Council appoints first director of communications and marketing

The Equity Release Council (the Council) has today announced the appointment of Lee Blackwell into the newly created role of Director of Communications and Marketing.

Her role will support the industry in explaining the significant function that property wealth can play to address major consumer and societal issues as the UK’s ageing population grows.

In addition, it will serve consumers by raising awareness of the work of the Council and its members in setting authoritative standards for products and advice with consumer protections at their heart.

Lee brings over 20 years of sector experience to the Council, spanning consultancy, in-house and trade association roles across retirement, pensions and later life lending.

She was most recently Group Director of Public Relations, Public Affairs and Internal Communications at Key Group, and previously held senior communications roles at Partnership, Just and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).

Her responsibilities will encompass communications, marketing and business development strategy at a time when the potential consumer need for later life mortgages and property wealth are becoming increasingly important.

With the market adapting to the current higher interest rate environment, lifetime mortgages and other forms of later life borrowing have continued to attract growing interest from firms in adjacent areas of financial services, including pensions and wealth management.

Jim Boyd, CEO of the Equity Release Council, comments:

“Lee brings a wealth of experience to the Council and an expert understanding of consumer, adviser, provider and trade body perspectives that will help support the safe growth of our sector as it evolves to meet emerging consumer needs.

“It has never been more important to raise awareness of the possibilities of property wealth and the Council’s role as a standards setter underpinning safe market growth, product innovation and supporting good consumer outcomes.”

Lee Blackwell comments:

“I’ve seen first-hand how the Council is dedicated to putting consumer interests at the very heart of its work, and the unique role it plays in bringing together firms across the market to improve awareness and engagement with modern equity release products.

“With property wealth holding huge potential to meet some of the challenges facing the UK’s ageing population, I am delighted to join a team whose expertise, passion and commitment is visible in everything they do. I’m looking forward to collaborating with members to help promote the benefits of specialist advice and product innovation, underpinned by Council standards.”


About the Equity Release Council

The Equity Release Council (the Council) is the representative trade body for the UK equity release sector with more than 750 member firms and 1,800 individuals registered, including providers, funders, regulated financial advisers, solicitors, surveyors and other professionals.

It leads a consumer-focused UK based equity release market by setting authoritative standards and safeguards for the trusted provision of advice and products. Since 1991, more than 650,000 homeowners have accessed £46bn of property wealth via Council members to support their finances.

The Council also works with government, voluntary and public sectors, and regulatory, consumer and professional bodies to inform and influence debate about the use of housing wealth in later life and retirement planning.

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