We are committed to achieving high standards of business
integrity, corporate governance and professionalism. Our activities
are overseen by a board comprising of 8 non-executive directors and
5 executive directors.
The non-executive directors act independently of management which
ensures the highest standards of accountability and transparency
are upheld throughout the organisation.
Non-executive board members
Chris Phillips, Group Chairman
Chris was Managing Director of PB Securities, the UK subsidiary
of Prudential Bache, for three years, before joining Lombard Odier
as the Managing Director of its London broking business. He then
joined Colliers International and after heading its residential
consultancy business, became the first Managing Director of
Colliers Capital (UK).
Chris has chaired a number of companies listed in the UK and
Germany, and is currently non-executive Chairman of Hadleigh
Waymoth, an independent advisory and fund management business, and
London & Newcastle, a leading London-based mixed-use property
Chris joined the Places for People Group Board in 2006 and was a
senior independent director from 2008. He became Chairman in
Joe Seet is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years'
experience in specialist accounting, regulatory compliance, tax
planning, investment funds, banking, financial services and
corporate governance. His career spans treasury, wholesale and
investment banking in senior finance roles with Chemical Bank, the
National Bank of Kuwait, ScotiaMcLeod and Donaldson, and Lufkin
& Jenrette. He was a Partner in the investment firms Beaumont
Capital and Sunningdale Capital, and Senior Partner of the Sigma
Partnership, a well-regarded business advisory and compliance
accounting firm. He is also a non-executive director of the Royal
Yachting Association and chairs its Audit & Risk Committee.
Joe is also a professional investor, entrepreneur, financial
advisor, expert advisor on corporate governance and regulatory
matters, an accredited mediator specialising in professional
partnership disputes, and a member of the Taxation Committee of the
London Society of Chartered Accountants. He joined the Places for
People Group Board in 2011 and chairs the Remuneration
A Chartered Accountant with over 20 years' experience in real
estate finance, corporate reporting and financial management,
Lynette is also a Director of the London Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, a Trustee of Landaid, and past UK Chair of National Women
in Property Association. She also spent 10 years as a Partner with
BDO Stoy Hayward, where she specialised in international real
estate transactions. Lynette joined the Places for People Group
Board in 2011.
Dr Cathy Garner
With over 25 years' experience, Cathy is an expert in
innovation, specialising in innovation in cities and communities,
with a research and policy background in social housing, urban
regeneration and the links between universities and business. She
is currently Director of the Work Foundation, an Independent Member
to the London-Cambridge-Stansted Corridor Commission, a member of
the Standing Selection Committee for the National Centres of
Excellence of Canada, a Trustee of the Council on Health Research
andDevelopment, a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and of
the Royal Society of Arts.
She was previously Director of Housing Management and Research
at the Housing Corporation and Head of Innovation at Scottish
Homes; she served on the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual
Property and was a member of the Cabinet Office Innovators'
Council. In 2002, she founded an international charity addressing
the health needs of the global poor for which she still writes and
Cathy joined the Places for People Group board in 2011.
Jon is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
and has over 36 years' experience in property development,
investment and asset management. His career has included roles as
Chief Executive of UK Coal, Head of Group Property for HBOS,
Managing Director of the Northern Region of DTZ international
property advisers, and Managing Director of Yorkshire Water
Currently, he is a non-executive director of the Wrightington,
Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust; Chairman of Reform Energy, an
alternative energy development and generation company, has his own
property and energy consulting business, Winksley Consulting, and
until recently, was a non-executive director of Tilfen Land, a
property investment and development company based in London.
Outside his business interests, Jon supports the charities The
Prince's Trust and Help For Heroes. He joined the Places for People
Group Board in 2012.
Nigel is Director of Resources for the Confederation of British
Industries, Springboard Limited and a trustee of Instructus, the
UK's largest provider, registration and certification authority for
apprenticeships, having previously had a wide ranging international
career, living and working in the UK, Europe and the USA.
