Equity Release Council announces David Burrowes as incoming Chairman

2 October 2017 | Equity Release Council

For immediate release at 09:00 on Monday 2 October 2017

Equity Release Council announces David Burrowes as incoming Chairman

Burrowes to assume role in December as Nigel Waterson steps down after successful 6 year tenure 

  • Lawyer and former Conservative MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary appointed by board of the Equity Release Council
  • Burrowes brings wealth of experience to chairmanship after 12 year parliamentary career
  • Previous roles as campaigner and constituency MP ideal preparation for championing social and economic benefits of equity release in the interests of consumers
  • Transition comes at a key juncture for the market, as housing wealth has the potential to play increasingly important role in broader retirement planning
  • Nigel Waterson to manage handover after six years in role during which time membership of The Council has soared

The Equity Release Council (The Council) has appointed a new Chairman to spearhead its work to represent the equity release sector and its customers as Nigel Waterson stands down after nearly six years at the helm of the industry body.

Waterson will be succeeded by David Burrowes, who embarks on the role after serving as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate from 2005-2017.  The transition follows an agreement made by Waterson and the board in 2014 for him to extend his initial term as The Council’s first Chairman for an additional three years. 

A strong campaigner for local and national causes, Burrowes has championed consumer protection on issues including legal and medical services, and led campaigns for improved social and end-of-life care. He also worked on behalf of his constituents on issues relating to pensions and financial services products, working closely with Ministers, regulators, banks and the Treasury Select Committee Chair to protect consumer interests via active membership of a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups.

During his time in Parliament, Burrowes served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to three Cabinet Ministers, across the Cabinet Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and sat on the influential Home Affairs and Public Accounts Select Committees.

Burrowes also brings considerable legal expertise to the role having been Shadow Justice Minister from 2007-2010 and a practising solicitor for 23 years.

He will formally take over from Waterson in December with the months preceding used to ensure an orderly transition.

He will assume the role of Chairman during a period of sustained growth for the market, with trends suggesting the sector could surpass £3bn in annual lending for the first time across 2017.

Part of this growth is due to the transition, overseen by Waterson, from SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) to The Council in 2012 that coincided with the decision to expand the remit of the trade body from representing providers to opening up membership to advisers, solicitors and other industry professionals. The move helped boost the membership of The Council, which now stands at 646 individuals and 213 member firms, up from 20 firms that made up the membership in summer 2012.

The Council has also built an effective working relationship with government and regulators, as well as other areas of the financial services industry, as housing wealth is increasingly viewed on a holistic level within later life planning, while maintaining its strong focus on consumer protection.

David Burrowes, incoming Chairman of the Equity Release Council comments:

As a society we face significant challenges in addressing the impact of an ageing population, rising social care needs and inadequate pension funds. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, I firmly believe that equity release can play a major role in helping older people meet those challenges and improve their financial outlook in later life.

“I am excited by the opportunity to work on behalf of the sector and will put the best interests of the consumer at the core of our future work. I hope to use my experience gained in Parliament to further this cause and to build the profile of equity release with a diverse range of stakeholders across industry, government and regulators.

“I also commend Nigel Waterson for his service to The Council over the past six years. The equity release market has been strengthened during this period, buoyed by a growing membership and increased competition. I look forward to working with the board and engaging with those within industry as we build on the significant progress to date.”

Nigel Waterson, outgoing Chairman of the Equity Release Council, comments:

“It has been a huge privilege to serve as the first Chairman of The Council and oversee its evolution since 2012.

“The momentum generated within the sector is testament to members’ continued commitment to innovation and the Council’s standards that have established a safe and reliable market for consumers. It is also clear that equity release is set to play an increasingly important role in financial planning for retirement as a growing number of older homeowners consider enhancing their retirement by unlocking housing wealth.

“With an excellent reputation to date as a dedicated campaigner, lawmaker and influencer, David has all the right attributes required to lead the Council on the next stage of its journey and I congratulate him warmly on his appointment.” 

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About the Equity Release Council

www.equityreleasecouncil.com

The Equity Release Council is the industry body for the equity release sector, which represents over 650 members including providers, qualified financial advisers, solicitors and other industry professionals.

It works to ensure a safe equity release market for consumers, by operating rigorous Standards for the provision of advice and products which guarantee security of tenure and financial protections. 2016 marked the 25th anniversary since the first industry Standards were created for equity release in 1991. Since then, almost 400,000 consumers have taken out an equity release plan from Council members, drawing on over £20bn of housing wealth.

The Council also works with consumers, industry and policymakers to improve awareness and understanding of equity release and the potential for housing wealth to help solve many of the financial challenges facing people over the age of 55 across the UK.