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Opinion: Don't you know who I am?

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Opinion: Don't you know who I am?

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

power players 2014 power players 2014

Boris Worrall, Orbit Group's executive director - futures, gives his verdict on this year's 24housing Power Players list.

Reading tea leaves is easier than trying to decipher the rich, opaque and multi-layered cocktail of power, people and personality which is the Top 50 Power Players list.

But look closely and there are some tantalising glimpses of the hidden networks and nexus of influence which drive the sector.

Personality is key - the top five CEOs are all charismatic, connected and active in the public sphere - size isn't everything.

Social media is also starting to drive visibility with Nick Atkin, Alison Inman, Paul Taylor - as well as bloggers Steve Hilditch and Jules Birch - arguably punching above their weight.

Interestingly, London is in decline with BJ and Blakeaway both slipping significantly.

With an election looming, policy makers like Morton and Lyons (note ex-PX policy wonk Boles higher than Hopkins) are on the up, and there's increased profile for Ashby and Bailes as the HCA flexes its regulatory muscles.

Freud, IDS and Best all fall, indicating a sense of a 'new normal' around Welfare Reform after the pitched battles of 2013.

David Orr rightly nails top spot reflecting his success in getting housing on the political agenda, but also his place as the fulcrum of NHF campaigning with the CIH represented by both Grania Long and Gavin Smart.

With help to buy in the headlines Osborne lands second spot, with Hopkins and Reynolds both outside the top 10 showing the limitations of the housing brief. Mick Kent's courage in challenging established thinking is rightly rewarded with 39th spot.

As ever there's a couple of wild cards in there, perhaps reflecting the diverse (and mysterious?) 200-strong electorate as much as reality on the ground. Mostly though, like any good cocktail, it's mostly a bit of fun. So enjoy. Until 2015.

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