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SFHA Finance Conference – meet the speakers

12 and 13 November, Crieff Hydro.

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SFHA’s Finance Conference is the must-attend event for the housing sector’s finance professionals, senior staff and governing body members.


Over two days of the event, delegates will learn more about current regulation and governance, the political and economic environment, how to maximise your impact, how to manage risk, funding options, and the impact of legislative changes on the bottom line – and much more.

The conference boasts a range of expert speakers from across the sector. Here are some sessions that should not be missed:

Helen Forsyth, Berwickshire Housing Association

Helen Forsyth has been the Chief Executive of Berwickshire Housing Association for over 12 years, during which time she has inspired staff to become number nine in the Sunday Times Best Companies not for profit section and developed an innovation culture of problem solving with the staff. 

Berwickshire owns the ground-breaking Fisherman Three Community Windfarm, near Cockburnspath. This is already generating some income to be used to support the building of new homes locally.

Helen will lead a workshop on balancing social purpose and value for money and explore how organisations can run a sustainable business whilst transforming the communities they operate in.

Shirley Robison, Barrhead Housing Association

Shirley is the Chief Executive of Barrhead Housing Association, and, during the last 14 years, has been key in turning the organisation into a financial viable and secure community-based housing association. The association has a turnover of £4.4 million, and cash reserves of £3.8 million, and growth in stock, albeit small from 750 units to 935 units.

Shirley was also a Scottish Housing Regulator statutory appointee at Cordale Housing Association and Wishaw and District Housing Association.

At the conference, Shirley will discuss the cost benefits of collaboration by highlighting FLAIR’s successes from over 30 years of collaboration and will share tips for those considering a similar venture.

Paul McNeill, HRC

Paul is an expert in long-term financial planning for housing associations and has been working within the housing sector for nearly 30 years. Paul is a qualified chartered accountant and has an accountancy degree from Glasgow University.

Paul started his career with Deloitte Haskins and Sells, before moving to Scottish Homes and then into advisory services with his own firm, HRC Ltd. Paul has created and/or assessed the long-term strategic plans for the majority of social landlords in Scotland.

Paul will lead a workshop on financial risk and stress testing at this year’s conference. He will discuss how financial risks materialise, how to quantify financial risk and how to conduct appropriate stress testing and analysis.

This year’s conference takes place on 12 and 13 November and returns to Crieff Hydro in Perthshire, located just over an hour’s drive from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Residential places are now sold out; however, delegates can still come for the day from £280 (SFHA members).

If you book three places, you will receive a fourth day place for free.    

For more information, or to book your place, please visit the conference event page

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