Future London Leaders Mentors
Each Future London Leader is paired with a senior mentor from Future of London’s extensive cross-sector network. These mentors provide a ‘safe space’ sounding board for candidates, as well as invaluable experience and insights from their own careers. See here for more about mentoring.
Future London Leaders Round 19 Mentors
Jon Abbott, Head of Regeneration, LB Southwark
Jon has worked in planning and regeneration for three Local Authorities for over 30 years, 25 of which have been at Southwark Council. He is a member of the RTPI, this increased his experience in partnership working and project delivery. Jon started work as a planner but moved across to the council’s regeneration team in 1993. Initially he was part of a small team preparing what became the council’s successful Single regeneration Budget Bid for £60m to regenerate the North Peckham estates and revitalise Peckham Town Centre. He worked until 1999, helping to deliver the first three phases of redevelopment, employment, town centre and public realm improvement projects. In 1999 Jon moved to the council’s Elephant & Castle regeneration project first as assistant project director and subsequently from 2007 as Project Director. During this period, he led on the preparation of development framework for the area and partner selection processes which resulted in Lend Lease becoming the council’s development partner to redevelop the council’s Heygate estate. He was involved in consultation with residents of the estate and delivering a package of early homes to help rehouse them and was the council’s lead witness at the subsequent CPO public inquiry. In 2011 Jon started his current role, focusing on the on-going regeneration of Elephant & Castle including the shopping centre. From 2014 he has been leading the commercial negotiations with British Land to establish a JV to regenerate Canada Water.
Housing Regeneration Project Manager, LB Hackney
Ruth has worked in social housing for more than 30 years, and during this time she was involved in a variety of aspects of social housing. She spent some years working as an Independent Tenant and Leaseholder Adviser on a number of large regeneration schemes, leading to her extensive experience of community consultation. For the last ten years, Ruth has worked in development, initially in Waltham Forest, then in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and now for the London Borough of Hackney. Ruth has experience of working in Regeneration in very contrasting parts of London, and for Councils will differing political complexions. She also has experience in working on a variety of regeneration projects – in previous roles she was involved in enabling and strategic levels work. Currently her role is delivery focused.
Housing Strategy Manager, LB Lewisham
Jeff leads the Housing Strategy and Programme Delivery functions of Lewisham Council. Lewisham is taking forward housing development and regeneration using a range of mechanisms, including innovative new approaches to construction and community-led development, all of which are managed by Jeff and his team, as well as three large scale estate regeneration schemes which will deliver more than 2,000 new homes over a decade. Jeff created the business and operational cases for Lewisham entering the Build-to-Rent market, which it is now doing through a public/private investment partnership company. With his team he also led from concept to delivery of the award-winning PLACE/Ladywell development of re-usable homes for homeless people and is proud to have made Lewisham the only local authority in the country to be working alongside two community land trusts to develop new homes.
Director, MDR Associates
An experienced and personable director and business leader, Penny has operated as commercial director in the education field for 10 years and at MDR Architects for the last 16 years. Penny joined MDR after a career break with her 3 children and now is main equity director and solely responsible for the personnel, finance, strategy and business and project generation at MDR. With a strong history in HR, business finance and social and public administration Penny has built a successful team over the last few years, with further growth targeted.
Assistant Director – Regeneration & Planning, LB Enfield
Peter leads Enfield Council’s ambitious growth agenda – with responsibilities including regeneration, the planning department and economic development. The Council’s flagship regeneration project is Meridian Water, a £6 billion project which aims to deliver 10,000 new homes, rail infrastructure and the full range of neighbourhood facilities. Peter also manages Enfield’s pioneering estate renewal programme of 6,000 new homes including six projects which are on site. In addition to his work at Enfield, Peter is a board member of two housing associations.
