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14 -15 Nov, Crieff Hydro Hotel

SFHA Finance and IT Conference
Crieff Hydro Hotel

Book Now


Tue 14 - Wed 15, Nov from
10:00 to 15:00 (BST)


Crieff Hydro Hotel
Ferntower Road, Crieff, PH7 3LQ

About the Conference

The SFHA Finance Conference brings together finance professions from within and outside the sector to discuss THE key themes in housing finance which this year includes:

  • The Economy - Where Will We Be in 10 Years?
  • Pensions
  • Implementing a Digital Strategy
  • Private Finance – What are the borrowing options?

As well as strategic plenary sessions, workshops will explore the critical issues around Delivering Value for Money; Procurement; IT security and Cyber Risks, Lean Management; Demonstrating SROI and Data Protection as well as the customary updates on Tax and VAT and Accounting Updates.

This is THE leading annual Scottish housing finance conference and it brings together an excellent mix of delegates ranging from housing association Chief Executives and Finance Directors through to regulators, bankers, local authority and central government staff. 


The Venue

We are returning this year to Crieff Hydro.  The 900 acre estate set in stunning Perthshire countryside offers over 60 different activities. Located just over an hour’s drive from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, the hotel combines good conference rooms, contemporary and comfortable accommodation with excellent leisure facilities.  visit their website at www.crieffhydro.com

Is this the Conference for you?

The conference is aimed at all finance directors, managers, officers and other staff who have an interest in housing association and co-operative financial issues, including Chief Executives and Directors.  Committee and board members (governing body members), consultants, local and central government and other professionals working on financial issues in the affordable housing sector will also find the conference of interest.  

You will LEARN about the latest industry trends and NETWORK with like-minded professionals from around the country.

Costs and How To Book:

  • Book three day places and bring a colleague for free!
  • Attend both days and SAVE!

Residential places have sold out but day places are still available.

Delivered in Partnership

Murja Ltd Bank of Scotland Ark Consultancy CAF Arthur J Gallagher Excel Group

Speakers & Biographies

Chris Thomson  profile image

Chris Thomson
Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association, part of the Places for People Group

Chris is our Head of Property Maintenance that includes our Procurement and Investment requirements, Voids and Repairs. Within the team we also have an in-house contractor delivery a multi-disciplined contracting service.

Chris has worked within the social housing sector for around 25 years. Before joining Castle Rock Edinvar in 2009, Chris has worked with other Housing Association managing cross functional teams including Housing Management and Development.

Part of his role with Places for People Group has seen new initiatives introduced to maximise the use of the existing assets and addressing many of the hard to treat properties from its diverse asset base to meet EESSH standards.

Chris is a Trustee of the Crags Sports Centre, a community managed resource within the Southside of Edinburgh.

John McLaren  profile image

John McLaren
Fiscal Affairs Scotland


Professor John McLaren was an economist for over 10 years in the Civil Service at the UK Treasury and in the Scottish Office, before becoming a Special Adviser to the First Minister in the Scottish Parliament. He then helped develop and direct the work of independent think tanks, the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR) and Fiscal Affairs Scotland.

His areas of particular interest are the Scottish economy and budgetary issues and he regularly comments on these areas in the Scottish and UK media.

He currently runs the 'Scottish Trends' economic website as well as undertaking a variety of consultancy work.

Josh Littlejohn profile image

Josh Littlejohn
Social Bite

Josh Littlejohn is one of the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs. Josh is the co-founder of Scottish social enterprise Social Bite, a national chain of sandwich and coffee shops which shot to global fame when Holywood A-lister George Clooney visited an outlet in 2015. Another Oscar winner Leonardo Di Caprio then visited the social enterprise in 2016.

Social Bite competes in high street takeaway food, as well as the high end restaurant market, but does so for a social purpose. 100% of Social Bite’s profits are donated to good causes and 1 in 4 of their staff are people from homeless backgrounds. Social Bite also feed the homeless with food that their customers pre-pay for. The organisation is by far the largest distributor of free fresh food and hot drinks to the homeless in the UK – giving away over 100,000 items each year.

