bpha people

bpha is led and governed by its Board, supported by an Audit and Risk Committee, a Group Treasury Committee, a Remuneration and Nominations Committee, a Development and Assets Committee and resident scrutiny activities.

The Board is collectively responsible for ensuring the success of bpha and its compliance with all legal and regulatory obligations by directing and supervising bpha’s affairs.

The Board:

  • provides leadership of bpha;
  • sets the organisation’s strategic aims, ensures that the necessary financial and human resources are in place for the bpha to meet its objectives, and reviews management performance;
  • sets the organisation’s values and standards and ensures that its legal and regulatory obligations are understood and met; and
  • fulfils the functions as outlined in bpha’s Rules.

Board members

Professor Paul Leinster CBE
Chair of the Board

Paul is Professor of Environmental Assessment at Cranfield University and a non-executive board member of Flood Re, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and Delphic HSE. He is a member of the government’s Natural Capital Committee and chairs the Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership.

His first job was with BP. He then worked for Schering Agrochemicals before moving into consultancy and then on to SmithKline Beecham.  Paul joined the Environment Agency in 1998 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2008, a post he held until 2015.

Professor Leinster has lived in Bedford for almost 30 years and has extensive experience of the environmental, planning and infrastructure opportunities and challenges within bpha’s area of operation, the ‘growth and innovation’ corridor between Oxford and Cambridge.

Ian Ailles
Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee

Ian was originally trained as an accountant with Ernst & Young. Following qualification he moved to NatWest Markets as Head of Finance and then to Thomas Cook as Group Financial Controller before rising to Deputy CEO and MD of their Specialist Businesses. From 2007 he worked for Wyndham, a US company before rejoining Thomas Cook in 2011 as the UK CEO and a member of the Global Executive Committee, stepping down in 2014. He is now Director General of the House of Commons.

Paul High

Paul High
Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Development and Assets Committee

Paul brings over 36 years’ experience in residential development and property management, the majority of which has been in the housing association sector.

He has been responsible for the strategic leadership of the Orbit Homes’ Property Investment Programme, the housebuilder of Orbit Group, for eight years. As Executive Director Property Investment, Paul was responsible for delivering over 1,700 new homes in the Midlands, East Anglia and the South East in 2015-16.

Previously he was the Director of Development and Asset Management at WM Housing Group and the Director of Development at Castle Vale Housing Action Trust in Birmingham.

He also spent three years whilst at Orbit as a board member of Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (BDHT).

Martin Hurst

Martin Hurst
Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Group Treasury Committee

Following a PhD in Economics and Econometrics, Martin served as an Economist for HM Treasury for nine years. He was appointed as a civil servant Senior Policy Advisor to Tony Blair for Environment, Planning and Housing in 2002. Since then he has overseen large budgets as both Director of Water and Floods and as Commercial Director at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He has previously been the Vice Chair of Wandle Housing Association and currently holds a number of Non-Executive Director, advisory and consultancy roles in water, housing and commercial fora.

Geraldine O’Sullivan Non-executive director bpha

Dr Geraldine O’Sullivan
Non-Executive Director

Geraldine has extensive experience gained within the health service, including as a Consultant Psychiatrist and as Executive Director, Quality and Medical Leadership of the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

She is a Non-Executive Director of the Norfolk and University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is a Chartered Director. Her knowledge of good corporate governance, together with experience of collective Board responsibility, achieved national recognition when she won the Health Service Journal Award for Board Leadership in 2014.

Shirley Pointer Non Executive Director bpha

Shirley Pointer
Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Remuneration and Nominations Committee

Shirley has over 20 years’ senior HR experience gained in the private and public sectors, including most recently as Director of Human Resources for the Department of Health.

She is a Senior Independent Director of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Chairs the Remuneration Committee and the Workforce and Education Committee.

Bob Tattar
Non-Executive Director

Bob is a qualified Chartered Accountant with a degree in Computer Science & Mathematics. He joined Martin’s Properties as Finance Director in March 2018 from Priors Hall Park, a development of 5,000 new homes set in a 1,000 acre site where he held the position of Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to that he was the Head of Commercial Finance at Capco PLC and Divisional Finance Director of the Capital & Counties division of the Liberty International business from 2008. He spent 13 years at Cable & Wireless performing a number of roles including interconnect accounting, project management and risk management, and was also financial controller for global support services. In 2004 he was appointed a partner of King Sturge LLP and a director of its financial services company.

