Two new non-executive directors join the Clarion Housing Group Board

Clarion Housing Group is pleased to announce that Gavin Barwell and Tom Smyth will join the Clarion Group Board as non-executive directors. Their appointments will take effect from 16 December 2019.

Gavin served as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Theresa May from June 2017 to July 2019, having previously served as the Minister for Housing between July 2016 and May 2017 and as the Member of Parliament for Croydon Central from 2010 to 2017. He was also a councillor for the London Borough of Croydon between 1998 and 2010.

Since his time in office he has continued to take an active role in housing, speaking at a wide range of events, commenting on policy, funding and influencing opportunities to help the sector to advance its agenda in a challenging and changing landscape.

Tom is Executive Vice Chairman, Financing Advisory and an Advisory Partner at Rothschild & Co, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory groups. During his 23 years at Rothschild & Co, Tom has advised the boards of the biggest listed and private equity owned companies on their funding, risk management and treasury strategies.

During his career, Tom has also advised numerous organisations in raising debt in the capital markets and is a qualified member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. Tom will replace Tania Brisby as Chair of Clarion’s Treasury Committee when Tania stands down in February 2020.

David Avery, Chair of the Clarion Housing Group board commented:“I am delighted that Gavin and Tom are joining the Board. They join a strong team of non-executive directors with the skills and talent to help to run the largest social landlord in England. These two appointments now complete the refresh of our board due to time-served retirements.” 

Gavin Barwell commented: “I have long been a champion of the role played by housing associations in tackling the housing crisis, having been fortunate enough to witness first-hand the vital contribution they make, during my time as Housing Minister. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the sector by joining an organisation committed to building homes and communities for the long term.”

Tom Smyth commented: “The provision of decent and affordable places to live plays an essential role in social mobility, which is why I am a passionate advocate of housing associations. Clarion has the ambition and capacity to drive, fund and deliver these much-needed homes and I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to use my own expertise to play a part in this.”