Pam Alexander, the former Chief Executive of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), has announced that she will be joining the Board of Crest Nicholson as non-Executive Director, effective from 5th December 2011. Pam brings with her more than 35 years of experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, having worked closely with boards and government ministers on strategic policy and direction across numerous areas including regeneration and housing, innovation, growth and economic development.
A key priority for Pam will be to support Crest Nicholson in driving forward the Group’s high sustainability credentials and commitment to quality design. Having held a number of Directorships including, currently, as a Trustee of the Design Council and non-executive Director of the separate board for Design Council Cabe, and as a Director of the Academy of Urbanism, Pam brings a passion and wealth of knowledge that will underpin Crest Nicholson’s growth policy moving forward.
Pam was Chief Executive of SEEDA for over 7 years, where she led a team developing and delivering plans for a £100 million portfolio comprising some 70 brownfield sites across the South East. During this time she chaired regeneration partnerships for Hastings and Bexhill and for Margate and championed the work of South East Excellence, an advisory board of planners and developers that provided local authorities with exemplars and training in achieving high quality regeneration. For six years Pam was also chair of Peabody, managing nearly 20,000 homes across London and developing innovative approaches to sustainability both in refurbishing Victorian estates and in building new communities, including Bedzed in Sutton.
Previously Pam was Chief Executive of English Heritage (1997 -2001) and as Deputy Chief Executive at the Housing Corporation (1995 – 1997) ran their £2bn programme of support for social housing. She began her career with nearly 20 years in the Department of the Environment, including as a private secretary to two Ministers of Housing and culminating in sponsorship of the Housing Corporation’s programme across England.
Crest Nicholson was recently heralded as one of the UK’s top sustainable developers, according to an independent benchmark survey carried out by NextGeneration, which ranks the UK’s top 25 home builders by volume. Together, these companies are responsible for delivering 45% of the UK’s annual private sector housing output and, for the fourth year running, Crest Nicholson emerged as one of the leaders at the top of the annual rankings. Not only did the company outperform its rivals in terms of its approach to construction site environmental management, but also demonstrated clear levels of transparency in reporting and with firm leadership in the field of sustainability.
Crest Nicholson also holds more CABE Building for Life Gold Standards than any other developer, underlining a long-term commitment to design quality and house building best practice in the UK. Combined with the completion of a recent financial restructuring that converted £359m of debt to equity, resulting in pro-forma net assets of £173m and significantly reinforcing the company’s balance sheets, Crest Nicholson is now placed in an excellent position for future growth.
As Pam says: “I care passionately about providing high quality homes and the ethos at Crest Nicholson is one to which I am totally committed. Crest Nicholson’s determination to demonstrate the commercial value of excellence in housing design and sustainability offers me a role that I’m hugely excited about. Placing these objectives at the forefront of the business growth strategy is key, and Crest Nicholson has already made great inroads in terms of cementing standards of best practice.
“I’m keen to see this approach lead the industry and am delighted to have joined the Board at such an important time in the Group’s history. Crest Nicholson has ambitious plans for the future, and I’m looking forward to being a part of the Group’s success story over the coming years.”
Crest Nicholson’s chairman, William Rucker, added: “This is an exciting time for Crest Nicholson, in which the company is going through some major changes and entering a period of real growth. The qualities that Pam brings to the board really underpin the Group’s business strategy and the contribution she will make in terms of driving and supporting not only a commitment to quality and sustainable development, but also in delivering true business value for our shareholders, will be invaluable.”