Organised by
Movers and Shakers logo
Official Partners
West Midlands Growth Company logo
EY logo
West Midlands Combined Authority logo
Midlands Engine

'The UK's New Growth Capital'

Tuesday 18th September - The Vox Conference Centre, Resorts World, Birmingham


The West Midlands Forum For Growth has been organised by Movers & Shakers; in partnership with WMCA and DIT, in association with Bilfinger GVA and is the official launch of the West Midlands Combined Authority. This is an authoritative one-day event, bringing together Public (Central and Regional Government) and Private Sector leaders to engage and debate the key issues in growing the West Midlands economy.

Find out more about our event speakers by clicking any of the images below:

Philip Farrell

Development Director - UK Central Solihull

Urban Growth Company

Phil has been the Development Director of the Urban Growth Company (UGC) since June 2017 and is responsible for leading the various commercial property work streams needed to deliver the UK Central Hub masterplan aspirations. The infrastructure investment value in The Hub over the next ten years is expected to be in excess of £1.6bn.

The UGC has published its Hub Growth and Infrastructure Plan which brings together the ambitions of Birmingham Airport, the NEC, Jaguar Land Rover, Birmingham Business Park and Arden Cross – the site for HS2’s Interchange Station – with the potential to generate up to £4.1bn GVA per annum.

Phil has 12 years’ experience of working in commercial property. This has primarily been focused on the West Midlands, but has also included advising on national and international projects. He has specialised in being the interface between the private and public sectors on complex development and regeneration projects, finding means for both sides to achieve their aims for the collective good.

Phil joined the UGC from Jones Lang LaSalle, where he was a director in their development consultancy team. He was involved in significant projects such as the M42 Gateway in Solihull, Westside and Bilston Urban Village in Wolverhampton, and The Meadway redevelopment in Birmingham. His key clients included The Homes and Communities Agency, Wolverhampton City Council, BAE Systems. Merck MSD and Evonik Degussa.

Duncan Swinhoe

Managing Director


Duncan is the Managing Director of Gensler’s London office. An architect with some 18 years experience, Duncan’s career has seen him concentrate on large-scale developments in the UK, Europe and the Gulf region. With a particular focus and specialism in commercial office building design, Duncan is responsible for establishing the conceptual direction of projects and leading the multidisciplinary team through delivery. Duncan is an active member of the BCO and the ULI and speaks regularly on issues relating to office design as well as leads the firm’s research on commercial buildings of the future.

Martin Sutherland

Chief Executive and Executive Director

Coventry City of Culture Trust

Martin will take overall management of Coventry City of Culture Trust including budgets, marketing, fundraising and research teams, volunteering and development of national and regional partnerships when he starts in September. Martin has been Chief Executive of Royal & Derngate, Northampton for ten years where he developed a new organisation, Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust, to deliver finance, administration, sales, marketing, human resources, IT, programming and management services – for the Royal & Derngate, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse and The Core at Corby Cube. He spent the previous four years as Director of The Corn Exchange & New Greenham Arts in Newbury, Berkshire. Martin is a Board Member of South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership and a Trustee of Music & Lyrics and Unlimited Theatre and is a Fellow of the RSA.

Chenine Bhathena

Creative Director

Coventry City of Culture Trust

Chenine has overall responsibility for Coventry’s UK City of Culture programming, co-curation, community engagement, capacity building and development of national and regional partnerships. Chenine comes to the Trust from the Greater London Authority where she led the Mayor’s Cultural Placemaking Team and was Programme Director for the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture award. Previous experience also includes Creative Programmer for the London 2012 Olympics/Paralympics and Arts Council England (London and national offices). Over the last five years she has made the case for greater investment in culture through major high street, housing and transport development schemes, leading a range of high profile arts programmes for the Mayor including Lumiere London and the Illuminated River. Chenine is a Board Director for IF: Milton Keynes.

Paula Gray

Head of Procurement

Midland Metro Alliance

Paula has 20 years experience working across all types of construction sectors representing both private and public spend clients.

With a strong track record for negotiation, coupled with a passion for developing win-win outcomes, Paula prides herself on a collaborative approach, bringing industry groups together to achieve value driven, sustainable and innovative results throughout the project.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, Paula has a history of creating successful teams that operate to the highest standard of commercial best practice.

Recent professional achievements include award nominations for Innovation and supply chain excellence. Paula is an advocate of shared best practice and learning and works with a number of organisations, both supporting initiatives and speak at events, to encourage working partnerships.

Pamela Cain

Marketing Director

Marchantcain Group

Marketing Director with responsibility for business planning, marketing and assisting developing sales plan strategy. Working closely with MD, FD and Engineering Director to manage an aggressive growth plan focused on design, development AND manufacture of mechatronic products for the low volume, niche vehicle automotive sector. Actively promoting our world class expertise in mechatronics including active aerodynamics (grilles, underbody diffusers, rear spoilers etc), closures (doors, bonnets, boots, fuel filler flaps) glass technology and choreography (including window regulators and electrochromatic glass).

In a small but growing company many of us have multiple roles; consequently I am also responsible for HR. With my long work history I have gained a wide range of skills and capabilities which are used on a daily basis.