Executive Directors

Kevin Bolt

Kevin Bolt MBA, MCIM
Chief Executive

Kevin has extensive commercial and change management experience having worked at board level for a range of blue-chip organisations. Throughout his career, he has been creating commercial success through the creation and implementation of change.

He has 30 years’ commercial experience to PLC Board level, completed two successful turnarounds in leadership positions and set up Step-Change Management Ltd in 2005. He has successfully delivered transformation, change and development projects with a range of organisations including the NHS, MoD, Housing Sector, Forensic Science Service, CEFAS and ACC Liverpool.

Julian Pearce
Chief Financial Officer

Julian joined bpha in October 2019 having spent over 20 years in a range of senior executive finance roles, most recently as Chief Financial Officer at NHS Property Services.

He has a strong track record as a senior executive operating at Board level and was previously a Partner at KPMG, where he headed up their Financial Sector Transaction Services Business.  He has also been a Finance Director at Lloyds Banking Group.

Jeff Astle

Jeff Astle
Executive Director of Development and Sales

Jeff was previously Director of New Business at the Guinness Partnership, having worked at the organisation for over 14 years. He has a wealth of experience of large-scale development projects and for-profit development.

Jeff leads the Development and Sales business units to drive the plans to deliver circa 3,000 new affordable homes over the next five years and to help shape the development of bpha’s subsidiary, Bushmead Homes.

Julie Wittich

Julie Wittich
Executive Director of Assets

Julie has 25 years’ experience in social housing – 15 years in housing management and seven in property services across four different housing associations.

Julie joined bpha in 2001 and most recently has led the Property and Customer Services functions. Julie is also a board member of bpha’s main Board.

Liz Parsons

Liz Parsons
Director of Quality and Communications

Liz has been with bpha since 2004 and most recently was Head of Policy and Projects.

Prior to this role, Liz was a London Lead Manager at the National Housing Federation and a buyer and project manager at both Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s Head Office.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore
Director of IT

Adrian joined bpha as Head of IT in November 2015 and was promoted to Director of IT in January 2018.

Adrian has over 30 years’ experience working in Information Technology (IT), including 14 years in the strategic IT leadership roles of IT Director or Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

His experience includes both technical and strategic IT consultancy across the Mobile, Commercial, Education, Pharmaceutical, Insurance, Local Government and Public sectors.  Immediately prior to joining bpha, Adrian held the post of worldwide CTO for the Cambridge Education Group.

Adrian is responsible for leading the digital transformation of bpha’s systems and processes, in order to deliver improved services and meet the needs of our customers. He and his team are using transformational technology to deliver a 21st century housing association.

Anna Humphries
Director of Customers and Services

Anna joined bpha in July 2018 and has over 20 years’ experience in the social housing and care sector most recently as Regional Director East for The Abbeyfield Society.

Prior to joining Abbeyfield Anna worked for Orbit Independent Living (East) and MHA managing their independent living, support and housing services for older people at a regional and national level.

Independent and other committee members

Cliff Broadhurst
Independent member of the Group Treasury Committee

Cliff is an experienced banking professional.

Prior to entering the housing sector Cliff spent 35 years in Investment and Treasury banking and has held Non-Executive and Trustee roles that contribute to the valuable experience he is able to offer in financial and operational areas.

Malcolm Zack
Independent member of Audit and Risk Committee

Malcolm has a wealth of experience in FTSE, public sector and private equity backed organisations working through periods of change and development.  He has wide sector experience including retail, FMCG, distribution and logistics, financial services, entertainment and airlines.

Malcolm specialises in set up, turnaround and development of internal audit and risk functions. He is a Chartered Accountant and has held several audit committee and non-Executive roles. He has provided audit and consulting services through his own company and is now Group Internal Audit Director for Element, a global leader in the Testing and Certification sector.