Public Sector Investment Strategy Conference - Sheffield

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Event summary

Never has investment in property by local authorities been more active. With new versions of both the CIPFA Prudential Code and Treasury Management Code published in December 2017 and the latest central government consultations on investment policy, now is the right time to look at what the future holds for local authority property investment strategy and planning.

Further dates and locations are detailed below and the programme schedule can be downloaded for details and timings.


23 May 2018
Starts: 09:15
Ends: 16:30


Grant Thornton Sheffield
2 Broadfield Court
S8 0XF
[See map]

Standard price

£150.00 excl VAT

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About this event

This event will shine a light on the critical changes that are taking place in the markets and the regulatory control of local authorities’ property investment activities. In addition, it will explore how you might need to adapt your thinking, processes and planning to take advantage of the opportunities presented and to avoid the pitfalls that exist.

The day is designed to provide a forum where key property and finance decision makers from local authorities and other public and private can come together to consider, debate, learn and exchange knowledge on the subject of property investment strategy and its impact on operational decision making.

It will provide insightful and informative analysis of the markets in which the public sector invests, delivered by leading personalities within the UK property investment industry as well as CIPFA’s own technical and policy experts.

Finally, the day ends with a grassroots case study from a local authority who has approached the problems, challenges and opportunities presented by the market to come up with its own approach.

Who should attend

Those involved in the delivery of property investment activity and strategy within local authorities and other public sector organisations.

Benefits of attending

Benefits of attending include receiving:

  • industry-leading updates and insights from market sector specialists in the performance and dynamics of commercial property investment in the UK
  • an increased understanding of the technical rules and policies that govern property investment activity by local authorities and other public sector organisations
  • a clear review of the legal considerations to be dealt with when seeking to invest in commercial property markets
  • an opportunity to hear first-hand the experiences of a local authority that has successfully undertaken property investment activity
  • an opportunity to network with like-minded public sector delegates and subject matter experts from within the UK real estate sector.


  • Accounting
  • / Alternative service delivery
  • / Asset management
  • / Capital finance
  • / Commercialisation
  • / Efficiency
  • / Financial management
  • / Financial reporting
  • / Governance
  • / IFRS
  • / Leadership
  • / Local government
  • / Medium term planning
  • / Performance improvement and policy
  • / Professional development
  • / Property
  • / Risk management
  • / Treasury management
  • / Value for money

Download programme schedule

PDF 239.12 KB

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Speaker - Andrew Burns, President of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA); Director of Finance and Resources for Staffordshire County Council (SCC) and Chairman of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB).

Andrew Burns

He was elected to CIPFA Council in 2010 and has chaired the Group Board, Policy and Standards Board and led CIPFA’s Aligning Public Services Working Group.

As director of finance and resources for SCC he has strategic responsibility for finance, HR, ICT, digital, property, commercial and customer services and is Treasurer of the Staffordshire Pension Fund. Andy led the financial transformation programme that delivered £150m savings and significant service improvement in Staffordshire.

For his CCAB role Andy takes leadership of the group representing the main UK accountancy bodies, which has a combined membership of over 380,000 professional accountants worldwide.

He has an MBA from Aston Business School and is past-president of the Society of County Treasurers.

Speaker - Don Peebles, Head of CIPFA Policy & Technical UK & International

Don Peebles

Don is a qualified accountant and leads CIPFA’s policy and technical work from the Institute’s Scottish HQ in Edinburgh.

Don’s background is local authority finance, having trained initially at a Scottish local authority. He also worked for Audit Scotland prior to joining CIPFA in 2002 as policy and technical officer becoming policy and technical manager in 2004 before becoming head of CIPFA Scotland in November 2013.

In April 2014, Don also became CIPFA’s head of devolved government. In April 2015, he assumed further responsibility for financial management in CIPFA.