Robin Dobson

Director, Retail Development


Robin joined Hammerson in 1997, he leads the development team and is responsible for bringing forward future retail regeneration schemes together with retail/asset extensions. Completed projects include The Oracle, Reading; Bullring, Birmingham; Highcross, Leicester; Cabot Circus, Bristol; Union Square, Aberdeen; Victoria Gate, Leeds and Watermark, Southampton. He also worked with Hammerson France to deliver Terrasses du Port, a €450m retail led redevelopment of the Marseille docks which opened in 2014. Robin also has responsibility for bringing forward pipeline Joint Venture development projects in Croydon and Brent Cross in London.

Robin sits on the CR Board for Hammerson and is a member of the BPF and FRICS.

Dawn Baxendale

Chief Executive

Birmingham City Council

Dawn Baxendale is the new Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, commencing her appointment from 3 April 2018. Previously, Dawn was Chief Executive for Southampton City Council. Originally from Huddersfield, Dawn has had an impressive career in local government and has an excellent track record for providing leadership that delivers success. Starting with a fast-track management scheme with the European Commission, in Brussels, working for the World Bank in Romania, she’s worked the length of the UK and is passionate about public service and the critical leadership role that Local Authorities play in delivering successful places for their communities.

Jessica Bowles

Director of Strategy


Jessica joined the business in April 2016, a new role to support the company’s ambitions for long term growth. Previously Jessica worked at Manchester City Council as head of City Policy. Most recently she developed the 10 year Manchester Strategy ‘Our Manchester’ with partners across the city, lead work on the Northern Powerhouse with Richard Leese and other city leaders across the North and took a central role in the devolution agenda. Before coming to Manchester Jessica spent 15 years in Whitehall in a diverse range of roles related to transport and local government.

Martin Yardley

Deputy Chief Executive (Place)

Coventry City Council

Martin is currently Deputy Chief Executive (Place), at Coventry City Council.

Alongside this role Martin is also Chief Executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CW LEP). His time with the CW LEP has seen its influence grow considerable to a situation where it is influencing or placing spend of in excess of £300m into the local economy.

Martin is a Chartered Town Planner by profession with a specialist interest in how planning can enable economic growth and development. As Director of Place he heads up a team that covers approximately 2,000 FTE’s that work in areas as diverse as street cleansing and highway maintenance to implementation of a challenging £9bn regeneration agenda.

During his time as a planner he worked for both the public and private sectors in roles as diverse as Head of Planning and Sustainability in Leicestershire to being a planner advising house builders within the East Midlands. To add to his professional qualifications Martin has completed a Masters in Business Administration at Warwick University.

Nicola Hewitt

Commercial Director

West Midlands Growth Company

Nicola leads the West Midlands Growth Company’s inward investment programme, as well the commercial division of the organisation, overseeing the services in place for supporting investors that are locating or expanding in the region. Nicola manages highly targeted campaigns that focus on the West Midlands’ sectors of strength and key overseas markets. Nicola was previously Director of Marketing and Communications consultancy View from the Hill, following on from international marketing roles at Hoople, Brintons and Codemasters.

Mark Gregory

Chief Economist


Voted top UK Voice on LinkedIn, Mark Gregory is UK Chief Economist at EY, providing knowledge, analysis and insight to help businesses understand the economic environments in which they operate. He is a business economist with almost 30 years’ experience in more than 40 countries as an advisor to the Governments and industry on economics, policy and regulation. This includes working with the Governments of Argentina and the World Bank to develop solutions to the debt and economic crisis in 1989 and 1990.

Mark is the sponsoring partner for EY’s Economics for Business Programme and EY ITEM Club, the UK’s leading independent economic forecasters, and EY’s renowned UK Attractiveness programme, the leading independent voice on Foreign Direct Investment. He works with both the private and public sectors, supporting economic development, growth and regeneration and is a key contributor to EY’s economic offering across the globe.

Prior to his role at EY, Mark was Global Head of Strategy & Business Development for Wireless at IBM and worked with clients to understand the implications of economic and market developments for their business models, cost structures and processes. Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Economics.

Anne Brereton

Director of Managed Growth & Communities

Solihull MBC

Anne leads the place shaping agenda for Solihull Council in particular the UK Central vision and the development of a managed growth masterplan for the area, which aims to deliver 100,000 new jobs and £14billion GDP. Anne is also a Board Member of the newly created UK Central Urban Growth Company which will co-ordinate the £1.5bn investment and infrastructure delivery in the UKC Hub area. Anne also oversees the 20 year regeneration project in the north of the Borough where an estimated £1.8billion will be invested in a community of around 40,000 people.
Anne is a Chartered town planner and has worked on a number of significant regeneration, growth and development projects involving complex partnership structures and different delivery mechanisms.

Before joining Solihull Council, Anne was Deputy Chief Executive and Strategic Director at South Bedfordshire, leading a significant growth agenda and establishing a local delivery vehicle and joint planning and transportation Committee for Luton and South Bedfordshire. Prior that that, Anne worked in Malvern, Worcestershire and South Wales as the planning advisor to the Joint Venture partnership with the Welsh Development Agency.

