Anne Costain begins as new Stonewater Executive Director – Finance

Anne Costain has taken over as Executive Director – Finance at leading national housing provider Stonewater, following a smooth handover period from John Bruton.

Anne Costain, Executive Director – Finance, Stonewater

Anne takes the finance reins at the 34,000-home housing association after joining 12 months ago as Director of Corporate Finance.

In her short time at Stonewater, Anne has worked closely with John and been instrumental in ensuring the social landlord has supported residents through the pandemic and has helped deliver a series of significant recent financial milestones.

In November 2020, Stonewater became one of the first housing associations to publish a Sustainable Finance Framework, outlining how investor funds would be used to deliver a range of environment, social and governance (ESG) objectives.

Next, the finance team launched its ESG-accredited EMTN funding programme to allow bond finance up a total of £1bn to be raised in the coming years, ensuring Stonewater can continue to deliver on its pledges to customers.

Finally, Stonewater successfully issued a competitively priced sustainability bond for £250m in September. Among other things, the bond will underpin the plan to substantially increase the delivery of new affordable homes to 6,250 by March 2024.

Nicholas Harris, CEO at Stonewater, said: “Having worked with Anne on several important projects in the past year, I know she is ideally placed to build on the legacy of strong financial foundations put in place by John. I am very much looking forward to working with her as part of our executive leadership team.

“I would like to thank John for the talent, determination and financial leadership he has brought to Stonewater since our creation by merger in 2015. It is in no way an overstatement to say that, without John’s contribution, we would not be in the strong position able to support customers that we are today.”

Anne Costain, Executive Director – Finance at Stonewater, said: “John is an incredibly hard act to follow – he and the team have achieved so much during his tenure. I am very grateful to John for the support he has given me since I joined – in particular in the past few months as we prepared for this handover.

“It is clear testament to John that investor appetite to work with Stonewater is so strong. We will be building on this in the coming months in a variety of ways, including the establishment of a new sustainability team within the business, who will also facilitate reporting against the Sustainable Finance Framework.”

Anne added: “To ensure we continue to generate home-grown housing finance talent, we are exploring the creation of finance apprenticeships across the three core areas of the team: treasury, business partnering and planning, and financial services. This is something I am passionate about and we will be working hard to present housing finance as a career of choice to the next generation of housing professionals.”

John Bruton, former Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director – Finance at Stonewater, said: “I wish Anne every success in her new role. I have seen first-hand just how driven she is in the past year – I know she will continue to be a fantastic leader and asset to Stonewater.”

John added: “I have enjoyed the best years of my career at this incredible organisation. While I am sorry to be leaving for good at the end of year when I retire, I do so safe in the knowledge that Stonewater is in good health and has the right people to lead it confidently in the next exciting chapter of our story.”