Legal & General makes key hires for new affordable housing business

Legal & General is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Denton as Managing Director of Legal & General Affordable Homes, expanding its key leadership team to meet its ambition of becoming the leading private affordable housing provider in the UK.

Ben Denton has joined Legal & General from Sovereign Housing Association, the 6th largest housing association in the UK. As Executive Director of Property and Development, he delivered a development programme of 1,300 homes a year, managing an annual budget of c£250 million. Prior to this, Denton held the position of Group Director of Strategy and Business Development at house builder Keepmoat and Executive Director of Growth, Planning and Housing at Westminster City Council.

With over 1.3 million households on waiting lists for affordable homes in the UK, Denton’s appointment supports Legal & General’s commitment to accelerate and grow the provision of affordable housing. Legal & General Affordable Homes aims to deliver 3,000 homes per annum within the next four years, as part of its wider commitment to tackle the UK’s chronic shortage of housing through its unique multi-tenure approach. Legal & General Affordable Homes will adopt a collaborative approach to housing delivery, working closely with housing associations to target all areas of the market, including new build Section 106 and grant-funded affordable rent, social rent and shared ownership units.

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As part of its commitment to lead the evolution of the affordable housing sector, Legal & General Affordable Homes has also appointed two highly experienced Non-Executive Directors to the board.

Ian Graham joins the board of Legal & General Affordable Homes as Chairman with over 30 years of specialist experience as Head of Trowers & Hamlin’s Housing and Regeneration division. With clients across Local Authorities and Housing Associations, investors and developers, Ian is a recognised leader in the field, being featured in both the Chambers and Legal 500 directories for his work in the sector.

Former CEO of Origin Housing, Karen Wilson, has also been appointed as a non-executive director of Legal & General Affordable Homes. Wilson has extensive experience in the development of affordable housing, asset and tenancy management, the provision of care for vulnerable people and in governance and risk management. Prior to her role at Origin Housing Ltd, Wilson held senior management positions in a number of housing providers, including English Churches Housing Group where she was Operations Director.

Simon Century, Head of Affordable Housing, says: “Legal & General is bringing institutional money to a significantly underfunded sector, as part of our commitment to tackle the UK’s chronic housing crisis. With only 30,000 affordable homes delivered in the UK each year, and a waiting list of 1.3m, there is an urgent need to close this gap.  Our new affordable housing business is based on a financially sustainable model, putting together a capable and experienced team to support our ambitions to affect real change in this sector. Ben, Ian and Karen are outstanding additions to the business, who will be instrumental as we drive forward our plans of deploying institutional capital at scale to develop and manage the affordable homes that the country needs.” 

Ben Denton, Managing Director of Affordable Housing, says: “I am delighted to be joining Legal & General’s affordable housing division to lead the way in modernising this sector and drive forward the company’s growth strategy at this exciting stage in its development. With its long term, patient capital, Legal & General can pioneer a new way forward for affordable housing, bringing much needed social and economic change, together with the housing volume that society demands.”   

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