Josh is also the founder of The Scottish Business Awards and as well as Clooney and Dicaprio, he has also enlisted the help of world leaders such as President Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson to support his social endeavours.

In 2016, Josh co-founded a Social Enterprise beer company called Brewgooder, where 100% of the profits go towards providing clean water. The brewery plans to provide clean drinking water for 1 million people in five years.

At the age of 30, Josh has raised over £4 million for charity and made a significant impact on the issue of homelessness in Scotland. Josh is an originator of social businesses which not only tackle pressing issues but radically challenge how we think about doing business.

In 2017, Josh was given an MBE in the New Years Honours list, which he dedicated to the homeless and marginalised. He has recieved 2 honorary doctorates and he also made the Debrett’s list of 500 most influential people in the UK 2017.

Ian Brennan profile image

Ian Brennan
Scottish Housing Regulator

Ian Brennan is Director of Finance & Risk at the Scottish Housing Regulator.

He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants. He also holds a business degree from the University of Strathclyde and an MBA from the University of Glasgow.

Ian joined the Board of Historic Environment Scotland in a non-executive capacity on 1 November 2016.From November 2013 until July 2016 he was a member of the Board of Glasgow Kelvin College where he chaired the Financial Control Committee.

Previously Ian has held positions in higher education, the NHS and the Accounts Commission. He has also worked for a number of accountancy firms.


Daniel Carrico profile image

Daniel Carrico
Allia Impact Finance Limited

Daniel has worked in financial services for over a decade covering both the SME and charity sectors, proving clients with solutions to meet their development needs. He has sourced over £170m of capital throughout his career, mainly for charitable organisations and housing associations. His main interest lies with assisting organisations create a positive social impact within society whilst providing investors with ethical investment opportunities.

Dougie Gold profile image

Dougie Gold

Dr Keith Nicolson profile image

Dr Keith Nicolson
Executive Chairman, Cyber Security Scotland

Dr Nicholson has worked in the cyber security field since 1992; initially as CEO of a first-mover ecommerce business and later as an Interim Director, a Non-Executive Director and Consultant. He acts as an independent cyber security and technology advisor with a range of clients that include FTSE 250 companies; SMEs and several public bodies including NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Keith was a contributing author to the SG Cyber Resilience Strategy and also co-authored a WannaCry impact assessment report for NHS Scotland. He is a member of the public-private sector National Cyber Resilience Leaders Board and recently founded Cyber Security Scotland; a non-profit independent advisory body offering specialist security and digital technology guidance.

David Davidson profile image

David Davidson
Spence and Partners

David will be well known to most in the sector as a previous speaker at SFHA events and having advised numerous RSL’s on their pension arrangements. David is an owner director at leading actuaries Spence and widely regarded as an industry expert on multi-employer pension schemes.

David is a regular contributor of articles and commentary in the press, is a key contributor on consultation committees and is much in demand as a speaker at leading events. David is a member of the ICAS Pensions Committee and recently co-authored their proposals on local government pension schemes, has worked with CFG and PLSA co-authoring CFG’s Pension Maze publication and PLSA’s LGPS Guides

Rick Rijsdijk  profile image

Rick Rijsdijk
Social Value Lab

Rick is a founding Director at Social Value Lab (www.socialvaluelab.org.uk), the national hub for social impact research, strategy, and evaluation. Our mission is to produce the evidence and ideas that support stronger, more effective projects, programmes and communities in Scotland.

Rick is  and one of the most experienced social impact measurement specialists in the UK. His career covers spells as a senior researcher, local government officer, private and third sector management consultant, and manager of a successful social enterprise. His technical expertise in business planning, financial modelling and impact measurement has developed alongside his hands-on work in communities. His big passion is social enterprise; generating profit while doing good. He understands what makes organisations tick and helps them evidencing and managing its wider social impact. He worked in many fields, including housing and regeneration.

He is known for his expertise in social impact measurement, and Social Return on Investment (SROI) in particular. He is a trained SROI-evaluator, one of a small number of accredited SROI practitioners in the UK, and a member of the SROI Network’s Assurance Panel and Methodology Working Group.

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