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Housing finance excellence recognised at HANA Awards 2016

Full list of winners from the 2016 Housing Association Accountancy Awards 2016.

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Dozens of housing association professionals were recognised for their achievements over the past year at the 2016 Housing Association National Accountancy (HANA) Awards 2016 in London this week.

The event took place at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel in London on 5 July with organisations from across the country shortlisted.

London G15 member, Amicushorizon, had a particularly good afternoon, taking home four awards in total.

Social Housing was media partner for the event, organised by the National Housing Federation (NHF) to ‘celebrate some of the most innovative and progressive finance teams and individuals who are rising to considerable financial challenges, while continuing to provide great customer service, financial stability and excellent conditions for investment’.

NHF chief executive David Orr introduced the awards afternoon, which was hosted by broadcaster and former MP Gyles Brandreth.

Sarah Smith, executive director finance and resources at Amicushorizon, and Ken Youngman, group finance director at Family Mosaic, were joint winners of the finance director of the year category for large organisations (pictured, above).

They were also declared ‘overall winners’ across all categories (see below).

Ms Smith said: ‘I’m honoured to have been recognised as FD of the year against such incredible competition. I’m also delighted that Ken Youngman, FD at Family Mosaic, was able to share the spoils!And to have been awarded a further prize as overall winners was a wonderful surprise. I’m incredibly proud of my team.’

Mr Youngman said: ‘I’m still amazed to have won two awards and am genuinely delighted that the judges decided to recognise two organisations in those particular categories, not just me.  I like to think I do a good job and to be recognised by your fellow professionals is a great honour.’

Orbit’s former chief operating officer Anne Turner was awarded the lifetime achievement award. After retiring from Orbit this year, Ms Turner is now a group board member for both Network Homes and Asra Housing.

She said: ‘It was a huge surprise and a great honour. I spent almost half of my career at Orbit – it was a place I always felt I had the opportunity to express myself and be innovative. I was well supported by the team and chief executive Paul Tennant, who understood my strengths and recognised the hard work myself and the team did.

‘What is important isn’t personal ambition; it is knowing the hard work people do across the sector makes a real difference to customers’ lives.’

Hexagon HA’s Phil Newsam won the award for FD of the year, small to medium-sized organisation.

She said: ‘It was an honour to be nominated and I am delighted to have won. The strategic work that I do is underpinned by the work of my brilliant finance team, and helped by careful consideration of the options at executive team and board level. So this is really a tribute to all my colleagues in Hexagon.’   

Treasury team of the year for larger associations went to Network Homes, while Wandle HA won the award in the small to medium sized category.

L&Q won the award for best finance team at a large association, with Yarlington HG taking the award for the small to medium sized organisations.

Tim Coppard, Wandle’s executive director of finance, said the team is ‘a vital part of the organisation, one which has been instrumental in many of our achievements this year and in our delivery of new homes for those in need in south London’.

Referring to a recent restructure and rebrand, Barry Nethercott, executive director of finance and governance at Network, said everyone on the treasury team ‘worked tirelessly to ensure that our amalgamation into Network Homes went as planned’.

‘To do this, while also gaining consent for our new subsidiary SW9, and further improving our financial strength all in one year is practically unheard of,’ he added.

Terence Wong, L&Q’s director of financial services, said: ‘I am so proud to be part of this fantastic finance team and am delighted with this external accolade and recognition by our peers of the remarkable work being done here at L&Q and ahead of the merger with Hyde and East Thames to deliver even bigger things in the future.’

Andy Weston, Yarlington’s head of financial reporting, said: ‘Submitting our application to the HANAAs provided a great opportunity to reflect on the success we have achieved over the last year and the awards event itself gave us a chance celebrate our hard work together as a team.             

‘What I am most proud about, is the team’s reaction to the award. They know that the next year will be just as challenging and we have a clear plan for improving the support we provide to the organisation.’

David Orr added: ‘From Yarlington to Peabody and from Wandle to AmicusHorizon, all of the outstanding winners fully deserve the recognition for the work they do.

‘However, I know they represent just a few examples of the fantastic wider work we do as a sector – and look forward to hearing more examples at next year’s awards and in the weeks and months to come.’

HANA awards housing associations yarlington

Yarlington Housing

Pictures: Glyn Harrison Photography

Full list of winners at HANA Awards 2016

Best value for money – Amicushorizon
The judges admired ‘the focus on resident involvement throughout the entry and thought it was strong on governance and performance’.

Most effective risk management – Plymouth Community Homes
The judges felt the winning entry ‘addressed all points of criteria with substance behind it’.
They also awarded a commendation to South Liverpool Homes.

Best external professional advisor – Centrus Advisors
The judges thought the winning entry showed ‘a strong track record on delivery and innovation’ and even went so far as to describe it as a ‘clear winner’.

Best board report – Anchor Trust
The judges thought the winning entry had a ‘great layout and showed innovative use of diagrams’.

Best Newcomer – Pooja Nirmalakumaran, Peabody
The judges felt the winning entrant was ‘really focused on customer service and showed an impressive mix of soft and technical skills as well as achieving an impressive amount of positive feedback from colleagues’.
They also awarded a special commendation to Hollie Evans, of Selwood Housing Society. The judges thought she was ‘committed to making a difference and ambitious to improve with a clear idea of impact and future plans’.

Innovation in Financial Technology/Software – Amicushorizon
The winning entry exhibited ‘a very impressive range of points and achievements and was the most innovative entry received’, according to judges.
Adactus Housing Group was highly commended on their automated arrears process entry for ‘their continuous drive to improve with demonstrable outcomes’.

Treasury Team of the Year for small-medium organisations – Wandle Housing Association
Judges were ‘particularly impressed with the scale and breadth of Wandle’s achievements, which were made with limited resources from a team of only three members of staff’.

Treasury Team of the Year for large organisations – Network Homes
The judges thought that the winning entry ‘showed an impressive range of tangible achievements in the year’.
London & Quadrant Housing Trust was highly commended, saying they ‘could see that they played a pivotal role in delivering strategic and business objectives and are fundamentally critical to the implementation of securing strategic financing to support growth objectives’.

Finance Director of the Year for small-medium organisations – Phil Newsam, Hexagon HA
The judges thought the winning entry exhibited ‘good evidence of going above and beyond’ and they described the winner as a ‘thought leader and a great communicator who balances their head with their heart’.
Michael Whitehead, FD at South Liverpool Homes, was highly commended.

Finance Director of the Year for large organisations – joint winners were Sarah Smith, Amicushorizon and Ken Youngman, of Family Mosaic

Finance Team of the Year for small-medium organisations – Yarlington Housing Group
The judges thought the winning submission was ‘excellent with great references to training and clear outputs, and impressive links to the business and ethos’.
Acis Group was highly commended, with the judges saying the entry was ‘an impressive example of a new team coming a long way in a short space of time and transforming the way finance works’.

Finance Team of the Year for large organisations – London & Quadrant Housing Trust
The judges thought the winning organisation ‘had an excellent submission covering all areas and an impressive sense of the role of the team within the organisation and the benefits generated’.

Outstanding Lifetime Contribution Award – Anne Turner
The judges said ‘this person’s integrity, authenticity and quality of work have meant they are nothing short of a role model within the sector’.

Overall winner – Sarah Smith and Ken Youngman, joint winners of the FD of the year in a large organisation award.

See August’s Social Housing magazine for more coverage

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