Home Group appoints new chairman
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Home Group appoints new chairman
A former FTSE executive has been apointed as the new chairman of Home Group.
Bob Davies takes over from Rod Bennion who was a member of the Home Group board for nine years, five and a half of which as chairman.
Home Group manages 55,000 properties and provides care and support to nearly 30,000 vulnerable people across 200 local authorities.
Mr Davies has operated in executive and board roles for FTSE companies, large private utilities and the majority public-owned nuclear power generator British Energy. He was chairman of the University of Sunderland and was also asked to join the board of Northern Rock following its collapse.
Speaking about his appointment, Mr Davies said: “I am immensely proud to become chairman of such a long-established, well-structured organisation that does so much to help more than 150,000 people each year.
“The social housing sector is under intense pressure to deliver new housing and better services in the face of crippling economic circumstances and shrinking budgets.
"Home Group has developed a robust new five-year strategy to combat these conditions and to create fresh opportunities to do more for the people we help.
"This is a fascinating time to lead a talented board of directors to assist Home Group’s executive team to deliver this strategy. In doing so, we will have an even greater impact on the lives of many thousands of people across the UK.
“In particular, I am energised by the thought that I can use my expertise and commercial experience to help shape stronger communities. Home Group is all about rebuilding lives, caring for and protecting families and helping vulnerable people back to independent living.
"I cannot think of a better way to use the skills I have learned in industry and in a not-for-profit organisation to make a genuine difference.”
Mark Henderson, Home Group chief executive, paid tribute to outgoing chairman Rod Bennion: “I cannot overstate the debt of gratitude that Home Group’s staff, customers and clients owe to Rod Bennion for his unceasing energy, rigour, expertise and insight which has helped to turn around the fortunes of this incredible organisation.
“Rod and his board have taken Home Group on a journey that has cemented its place as one of the foremost social housing providers and a leading light in the provision of care and support.
“In Bob Davies, we have recruited a chairman that can pick up the baton seamlessly. Bob has vast experience of delivering results in the commercial world, he is a seasoned operator in regulated environments and yet is also someone who has proven his worth in the not-for-profit sector.
"The blending of those skill-sets will be invaluable in supporting Home Group’s executive team as they work with staff to deliver on our new five-year strategy.”
Rod Bennion, Home Group’s outgoing chairman, said: “When I joined Home Group it was a mediocre performer in our sector. The board and executive have jointly transformed Home Group into a high performing business that genuinely puts customers and clients at the heart of what we do.
"We have moved from customer satisfaction levels of 60 to 70 per cent when I started to the current level of 93 per cent.
“We have been able to change the culture of the organisation and released the talents of our people to drive the business forward. This has given us a platform to deliver our new strategy, providing Housing with Care, under Bob’s leadership.
“I am particularly proud to have been involved in vibrant new initiatives such as the ‘A Good Death’ pilot helping terminally ill people as well as helping our customers and clients access employment opportunities with us and our contractors via our new apprenticeships programme.
"Equally, we now have a robust asset management strategy and we are sector leaders when it comes to being transparent with our customers, clients, colleagues, commissioners and stakeholders.
“I am confident that I leave Home Group in robust financial health, with one of the best gearing ratios in the sector and with the systems in place for it to continue to grow and deliver its mission to open doors for its customers and clients. I wish Bob and the board, as well as Mark and his executive team, every future success.”