Affinity Sutton Group and Circle Housing Group announce new brand following HCA's conditional approval to merge

Affinity Sutton Group and Circle Housing Group today announce that the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has granted conditional regulatory approval for the two groups to merge, creating England’s largest housing association and one of the country’s biggest housebuilders.

The merged organisation will be named Clarion Group and will comprise a charitable housing association, a charitable foundation and a newly created commercial company to be called Latimer. The housing associations within the Group will continue to operate under their existing names until they are merged into one combined association in 2017.

Keith Exford, Group Chief Executive of Affinity Sutton will become Chief Executive of Clarion Group and Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Circle Housing Group, will become Deputy CEO of Clarion Group and Executive Chair of Latimer. The combined housing association will be led by Neil McCall, currently Group Operations Director at Affinity Sutton.

Kerry Kyriacou, currently Group Director of Development at Affinity Sutton, will drive Latimer’s development programme, which will see 50,000 new homes built in the ten years from 2019.

Clarion Group will serve as one of the country’s biggest providers of employment services, supporting 4,000 people into work annually and helping 15,000 children to make a better start in life.

Keith Exford, Chief Executive Designate, said: “We have carefully selected a name and brand for the new Group that represents our scale and ambition. ‘Clarion’ signals the clarity of that ambition. Together we will be a powerful force in housing and in our communities.”

Mark Rogers, Deputy CEO and Executive Chair Designate, said: “The Latimer brand emphasises our intention to be bold and drive the market.  We have ambitious plans to be a major provider of new homes across all tenures and at a range of prices.”