Director of Housing and Growth, LB Haringey
Dan leads for Haringey on housing, economic development, carbon management and property. He recently led the work to establish a major new joint venture with a private sector partner to drive growth in homes and jobs on Council land. Before joining Haringey, Dan spent twelve years working for two Mayors of London, including as the Mayor’s senior adviser on Planning and Development, and as head of the Mayor’s Olympics team up to and through the Games in 2012, in which role he set up the London Legacy Development Corporation.
Head of Regeneration (South), LB Southwark
Neil has worked at a senior level in regeneration and housing in London for over 20 years. He is currently responsible for co-ordinating the complex regeneration programmes on housing estates such as the Aylesbury Estate and town centres such as Peckham as well as taking forward development sites. In previous roles he led on the procurement of a joint venture partner and a development agreement for major estate regeneration as well as delivery through a public/private regeneration agency.
Infrastructure Strategy Manager, RB Bexley
Tiffany is a Transport Planner/Strategist with 35 years’ wide-ranging experience in both the private and public sectors, particularly in planning, development and regeneration. Her career started at Kent County Council, but her development and regeneration work kicked off at London Docklands Development Corporation in 1991. She worked on major development proposals in Kent Thameside at Dartford Borough Council from 1994. In 2006, she joined Peter Brett Associates as an Associate, leading on a variety of transport planning and development projects. She joined Bexley in 2012, where she now seeks to secure the infrastructure to support the Council’s ambitious Growth Strategy. She has coordinated the Council’s work to maximise benefits from Crossrail at Abbey Wood and is supporting the case for a Crossrail extension to Ebbsfleet. Tiffany is a Board Member of the Transport Planning Society.
Director, Deloitte LLP
Claire is mentoring in an individual capacity. She currently works for Deloitte Real Estate as a Director in Real Estate Consulting, focusing on the public sector, including the NHS. Her role includes developing estate strategies, public sector land release and disposal, business case delivery, and programme development and management. She is also a non-Exec on the Board of Sovereign Housing Association. Before Deloitte, Claire led the development of the estates strategy at the Ministry of Defence. Prior to that she was a senior executive at the Homes and Communities Agency working on public sector land disposal, investment in housing projects and wider public: private partnerships. Claire has previously worked for the London Development Agency and at LB Barking and Dagenham.
Director – Real Estate Advisory, Lambert Smith Hampton
Neil began his development based career with advice on the development of Royal Victoria Place shopping centre in Tunbridge Wells and major retail led mixed use schemes in West Bromwich, Birmingham and Leamington Spa. In Cambridge, Neil led advice to the City Council on site assembly and the negotiation of commercial agreements with a development partner which has led to the successful development of Grand Arcade, a JLP anchored shopping centre scheme. Neil was engaged by Peel Holdings to successfully secure Enterprise Zone status for the 198 hectare Mersey Waters development and was engaged by Land Securities to devise and secure Tax Increment Finance arrangements between the developer, local authority and Scottish Government to deliver a substantial extension to Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow, as well as improved public realm and an upgraded public transport interchange. Those projects led to Neil’s involvement with the BCSC finance subcommittee, the Association of Chief Estates Surveyors and an active dialogue with the Treasury on the then emerging TIF regulations. More recently, Neil is working on projects as diverse as securing a new town hall complex for Lambeth Council substantially funded through residential development, delivering enabling development for a new Theatre complex in Aylesbury and undertaking a comprehensive regeneration of the 1,000 unit Gascoigne Estate in Barking. Neil also leads the company’s development advice to Thames Valley Police and Ealing Council where there is a key focus on developing public/private partnerships. Neil is a Chairman on the RICS APC programme as well as being a member of the Education Committee of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors.
Sue is a chartered architect and town planner with over 25 years’ experience of urban design in both the public and private sectors. She leads multi-disciplinary teams to deliver masterplans and regeneration strategies, always with the focus on making good places for the people that will live, work and play in the environments she helps to create. Sue has led Tibbalds’ training team for the last 5 years, putting in place bespoke courses for staff to develop professional skills. She is a panel member of the LLDC Quality Review Panel, and a non-executive Director of the Employee Ownership Association.
