With the reality of a post-Brexit Britain fast approaching, many organizations are currently preparing policy recommendations designed to address the unique issues that will come with the change. Amongst those working on these initiatives is The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), one of the most well-respected and well-known think tanks in the UK. Founded by Sir Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher in 1974, the Centre was created to promote the principles of a free society and has consistently played a major part in the dissemination of free-market economics. With their latest initiative, the CPS has brought in a number of influential thinkers to head policy groups related to their fields of expertise. One of the most intriguing of these prospects is their choice to head their housing policy initiative, Graham Edwards.
Edwards in Depth
As the CEO of Telereal Trillium, the largest privately owned property company in the UK, Graham Edwards is well placed to contribute a wealth of experience and knowledge about the state of housing in the UK. He’s helmed the company since its inception as Telereal in 2001 and has seen it through a number of major deals and acquisitions that have cemented them as a major player in the property market. Today, Telereal Trillium has a portfolio of over 8,000 properties and has established long-term partnerships with some of the UK’s largest occupiers, including the Department for Work and Pensions, BT, and DVLA.
Edwards has been integrally connected to the many dealings of Telereal Trillium and has a strong hand in shaping the culture of the company. For instance, it was Edwards himself who initiated the transaction that resulted in the original formation of Telereal. That deal, which laid the groundwork to transfer 6,700 properties from BT to Telereal, was part of a £2.4 billion property outsourcing transaction.
Even before his time with Telereal Trillium, Edwards was no stranger to the world of property and investment. Having received his education at Cambridge University, he used his foundation in economics to secure positions at a number of high-profile firms in these areas. Some of these positions include time as a fund manager at Merrill Lynch Investment Management as well as serving as the head of finance for the BT Group Plc’s property department.
Beyond housing, the CPS is poised to set new policy initiatives pertaining to three important areas of British society. These include business and enterprise, tax and cost of living, and welfare. The Centre’s stated goal for these programs is to create policies that are designed to give people a sense of control and ownership over their lives. In this way, the CPS is seeking to build on their legacy of having a leading role in shaping the debate in British politics.
Heading the welfare initiative will be Rachel Wolf along with Public First. The goal of their team will be to conduct an exploration of the welfare state as well as the welfare system. Ultimately they will be looking for ways to bring them in line with the evolving needs of the 21st century while also making them more responsive to the public.
Tom Clougherty will be heading the tax and cost of living initiative. A veteran of the Adam Smith Institute along with numerous other think tanks, Tom will be leading his team to focus on how to reform and simplify the tax system. Related to this, the program will also center around idea generation designed to leave taxpayers with more money than in the current system.
While a head has not yet been named for the business and enterprise program, the CPS is expected to appoint someone shortly. That group is intended to address policy issues pertaining to promoting both entrepreneurship and enterprise at varying levels throughout the British economy.
In his role as Chairman of the CPS’ new Housing Policy Group, Graham Edwards will be working with a team of policy experts to develop ideas related to homebuilding and home ownership. The team’s mission is to accelerate the rate at which both activities occur by formulating policies for a new generation of British governance. In addition to his duties as Chairman, Edwards will also serve as a CPS Research Fellow.
While working toward the goals outlined by his position with the CPS, Edwards will continue on as CEO of Telereal Trillium, a post he has held for almost twenty years. His continued leadership at the company will not only inform his work with the CPS, but will also allow him to continue his work in influencing the state of housing in the UK through Telereal Trillium.
Drawing on Corporate Experience
With a prominent place as a widely-considered leader in the UK property world, that work is extensive. Currently, the company owns and manages a portfolio that is valued at £6 billion. Its holdings also encompass a total floor area of 86 million square feet and the company houses 1% of the UK’s workforce. Additionally, Telereal Trillium has plans in the works to construct 2,000 residential units over the next five years. With a leading role in the company’s extensive business dealings, Edwards will be able to look to his experience with the property giant to bring new and innovative policy ideas to his role at the CPS (PropertyWeek).
As Britain, and the world, prepares for the changing realities of the near-future, it is clear that policies relating to a host of public concerns must evolve. Foundational questions pertaining to the ways in which society tackles issues such as taxation, business, welfare, and housing are changing the ways in which we view the world around us. As the seasoned experience of the CPS actively works with experts in their fields, optimism about the direction of modern policy-making is well-founded. With one of those experts being Graham Edwards, a leader with a lengthy history in investment and housing, there is even further cause to take notice. All evidence indicates that the policy recommendations soon to come from the CPS will be pivotal in shaping public opinion moving forward.