Jephson and Raglan announce top appointments
Partnership plans between Jephson and Raglan housing associations have taken another step forward with an announcement by the new Board Designate Committee (BDC) on the proposed top level structure for the merged organisation.
The BDC will be led by George Blunden as Chair and Michael Collins as Deputy Chair
(currently Chairs of Raglan and Jephson Boards respectively).
Bob Strachan (current CEO of Jephson) has been announced as Chief Executive Officer, with Nick Harris (current CEO of Raglan) taking up the post of Deputy CEO.
The BDC was established in February to enable the combined organisation to begin to take shape and make decisions on how it will operate.
An application to the HCA for consent to form the new combined Group is expected to be made this summer. Both Jephson and Raglan Boards will remain operational and continue in their responsibilities for the current businesses until the merger is approved by the HCA. The CEO appointments will become effective once the new organisation is formally operational – expected to be by early 2015.
George Blunden said he is pleased by the progress, which will create one of the UK’s most significant social housing providers, both in terms of assets and geographical spread: “I’m very much looking forward to working with the new team towards our goal – which is to for everyone to have the opportunity to have a place they can call home, particularly those who may be disadvantaged or vulnerable and whose needs are not met by the open market. We have a fantastic level of expertise on the new team and shared vision to create a dynamic new organisation, which will deliver meaningful benefits for residents, employees, the business and our working partners. We are keeping the Regulator closely informed and are now focussing on shaping our application in parallel with developing our plans for the future.”
Bob Strachan - who will lead the business as CEO once the merger is approved and
formalised – said he believes it’s a tremendous opportunity: “Both Jephson and Raglan are already strong, successful organisations. By combining we can deliver substantial benefits for residents and increase the range of affordable homes to meet an ever growing need. We’re looking at creating almost 1,000 additional new homes, along with improvements in core services and significant community investment to support sustainable futures. It’s a sizable challenge, but one which both Nick and I are very much looking forward to.”
George Blunden has been Chair of Raglan Board since January 2010 and has significant experience in the affordable housing sector. He was previously Chair of Southern Housing Group, from 1992-2005. He is also chair of the Charity Bank, which provides affordable loan finance to those charitable and social organisations who might find it difficult to access loans from the commercial banks. He is a non-executive Director of Beazley plc, an insurance company. He has served as a Director of a number of financial institutions most of his career and is a graduate of Oxford University.
Michael Collins was appointed Chair of Jephson in August 2010. A retired barrister, he was formerly managing director of the UK’s largest property law firm, Countrywide Property Lawyers. Michael is a Graduate of Kingston University, London.
Bob Strachan has worked in the housing sector for more than three decades and has been Chief Executive of Jephson Housing Association Group for 26 years. He is member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Chartered Institute of Housing. A native of Shetland, he graduated from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
Nick Harris has extensive experience in the housing sector, having held senior posts in a number of large housing associations. Before joining Raglan in 2010, he was Chief Executive of a stock transfer association and he has considerable experience in socio-economic regeneration, having served on the Boards of a Community Bank in South Hampshire and an SRB agency in Southampton. Nick is a graduate of the University of Southampton.