Head of Older People’s Services, Peabody
Iain has worked in a variety of roles in supported housing, from managing specialist mental health and homelessness services to business development and fundraising. As Head of Agency and Older People’s Services for Peabody, Iain has responsibility for a diverse portfolio that encompasses sheltered housing, day care, drug and alcohol services, restaurant facilities, community based health and well-being Programmes and even a swimming pool. Iain launched Peabody’s first Older People’s Strategy in 2015. The strategy produced in consultation with residents focuses on developing new and existing services to better reflect the needs, skills and diversity of older people.
Head of Corporate Services, Gateway Housing
Allison is a senior level executive with a strong track record in strategic leadership of people, change, financial and operational management, over 30 years. Leading the Corporate Services at Gateway, including HR & Organisation development and Communications, etc., she has extensive experience developing potential including mentoring. As Group Director for Corporate Services at Genesis Housing, she led the strategies and delivery of HR, IT, Communications, Diversity, Business Excellence, and other enabling services. Trained and qualified as an accountant with KPMG, with extensive audit and consulting experience, Allison has further expanded her areas of expertise, now a Chartered Fellow with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD). Allison’s experience is varied encompassing the private and third sectors as well as UK and international experience. Allison led the achievement of the Times Top 50 Employers for Women at Genesis and is an individual national award winner, championing balanced leadership teams for superior business performance.
Land, Acquisitions & Planning Director, L&Q
Elaine specialises in residential development and regeneration working in the not-for-profit sector in London and the South East. She started her housing career with L&Q delivering new build and refurbishment projects some 30 years ago. Following a succession of career progressions, both internally at L&Q and externally with other major Housing Associations, she now holds a Senior Management position and is responsible for leading the Land and Planning team in L&Q’s East Region, contributing towards the delivery of the Group’s growth ambition.
Strategic Spatial Planning Manager, Transport for London
Martin has fourteen years’ experience of developing plans, strategies and policies for cities across the world. He is currently at TfL where he leads on economic and strategic planning issues, working with the GLA and the boroughs to integrate land use and transport policy and making the case for major investment to support growth. Before that, he spent eleven years as a consultant at Atkins where he led projects to improve infrastructure delivery and urban policy in India, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as working extensively with local authorities in the UK on their Local Plans.
Future London Leaders Round 18 Mentors
Partner, Trowers & Hamlins
Sara is Head of Real Estate and specialises in development, regeneration, PPP projects, partnerships, joint ventures and regeneration. Sara has more than 20 years’ experience working with a range of local authorities, private providers and central government to develop public and private projects. She is an expert in providing innovative structuring advice in relation to property projects and regeneration transactions. Sara is acknowledged as a leader in the field of social housing in the Chambers & Partners’ Guide to the Legal Profession 2017. She is also acknowledged as a leading individual in the field of social housing in the 2016 edition of the Legal 500.
Partner – Real Estate, TLT Solicitors
Linda has 30 years’ experience advising the social housing sector on property issues. She acts for a range of Registered Providers, has worked with local authorities, and specialises in new affordable mixed-use or standalone-scheme housing. She deals with issues including negotiation of complex development agreements, conditional contracts, setting up joint ventures, planning agreements, shared-ownership leases and service charges. Linda has also been involved in the development and management of extra-care and supported housing, including services agreements and funding arrangements and bespoke retirement leases. Linda is well acquainted with the regulatory framework of the Homes and Communities Agency. She is a board member of a housing association, is recognised as an expert in the field of Social Housing by Chambers UK and Legal 500, and has supervised a number of trainee solicitors.
Executive Director People & Communications, Optivo
Kate started her career in homelessness and mental health 25 years ago. After completing a Master’s degree in Housing, she moved to the National Housing Federation, where she rose to Assistant Director and led on policy and lobbying for affordable housing for London and the South East. She moved to AmicusHorizon in 2013 as Executive Director of People and Strategy. She continued this role for Optivo following a merger in May 2017. Kate is the Chair of the CIH London Board and an external examiner for Westminster University.
