David Cowans, Group Chief Executive
David has over 30 years’ experience of housing, urban regeneration, mixed-tenure and mixed use development, property management and financial management, leading strategic change in large and small organisations.
David is a Fellow of the Institute of Housing, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors and has an MBA from Birmingham University. He is also an Academician of The Academy of Urbanism and a Visiting Fellow of Cambridge University.
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.
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 housing-led regeneration programmes in the UK and is responsible for the Group’s large-scale new places including joint ventures.
Previously, she worked in the private sector on large-scale, mixed-tenure developments in the consultancy sector, specialising in public/private sector partnerships and housing market renewal. Mary is Trustee & Chair of the Town & Country Planning Association and Trustee of MOBIE an educational charity encouraging innovation in housing design and delivery. She joined Places for People in 2004, becoming Group Director in 2010.
Pat Egan, Group Director, Affordable Housing (Retiring)
Pat has over 30 years’ experience in affordable and mixed-tenure housing management, managing one of the largest registered provider’s 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 the Group.
Andy Winstanley, Group Finance Director
Andy was appointed Group Finance Director in August 2017, having previously operated as the Group’s Financial Controller since joining Places for People in 2010. Andy qualified as an Accountant at Ernst and Young where he spent nine years in its North-West assurance practice.
Debi Marriott-Lavery, Group Executive Director - Affordable Housing
Debi is a Qualified Healthcare Professional who has over 20 years’ experience working at senior level in the Health, Social Care and Housing markets, strategically leading teams and businesses to provide innovative high quality services in diverse and challenging markets for both public, independent and not for profit sectors. Debi has an excellent track record and a strong reputation; she most recently was Chief Executive of Living+, Part of the Places for People Group which provides accommodation, support and care services to help vulnerable people with complex needs live independent fulfilling lives, prior to this Debi was Managing Director Community Services, Care UK and previously Chief Operating Officer at Anchor Trust.
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 development company.
Chris joined the Places for People Group board in 2006 and was a senior independent director from 2008. He became Chairman in 2010.
Until recently Graham was Global Head of Equities at Janus Henderson Investors. Prior to joining Janus Henderson in 2005 as Head of UK Equities, Graham was with Threadneedle Investments, and he spent 13 years at INVESCO Asset Management as a UK Fund Manager and Co-Head of Investment. Graham is non-executive director of Invesco Perpetual Select Trust plc and The Mercantile Investment Trust plc. Graham also Chairs the Investment Committee for the Cancer Research Pension Fund, and is a member of the Investment Committee of the charity Independent Age. Graham also acts as mentor for The Prince’s Trust and The Social Mobility Foundation. He has recently become an ambassador for the Diversity Project which is an industry initiative to promote gender equality in the investment management industry.
Graham graduated from Lancaster University with a first class BA (Hons) in history and earned a master’s degree in modern history from Oxford University. Graham joined the Places for People Group board in October 2017.
Jon is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and has 40 years’ experience in property development, investment and asset management. His executive career 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 Estates.
His current NED and advisory roles include Chairman of Mulgrave Property Group Limited, a Yorkshire based residential developer and special adviser to a large AIM listed development land owning business with assets throughout England and Scotland. He also operates his own property, energy and minerals consulting business, Winksley Consulting.
Formerly, Jon was a non-executive director of Tilfen Land, a London property investment and development company and in the health sector with Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust where he chaired the Finance and Investment Committee. Outside his business interests, Jon is an active supporter of several charities.
Jon joined the Places for People Group board in 2012.
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.
Nigel is Finance Director of Abbeyfield and Chairman 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 the Confederation of British Industry, Fiat, Laporte (Chemical), Burmah Castrol, United Technologies, Coopers & Lybrand, Ernst & Young and Remploy. At Remploy 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 wide 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 October 2013 and the board of Cotman in August 2016.
Adam Cleal, Ventures board chair
Adam has over 30 years’ experience as a real estate solicitor including over 25 years working on housing deals including many housing debt facilities and bonds, sale-leaseback deals and Large Scale Voluntary Transfers. In addition he had a wide-ranging legal practice in property investments and disposals, office and housing developments, M&A, infrastructure projects, sports facilities, funds and structures as well as long and short term debt, securitisations and structured finance. He also dealt with many regulatory bodies over that period on a continuing and frequent basis. For over 25 years he was a partner at Allen & Overy, one of the largest law firms in the world, and in that time was head of the London real estate group for 15 years and head of the international real estate group for 11 years; he also spent time on the firm's audit committee. He chairs the Clay Hill Charitable Trust which helps address homelessness, youth unemployment and special educational needs. He has personal experience of investing in and managing residential property. He was a non-executive director of PfP Capital Limited immediately before joining the Places for People Group board in October 2017. He chairs the board of Places for People Ventures Limited which oversees the Group’s non-affordable housing businesses.
Graham Waddell, Senior Independent Director
Graham worked for Nationwide Building Society over a period of 32 years during which he held a number of Senior Executive positions in a range of disciplines including Retail Banking, Marketing, Customer Experience, Risk and Strategy development. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers. He was also the Managing Director of a Nationwide subsidiary company, which was a large private landlord and property owning vehicle. Graham joined the Board of Castle Rock Edinvar in September 2013 and became its Chairman on 1 March 2018. Graham joined the Board of Places for People Group Limited on 1 September 2018 and was appointed senior independent director in 2019.
Amjad joined the Royal Navy whilst at university. An unusually broad career has seen operational jobs at sea balanced ashore with a variety of functions that have similarities with the Places for People business. It has also included 2 periods on the Royal Navy’s main board, lastly as Controller of the Navy, a role which included responsibility for the complete aircraft carrier programme. He then led a technical consultancy business for a multi-national corporation before developing a non-executive portfolio encompassing technology start-ups, trustee positions and personal charity projects overseas.
He is a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum and the HMS Victory Preservation Company, a Fellow and council member of the City & Guilds Institute and an ambassador for Mosaic, a Prince’s Trust charity. He holds bachelor and master’s degrees in engineering, a master’s degree from London Business School and an honorary doctorate from Durham University. He was made a Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 2011.
Amjad joined the Places for People Group board in November 2018.