What’s going on at the Social Housing Finance Conference on 9th May 2019?

For the early risers, there is a breakfast briefing beginning at 8.00am with Paul Bridge – Chief Executive at Civitas, John Higgins – Chief Executive of First Priority Housing Association, Sharon Scollen – Chief Executive at Falcon HA and Jonathan Walters, Assistant Director of Regulation at RSH talking about the lessons learned from investment in specialist supported housing.

The conference starts in earnest at 9.00am, with Grace Blakeley, Research Fellow at Institute for Public Policy Research and Tim Shipman, Political Editor at Sunday Times tackling Brexit from a macroeconomic and fiscal policy perspective.

Simon Dow, Chair of the Regulator of Social Housing, will do the regular annual sector update. No doubt he will cover sector reputation, risk, update on the regulatory progress and expectations in the post-Brexit environment. Expect it to be lively.

An expert panel, including Ebele Akojie, Chief Financial officer at One Housing Group, Mark Hattersley, CFO at Clarion Housing and Helen Rourke, Director of Finance at Manningham will provide analysis of how housing associations are managing their risks and how they are responding to these.

Fiona Dickinson, Investment Director at Aberdeen Standard Investments, Fenella Edge, Treasurer at the Housing Finance Corporation, Eilidh Mactaggart, Managing director of MetLife Investments and Henrietta Podd, Director of JCRA will then explore different funding sources in a new economic climate, including the views from a US investor.

Finally, before lunch, there will be a look at mergers and acquisitions and the different ways that these can be structured. Heather Ashton, Executive Director of Resources at Thirteen Group, Larry Gold – Deputy CEO at Trafford Housing Trust and Paul Weston, CFO at Housing 21 will be sharing their experiences.

We’ll also have the annual Savills research on the market.

Then a well-earned lunch.

But the afternoon will be no less packed. At this conference, there is a future stream running alongside the main programme in the afternoon. The future stream will have leading finance teams and the next generation of finance leaders sharing their vision for the future of the sector.

In the main session, we’ll hear Peter Denton, Group Finance Director at Hyde, Lee Gibson, Finance Director at Bromford, Susan Hickey, CFO at Peabody and Susie Rogers, Partner at Capsticks, talk about how they are rethinking the way we fund social housing.

We’ll also have sessions on how tenant voice is re-shaping business plans and how the sector is building new homes in light of the Hackitt recommendations.

The finale is bound to be interesting with the panel looking at which party takes the risks in a strategic partnership and joint venture.

In the future stream, there will be wide range of discussions taking place around pensions, changes in the banking markets and an interactive discussion on some treasury scenarios.

I will be on the panel for the final session, where we will address how we think the sector must change and adapt in the future. I’m looking forward to an exciting discussion.