Director of Regeneration, Poplar HARCA
Paul started his career in construction, working for main contractors in a variety of roles from management trainee to director. During this time, Paul worked in many sectors including education, retail, commercial and housing with projects ranging from £1m to £200m. In 2010, Paul joined Poplar HARCA as Director of Estate Regeneration to lead the Housing Choice programme, a £145m programme to regenerate more than 3,000 homes on six estates across Poplar in East London. Following the successful completion of the Housing Choice programme, Paul now works on a number of exciting development schemes for Poplar HARCA.
Principal Designer, London Legacy Development Corporation
Esther is a qualified architect and experienced regeneration client with extensive experience in urban design, public realm and architecture. After working as an architect in the private sector, including at HawkinsBrown, Fluid and Meadowcroft Griffin Architects, she joined Design for London in 2010 and has since been ensuring high-quality design across significant regeneration projects including at the London Legacy Development and Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporations. She is committed to securing high-quality strategies and architectural design proposals to ensure good pieces of integrated city are established within a context of growth. Esther is also a member of Haringey’s Quality Review Panel and has recently been Creative Director at the RIBA for their Guerrilla Tactics Conference.
Director of Regeneration, Hadley Property Group
A highly experienced and enthusiastic specialist in development, regeneration, Steve has operated in client and consultant management, and led delivery teams on a wide variety of mixed-use regeneration schemes. He joined Hadley in 2015 after leading a number of major private/public partnership projects across the capital. From 2008 – 2012, he served as Director of Land & Development at the London Development Agency, leading the team responsible for the 2,000-acre, £600m land portfolio; this included the specialist team responsible for concluding the land purchase in Stratford’s Olympic Park. As part of the ‘Urban Communities Development’ team at Land Securities, Steve also led urban extension projects across the south east. This included the Ebbsfleet International Eurostar station, Harlow North and the White City masterplan.
Senior Project Officer – Supported & Specialist Housing, Greater London Authority
Leanne has more than 15 years’ experience working in the private, public and voluntary sectors, focusing on housing and community development. She began her career in Canada in 1997, supporting social and economic development projects in the charitable sector. After gaining an MSc in Urban Regeneration at UCL’s the Bartlett in 2006, Leanne worked for a leading planning and urban design consultancy, promoting key sites for residential and commercial development across England. She also managed a capital grants programme at Sport England to help schools open their sports facilities for community users. In her role at the GLA, Leanne manages the Mayor’s dedicated capital programmes for specialised and supported housing. This includes overseeing programme delivery, brokering relationships, and encouraging bids from Registered Providers.
Head of Social & Economic Regeneration, Genesis
Sherine is from a social housing background and has specialised in community regeneration for the past 20 years. She is a qualified practitioner and is currently responsible for the development and delivery of social and economic programmes on two large regeneration schemes: Woodberry Down in Hackney and Grahame Park in Barnet. She has worked with a variety of communities across London and managed an array of cross-thematic programmes, including enterprise development, employability, health & well-being, financial inclusion, children and young people, and older people.
Associate Director – Integrated City Planning, Arup
Lynne is a spatial economist and local growth policy specialist, with experience across economic analysis, impact appraisal and evaluation (economic, socio-economic and equalities), cost benefit analysis, and national, regional and local growth policy development. She started at Arup as a transport economist, and now has a broad-ranging economic portfolio within the Integrated City Planning team. She has an excellent understanding of policy context and key political drivers, and her current specialism is the interface between economic, transport and planning policy: understanding what drives economic growth and regional economic disparities. She has an advanced degree in public economic policy awarded jointly by the London School of Economics and Columbia University in New York.
