Equity Release Council

Making equity release safe for you



Advisory Board

Members of The Equity Release Council Advisory Board are experts from a wide range of sectors, including policy, academia, communications and consumer organisations. The board enables the Equity Release Council to draw on members' expertise to challenge The Council to meet the needs of consumers and evolve as a successful membership organisation.

Members currently include:

David Lipsey

Lord David Lipsey

Advisory Board Member

A Labour Peer and former economic journalist, Lord Lipsey has sat in the House of Lords since 1999. Lord Lipsey was a member of the Royal Commission on Long-term Care of the Elderly. He was a member of the Board of the Personal Investment Authority and chair of the the FSA’s Financial Services' Consumers Panel. He is President of SOLLA, the Society of Later Life Advisers.

Michael German

Lord Michael German

Advisory Board Member

Lord German entered the House of Lords in June 2010. He was previously a member of the National Assembly for Wales for the South Wales East region and was Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats in the National Assembly from 1999 to 2008, serving as Deputy First Minister from 2000 to 2003 and as Minister for Economic Development between 2000 and 2001.

Richard Best

Lord Richard Best

Advisory Board Member

Lord Best was appointed as a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords in 2001 and is currently Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Care for Older People, President of the Local Government Association, Chair of the Hanover Housing Group; he has chaired the House of Lords Audit Committee been a Member of the Economic Affairs Committee and Chair of the Council of the Property Ombudsman.

Laurie Edmans CBE

Laurie Edmans CBE

Advisory Board Member

Laurie is a non-executive director of the Money Advice Service, and has been involved with the effort to build financial capability in the UK since its inception nearly 10 years ago. As such, he was a member of the team established by HM Treasury to support Otto Thoresen’s review of the provision of Generic Financial Advice. He has spent a lifetime in pensions and retirement related areas. Until February this year he was chairman of ‘SHIP,’ the trade association for providers of lifetime mortgages and other ‘safe’ equity release products. Also deputy chairman of MGM Advantage, a long established life assurer, which has become a specialist annuity provider, a trustee of ‘NEST’ and chairman of the trustees of the Trinity Mirror Pension Plan.

He was a non-executive director of the Pensions Regulator from inception to the end of June 2010. He chaired the ABI's pensions and savings committee for 8 years. He is on the council of the Pensions Policy Institute and is chairman of Bdifferent, a specialist financial services branding and research agency. During his executive career he was corporate development director of AEGON UK and deputy chief executive of NPI.

Outside of financial services he has interests in other businesses, is a trustee of a school for autistic children, and is treasurer of the Family and Parenting Institute. Hobbies include a small family vineyard near Bordeaux, golf, easy opera, and a season ticket at West Ham. He received the CBE for services to pensions reform in 2006.

Heather  Wheeler MP

Heather Wheeler MP

Advisory Board Member

Heather Wheeler was elected as the Conservative MP for the constituency of South Derbyshire in 2010 and is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Local Government. Mrs Wheeler also sits on the Communities and Local Government Select Committee and is a Vice-President of the Local Government Association.

Craig  Williams

MP Craig Williams

MP Cardiff North

Advisory Board Member

Craig Williams has been the MP for Cardiff North since 2015, and is currently a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee. Prior to becoming an MP, he was a researcher to the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Nicholas Bourne and a policy adviser to another Assembly member. His maiden speech in Parliament focused on devolution.

Julian  Knight

MP Julian Knight

MP for Solihull

Advisory Board member

Julian Knight has been the Conservative MP for Solihull since May 2015, taking over from Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt with a majority of over 12,000. He was elected to the Communities and Local Government Committee in July 2015.

Mr Knight is active in tabling written questions and contributing to debates in Parliament. He has spoken on issues such as affordable housing and sustainable housing, care home regulation, raising the savings threshold for payment of social care, as well as other issues including public health, personal injury fraud, and disabled people.

Prior to politics, Mr Knight was the money and property editor for The Independent on Sunday, having joined the newspaper in 2007. He previously worked as a personal finance and consumer affairs correspondent for the BBC. In this capacity, he worked across all platforms, as well as editing the 'Your Money' pages of the website and producing a series entitled Breadline Britain. His first role in media was as features editor for Moneywise and Reader's Digest.


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