In 2014, Don led on the Institute’s work on the Scottish referendum and that same year was appointed as the expert budget adviser to the Welsh Assembly’s Finance Committee for the 2015/16 budget process.

Don has led CIPFA’s work on local taxation in Scotland and was a member of the Commission on Local Tax Reform which reported in December 2015. In September 2015, he was appointed to the Scottish Parliament Budget Review Group.

In January of this year, Don was appointed head of policy and technical and leads CIPFA’s team of technical experts and is responsible for all of CIPFA’s codes of practice and guidance.

Outside of work, Don is happily married with two grown-up sons. At weekends, he will usually be on the golf course or can be seen ‘walking down the Halbeath Road’.

Speaker - Gareth Davies, Technical Manager, CIPFA

Gareth Davies

Having gained 17 years of experience working in Scottish local government, Gareth joined CIPFA in 2008. His role in CIPFA’s Edinburgh office includes supporting members and associated organisations with technical advice and guidance; provision of Scottish Finance Advisory Network events and support to subscribing organisations; secretariat services to LASAAC relating to Scottish local government accounting requirements; participation in the NHS Technical Accounting Group; delivery of public and in-house training events; and additional consultancy and project work as required.

Gareth’s objective is to help his fellow finance practitioners address the practical challenges they face in meeting their professional responsibilities.
E:, T: 0131 221 8644, M: 0782 694 7719.

Speaker - Guy Clifton, Head of Local Government Advisory, Grant Thornton

Guy Clifton

Guy is a member of Grant Thornton's public sector assurance practice and is head of local government advisory. He is also a member of Grant Thornton's national Local Government Board. A CIPFA-qualified accountant, Guy joined Grant Thornton in 2007 where he has held a number of senior assurance and advisory roles, including national lead for Grant Thornton's Value for Money work.

Before joining Grant Thornton, he was a managing consultant within RSM Robson Rhodes public sector advisory practice for five years. Prior to this, he spent 12 years in local government holding a number of operational roles, including head of finance of a London borough. His focus over the past decade has been local government improvement and he is currently supporting clients in relation to finance, governance, and collaboration solutions. Guy has spoken at many regional and national events and has had numerous articles published.

He is also the author of Grant Thornton's three national reports on the financial health of local government: 'Surviving the Storm' (December 2011), 'Towards a Tipping Point?' (December 2012) and 'Tipping Point 2016? – Challenging the Current' (December 2013).

Speaker - Howard Meaney MRICS, Head of Real Estate UK


Howard Meaney is the head of Real Estate UK (RE-UK), a business which forms part of Real Estate & Private Markets within UBS Asset Management (UBS-AM). Howard is also the senior portfolio manager for UBS Triton Property Fund (UBS Triton).

He was appointed head of RE-UK in April 2013. In this role, Howard manages the team responsible for the portfolio management of the flagship UK real estate fund, UBS Triton, as well as other funds and mandates for the UK-based real estate business

Howard originally joined UBS-AM in September 2012 as portfolio manager for UBS Triton, a position he retains alongside his Head of RE-UK responsibilities. As portfolio manager, Howard is responsible for the strategic management of UBS Triton, investment selection and asset management. Howard also manages UBS Triton‘s asset management team. Howard is a member of the RE-UK Investment Committee.

Howard has more than 30 years’ experience in the UK real estate industry, including employment with LV= Asset Management (2007–2011) as head of property investments, where he managed five UK funds with AUM of approximately £750m. Prior to this, Howard held roles with Cushman & Wakefield (1998–2007), Legal & General (1990–1998), Hillier Parker (1986–1990) and British Rail Property Board (1980–1986).

Speaker - James Gulliford, Joint Head of UK Investment, Savills

James Gulliford

James jointly heads up the National Investment team at Savills and sits on the Group Executive Committee. He started his career at Savills in 1997 after leaving Cambridge University and returned to Savills in 2012, having spent five years at CBRE where he was the firm's youngest executive director. His principal focus has been the retail investment market where he has operated for over 20 years. He runs the UK's number one ranked retail investment team by turnover.

