Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) has appointed a new chief financial officer from outside of the housing sector.
Yomi Okunola, who is currently capital finance director for Network Rail’s southern region, will join the 66,000-home landlord on 31 August.
He will replace Paul Phillips, who has served three-and-a-half years in the role. Prior to that Mr Phillips spent 13-and-a-half years at Notting Hill Housing Trust, which merged with Genesis in 2018 to form NHG. It is not immediately clear what his plans are after leaving NHG.
Mr Yomi has had a varied 32-year career including spells at Greystar, UBS and developer Argent. He is also chair of a registered charity that promotes Christian education and the alleviation of poverty.
On his move into the sector, he said: “It’s a natural evolution for me, bringing together my passion for helping people – I set up a small registered charity in 2009 – and a deep-rooted interest in property development.”
G15 member NHG has endured mixed fortunes during the pandemic, with completions falling 32 per cent in its last financial year and rent arrears rising. In an update in May, the group also revealed that the net cost it faces for rectifying faults related to fire risk is expected to be around £173m.
Mr Yomi added: “There are a lot of challenges we face, obviously fire safety and cladding, but also getting the balance right between effective asset management and development strategy, improving our resident satisfaction, maintaining a healthy pipeline of affordable new homes and tackling the climate emergency.”
Kate Davies, chief executive of NHG, said: “Yomi was the outstanding candidate in a very competitive field and we look forward to welcoming him to the organisation.
“He has huge shoes to fill as Paul has been a tremendous chief financial officer for us and is admired across the sector, but we have every confidence in him.”
In June, NHG became the latest housing association to secure a sustainability bond, with a £250m issuance.