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Posting date: 25 Aug 2023

I've been at L&G running the affordable homes business for just over 3-years now. Starting from scratch, me and my co-workers have built a business of 115 people delivering great quality affordable housing across the country. My colleagues in the recruitment team asked if I could write something about my experience, where I had come from and what me, and my team, are seeking to create. So here goes!


If you were to ask my wife how she would describe me, she’d probably say I am entrepreneurial, ambitious for my team, and not afraid to push boundaries. But I guess, at the centre of it all is my passion for making ideas happen.


How did i come to be where I am today? Well in my late teens, I wanted to work in sustainable agriculture as I had an interest in that - helping developing communities introduce sustainable farming methods to help meet their needs and protect future generations. So I took a year off, and worked on farms - then went to Reading University and got my degree in Agriculture - a long way away from my current role! I never made it to Africa though - after my degree, I started working for a land agent, managing large landed estates – including Blenheim Palace and Lord Sands’ Estate, (he was the inventor of Worcester sauce!) but I then decided to take my exams and become a surveyor.


While a career in surveying might seem a little mundane from the outside, that certainly wasn’t the case for me. Early in my career I was lucky enough to work on the funding and delivery of some large government regeneration projects, which included stadiums and other venues in Manchester and Liverpool. In the years that followed, I held a variety of roles, from working for a large consultancy and a house builder, to a housing association and a local authority. Prior to L&G I have been at the helm of 3 start-ups, all of which grew and prospered successfully. 


These experiences gave me a growing understanding of the housing market and insights into what people look for in affordable homes. My experiences helped me identify innovative ways of building high quality homes at lower prices and understand the challenges to the design, construction, planning and funding sectors in building attractive homes that residents want to enjoy. And, as a natural problem solver, these experiences made me want to provide solutions for as many of these challenges as possible.


When I first joined as CEO at L&G Affordable Homes, the plan was nothing more than a financial model and a supporting document. But I was excited to have an opportunity to build a start-up within a well-known brand. Building the Affordable Homes business from scratch has been a huge passion project for me. We have always focused on employing people with great potential and giving them as many opportunities to grow as possible. My team and I have massively benefited from constructive challenge and support from the L&G Group, which has proved invaluable. My top priority is constantly to create a space where no one’s potential is restricted.


Ultimately as CEO, it’s my responsibility to build a great team and make sure they have the support they need to be able to perform at their best, so our business can continue to go from strength to strength. It’s also my job to work with the team to constantly review our plans for the next six months and beyond, identify problems before they arise, and proactively seek solutions and grasp market opportunities. At the moment our greatest challenge is to identify new ways to provide exceptional customer service in a housing business, based on what the world’s top technology and digital companies are doing. For example, we are currently building our digital housing platform which creates an opportunity to invest in housing and can respond to customers in a quick and authentic way.


One of the best things about working in a start-up like L&G Affordable Homes, is the variety of each day and the opportunities this creates for us to make a social impact, with high quality, affordable housing, while delivering commercial returns to shareholders and investors. In line with L&G’s ethos, we also aim to ensure that the housing we provide minimises environmental impact and maximises sustainability. 


This is probably what surprised me most about L&G: despite being such a big organisation, it is very entrepreneurial. There is always the desire to maximise the potential of any business we invest in or grow and, through these businesses, we support people to deliver great ideas. This is where my ambition comes into play because I am very keen to make things happen for others and watch them as they grow and succeed.


L&G is a business which invests society’s capital to build better futures. We want the Affordable Homes business to be a great exemplar of the L&G ambitions, proving the art of the possible by investing long term capital, with investment managed by a great, talented team, to deliver positive societal outcomes.


Our objective is simple: we want to build affordable housing, improve customer service and build a digital, frictionless business.


The LGAH team believe passionately in our purpose and we operate in an agile way to bring these innovations to life. We are ambitious, but we are also mindful of the need to create a positive and productive culture, which strikes a balance between asking people to go the extra mile, and ensuring we look after their wellbeing. It’s a very thoughtful environment; many people join the business because they see how, as a start-up, we can leapfrog some of the challenges that exist in the sector.


The sky’s the limit for the future and I look forward to welcoming new people to the team as we continue to grow, who will bring more diverse thinking and innovative ideas. I hope I too can play a part in realising as many of those ideas as possible.

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