London housing association appoints new chief financial officer | News

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London housing association appoints new chief financial officer

A finance and real estate expert with "a passion for charity work" has been named chief financial officer at Notting Hill Genesis.

Yomi Okunola will replace Paul Phillips, who is stepping down after 17 years with the organisation.

Yomi joins Notting Hill Genesis from Network Rail, where he has served as capital finance director for the southern region since 2015. Prior to that, he was UK finance director at Greystar and IVG UK, the former owner of the Gherkin, both developers and managers of real estate.

Over the years he has held a variety of senior finance and strategic roles at UBS, Patron Capital and mixed-use developer Argent. Yomi is ACA and ACCA qualified and graduated from University College Cardiff.

Explaining why he has chosen to move into the housing 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.

“I was impressed by the professional team here, the leadership in the wake of recent challenges, the scale of operations and the organisation’s history. It is an impressive and ambitious housing association to which I can apply my skill set and help the team achieve our goals.

“I’m looking forward to working with Kate, the board, executive board and my team, who are very well regarded in the sector.

“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.”

Yomi is also chair of a registered charity which promotes Christian education and the alleviation of poverty.

Kate Davies, chief executive of Notting Hill Genesis, 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.

“His commitment to improving the lives of those living in poverty and recognition of the vital part housing associations play in providing the homes London so desperately needs fits in perfectly with our ethos and plans for the future. He will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be a very welcome addition.”

Yomi is due to start with Notting Hill Genesis on 31 August 2021.