaries. All of whom have differing degrees of responsibility for ensuring risk is managed and governance is assured.

Join us if you can for what should be an interesting and timely event.

Steve is chairing Governance and assurance: Managing the risks on 7 October.