He is a qualified accountant and has held senior management
positions with Fiat, Laporte (Chemical), Burmah Castrol, United
Technologies, Coopers & Lybrand, Ernst & Young and, most
recently, Remploy, where he was Finance and Strategy Director at a
time when the company was being transformed from one that was
exclusively an employer of disabled people in a diverse range of
industries, to one that placed 15,000 disabled and disadvantaged
people into work each year. Nigel joined the Places for People
Group Board in 2013.
Brenda's current appointments include Partnership Non- Executive
Director of National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and Chairman of
Empiric Student Property plc. She is a Vice-President of the
War Widows Association and President of the Abbeyfield Society
charity. Brenda is also a Trustee of the Thomson Foundation
and of University College Cancer Charity. Her past
appointments include that of Chairman of the Housing Corporation,
Chairman of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body and President of the
College of Occupational Therapy, member of the Royal Commission on
the Future of the House of Lords and the House of Lords
Brenda was a member of the National Committee of Inquiry into
the Future of Higher Education - the Dearing Committee. She
is a member of Council of the University of Nottingham, and has
been a Council member of City University, London, the Open
University and the London School of Economics.
She started her working life in the Trade Union movement and was
subsequently elected General Secretary of the Society of Graphical
and Allied Trades (SOGAT), the printing, publishing and paper
Brenda joined the Places for People Group Board in
Michael Brodtman is a Chartered Surveyor with 35 years'
experience of both commercial and residential property markets.
Michael is responsible for UK valuation services at CBRE, the
largest global real estate services firm, where he is a member of
the UK Operating Committee and Executive Board.
Michael is a member of the Global Valuation Professional
Board of the RICS, and for 10 years was a Non Executive
Director at leading property data provider, IPD.
Michael joined the Places for People Group Board in 2016.
Executive board members
David Cowans, Group Chief Executive
David has over 30 years' experience of housing, urban
regeneration, mixed tenure and mixed use development, property and
financial management, having led strategic change in both large and
He has an MBA from Birmingham University and is a Fellow of the
Institute of Directors, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors, a Chartered Member of the Institute of
Housing, a Member of The Institute of Residential Property
Management, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is Visiting
Fellow of Cambridge University.
Simran Soin, Group Finance Director
Simran is a Chartered Management Accountant with over 20 years'
experience of financial management. Before joining Places for
People in 2003, he held various senior finance positions in the
chemicals sector for Courtaulds, ICI and INEOS, in the UK, the USA
and the Far East.
Simran has previously been both Group Financial Controller and
Financial Resources Director for the Places for People Group.
Mary Parsons, Group Director,
Placemaking and Regeneration
Mary has over 25 years' experience in the development,
construction and regeneration industry, working across the private,
registered provider and consultancy sectors. She has been involved
in some of the largest housingled regeneration programmes in the
Previously, she worked in the consultancy business, specialising
in public/private sector partnerships and housing market renewal,
and also worked in the private sector on large-scale, mixed-tenure
developments. Mary is a Trustee of the Town & Country Planning
Association and joined Places for People in 2004, becoming Group
Business Development Director in 2010.
Colin Rae, Group Development Director
Colin has 30 years' experience working in the Development and
Construction industry, from Chartered Quantity Surveying through to
Development Management. Colin joined Places for People in 2002 and
currently manages Places for People Group Development and
Construction teams in England and Scotland. With a particular
interest in high quality design, he has delivered a variety of
mixed tenure projects within Places for People.
A member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Colin
holds directorships with both Homes for Scotland and a number of
property development related companies and was previously
(Voluntary) Chair of Turning Point Scotland. He currently sits on
the Private Rented Sector Steering Group working with the PRS
Champion in Scotland.
Chris Martin, Group Company Secretary
and Legal Services Director
Chris is a solicitor with over 25 years' experience of legal
practice and joined Places for People in 2008.
Previously, he worked in private practice for 10 years, in a
City law firm and as a partner in a US legal practice, and then in
general counsel roles in UK and international businesses, in a
number of different industry sectors.
Pat Egan, Group Director, Affordable Housing
Pat has over 30 years' experience in affordable and mixed-tenure
housing management, managing one of the largest registered
providers in the UK. He has over 20 years' experience at a senior
level in a variety of roles focussing on business transformation,
including the transfer of Bristol Churches Housing Association into