Speaker - Sarah Sheen, Technical Manager, CIPFA

Sarah Sheen

Sarah Sheen is a technical manager at CIPFA and Secretary to the CIPFA/LASAAC Local Authority Accounting Code Board. She is responsible for key aspects of the Institute's technical work on local government and related sectors. In particular, she is responsible for the maintenance and development of the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code) on behalf of CIPFA/LASAAC.

She is a member of the FRAB Working Group and has also drafted substantial parts of CIPFA guidance including many of the issues we are considering today. She is technical lead on the Simplification and Streamlining Review.

Prior to working for CIPFA Sarah was a national lead for PwC providing technical accounting and financial reporting requirements and guidance advice to the tertiary education assurance practice and provided IFRS support for local government practitioners in Wales. Before working for PwC and CIPFA Sarah worked in a number of roles for a major local authority in Wales.

Speaker - Stephen Slater, Partner in the Real Estate Team at CMS London.

Stephen Slater

Stephen advises on all aspects of commercial property, particularly in investment work and sale and leasebacks. He acts for UK and foreign institutional investors, banks and private and listed property companies.

Stephen acts for UBS, Swiss Re, British Steel Pension Fund, Derbyshire County Council, and Northern Trust.

Stephen also acts for private developers in acquisitions and refurbishment projects, particularly recently from existing office to residential/hotel use. Residential development is also an area of his practice, both smaller-scale brownfield sites and larger greenfield projects. He also has extensive experience of buying, funding, letting, managing and selling all types of real estate assets for UK and international clients.

Speaker - ChrisTidswell, Head of CIPFA Wales

Chris Tidswell

Chris is a CIPFA accountant and the head of CIPFA in Wales. Chris works across the public sector in Wales, Northern Ireland and England undertaking a variety of roles. This involves working with government, National Assembly and a number of key public sector stakeholder organisations and professional groups in Wales. Chris has responsibility for the strategic direction and delivery of services in Wales by CIPFA which include its policy and technical role, the professional qualification, training and support.

Chris has 30 years’ experience working in and with the public sector as both a practitioner and adviser in England and Wales. During this time Chris has delivered advice, support and undertaken roles and projects for local government, central government, health and the broader sector. Chris has worked for professional services organisations such as PwC and RSM, the IT industry and consulting companies as well as being a practitioner in accounting and auditing.

This experience has resulted in a wealth of knowledge of the challenges facing organisations, their operation, best practice and an ability to contribute to their effective leadership and development. This has involved working from board level to service delivery and front line functions developing and delivering solutions and providing external review and challenge.

Speaker - Mat Oakley, Head of Savills European Commercial Research

Mat Oakley

Mat's primary areas of expertise relate to office, retail and leisure real estate, and he regularly advises investors and developers on opportunities and risks across all of these markets. Mat has been researching, analysing and occasionally correctly forecasting the commercial property market since the late 1980’s. He also sits on the board of the British Council for Offices.

Speaker - Paul Dossett, Partner and Head of Local Government, Grant Thornton UK LLP

Paul is Grant Thornton UK's head of local government and is a regular commentator in sector related media.

He has 30 years' experience working with local authorities and other public sector bodies, working for the Audit Commission, Grant Thornton, and other firms. Paul also leads Grant Thornton's South East Centre of Excellence, which includes a team of 100 specialist local government and NHS auditors, delivering external audit and services to over 120 clients. Paul has worked with the full range of local authorities including counties, London boroughs, unitaries, and districts. He is the engagement partner for a number of local authorities including Westminster, Southwark, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Bournemouth and Poole Councils and is the independent audit partner for Birmingham City Council.

Paul is a CIPFA qualified accountant and leads Grant Thornton's relationship with SOLACE and CIPFA, which includes national programmes of workshops on sector related topics.