James is a Director in the Multifamily team at Greystar London, focused on the delivery of ‘Build to Rent’ communities in the UK. He works with project stakeholders and leads Greystar’s public-sector engagement at a time when Build to Rent and multifamily housing are emerging strongly. With 20 years’ experience delivering housing across all tenures, James understands the priorities of local communities and policymakers in delivering long-term rental developments that are purpose-designed and -managed and focus on placemaking. James sits on the DCLG Build to Rent Joint Committee, the British Property Federation’s Build to Rent committee and the Urban Land Institute’s UK Residential Council. He is a regular commentator, including at MIPIM London and at the launch of the Future of London/LSE report, Making the Most of Build to Rent, and contributed to ULI’s Build to Rent Best Practice Guide. Prior to joining Greystar, James led the Residential Projects team at Deloitte Real Estate in London for 12 years, during which he undertook ancillary roles at the HCA and RICS.
Director of Property, City of Westminster
Guy has 28 years’ experience across various property-industry disciplines . He spent 20 years in City consultancy, including as a Drivers Jonas Partner responsible for establishing and running the firm’s international investment team. Guy was CEO of Clarenco, a property and venture-capital business which he helped grow from a start-up, and ran his own consultancy providing advice to new property enterprises and troubleshooting for businesses and portfolios in difficulty. He was approached by Westminster City Council to fulfil a similar role and is now Director of Property, responsible for Corporate Property, Investment and Development teams managing almost £1bn of commercial real estate and a development programme of £2.6bn GDV. Guy is a member of the Investment Property Forum, a Professional Member of the RICS and has an MSc in Property Investment from Cass Business School.
Visakha Sri Chandrasekera
Visakha is an experienced housing professional, with particular expertise in strategic housing policy, the
affordable housing sector and the delivery of residential-led regeneration. Her career started at LB Newham and then LB Islington, where she led partnership and investment delivery. This included co-writing (with planners) one of London’s first SPGs on Affordable Housing. She went on to work for the Housing Corporation as an Area Manager and later as Deputy Director of Investment for London, where she led the team through the merger with English Partnerships to create the Homes & Communities Agency. In 2010, she joined the private sector, working for Lovell Partnerships on London business development and creating a popular forum for the public sector to debate emerging housing policy. In 2016, she set up a consultancy, helped develop the Housing Zones Network (now London Housing Network) with Future of London and the GLA, and now works principally in development for Rydon.
Barney is a consultant specialising in the social and economic impact of development, with a track record including many of the biggest regeneration projects in the country. A commercial focus combined with 25 years’ experience from all sides of planning and policy, as a journalist, researcher in Parliament, at the CBI, London Development Agency and as an entrepreneur. Specialties include: Demographics, Economics, Schools, Health, Planning, Policy, Housing, Employment, Transport.
Head of Housing Supply Initiatives & Partnerships, LB Camden
Karen has been at LB Camden for 20 years, and during that time has held a number of positions, taking the lead for housing strategy, performance and commissioning. She recently held the post of Programme Director HS2, steering Camden through the parliamentary process of the HS2 Hybrid Bill. She has been seconded out of the organisation on two occasions, to work with Louise Casey in the ASB Unit at the Home Office and to the Metropolitan Police.
Head of Forward Planning, RB Kensington & Chelsea
Jonathan is an RTPI-accredited urban planner with more than 25 years’ experience in the UK public sector. My experience covers the breadth of planning, including management positions in Development Management and Planning Policy, mostly in London. Jonathan is adaptable and used to working across a variety of disciplines from writing planning policy through project management and assessing major planning applications to negotiation. In his current role, he has driven high-profile strategic projects which were priorities on the corporate agenda.
Deputy Divisional Director, Planning & Building Control, LB Tower Hamlets
David has responsibilities across Planning & Building Control and, together with the Director, leads and manages 153 staff. He didn’t follow a traditional planning path, starting in surveying, but soon changing tack and shifting to urban regeneration and planning, with a career-long focus on delivery. He started at in LB Lambeth Planning Implementation team, initiating, defining and delivering government-funded improvement projects from public realm schemes and housing estate initiatives, through the creation of affordable workspace – and perhaps most notably, as part of the team that brought Brixton’s Ritzy Cinema back into use as part of a wider scheme.