Anne is currently responsible for a wide range of Place services including environment, neighbourhood management, waste and street scene, highways and transport, community safety and public protection, bereavement services, housing, planning and economic development, inward investment and regeneration, Arts & Libraries, Customer Services and Partnerships & Communities.

Denise Li

Founding CEO

PGC Capital

Award-winning businesswoman, Denise Li, founded PGC Capital in 2015 after an illustrious career assisting companies achieve their international aspirations and expand into China including Formula One, the English Premier League, Porsche, Zespri, Nissan, Omnicom, Hilton Hotels Group and Amway. In 2014, Denise launched the International Financial Summit to introduce sophisticated global investment insights and opportunities to Chinese high net worths, corporations and institutional investors. The previous year, Denise introduced International GolfWeek to China, before going on to co-found Shanghai International GolfWeek (China) Limited to encourage entrepreneurs to raise funds for China’s most deprived children.

Denise and PGC Capital have been frequently profiled in the UK property media, The Times (London) and the Financial Times. She is also a regular panellist at Financial Times Live and Movers & Shakers events. PGC Capital’s first residential development in the UK is situated in the famous Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham. Its next development, to be known as Lunar Rise, will offer 517 units in two 10 storey and one 25 storey block and will be situated in the Digbeth area of Birmingham. At the end of 2017, she was appointed Executive Chairman of the Confederation of China Business UK.

Tom Bloxham MBE


Urban Splash Group Ltd

Tom Bloxham MBE is chairman and founder of award-winning regeneration company Urban Splash, which has received nearly 400 awards to date for architecture, design and business success. The company is responsible for development projects across the country, including Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Bristol, Plymouth and Morecambe.

In 1999 Tom was awarded an MBE for Services to Architecture and Urban Regeneration.

Tom also upholds a number of other positions including; Chairman of Manchester International Festival, and trustee of Tate, the Manchester United Foundation and The Bloxham Charitable Trust.

Deborah Cadman OBE

Chief Executive

West Midlands Combined Authority

Deborah became Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority in September 2017, following a long and distinguished career in public service.

After gaining a degree in politics, she began her career in 1984 with the London Borough of Newham, before moving to Birmingham City Council where she worked on major regeneration projects and gained a master’s degree in economics. Moving to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council in 1996 as Head of Policy, Deborah gained a second master’s in management, before taking up a two-year secondment with the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions as Local Government Advisor to the Ministerial Team. In 2003, after being appointed the Audit Commission’s Best Value Service Lead Inspector for the London region, she became Chief Executive at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, before becoming Chief Executive of the East of England Development Agency. Deborah was Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council from 2011 to 2017 and has also been interim Chief Executive of Waveney District Council, Babergh District Council and Mid-Suffolk District Council.

She is a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Trust and Joseph Rowntree Housing Foundation and as a dedicated and passionate female advocate at the forefront of the public sector, Deborah recently won the First Women Award for Public Service. Deborah is listed in Local Government Chronicle’s ‘100 Most Influential in the Sector’. Deborah was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to local government.

Faraz Baber


Terence O'Rourke

Faraz recently joined the specialist planning and design consultancy Terence O’Rourke as a Director. He was previously an Executive Director for Policy at London First. There he led on all activity relating to property, planning and development policy and was directly responsible for managing the real estate accounts and related commercial activity. Prior to joining London First in 2011, Faraz was Policy Director at London Councils where he managed a large multi-disciplinary team focused on housing, planning, transport, environment, culture and London 2012 implementation. His previous experience also includes senior management policy and public affairs roles at Surrey County Council, British Property Federation (BPF) and the Royal Institution of Chartered surveyors (RICS). A highly experienced and multi-skilled professional with extensive knowledge within the property sector, Faraz has successfully delivered on a number of high profile policy led campaigns. He is a Bartlett School graduate, with dual qualifications: chartered surveyor (FRICS) and chartered town planner (MRTPI). He is a member of the Department of Communities and Local Government Planning Sounding Board which provides industry advice to Government. Faraz is a Board member of the RICS P&D Professional Group and also serves on the RICS Planning Policy Panel.

Tim Johnson

Strategic Director for Place

City of Wolverhampton Council

Tim is the Strategic Director for Place and his portfolio of responsibilities include City Development, City Transport, City Environment and Corporate Landlord. Tim is responsible for raising the profile of the city and driving the city’s economic growth and regeneration agenda.

He works extensively with partners across the Black Country and wider region on developing investment propositions and driving innovative new approaches to public services.

Tim has over 20 years’ experience in local government having worked at Liverpool City Council, the London Borough of Hillingdon, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council before joining the City of Wolverhampton Council in May 2013.

Tim represents the council on a number of key partnership forums across the city and region including undertaking the role of Governor at the City of Wolverhampton College and chairing the city council’s new commercial housing company, WV Living.

Andy Street CBE


West Midlands

Andy Street was elected as the first Mayor of the West Midlands on May 4 2017. The primary function of the role is to chair the West Midlands Combined Authority and brings with it significant powers over transport, housing, skills and jobs.

Before becoming Mayor, Andy combined a career with John Lewis, Britain’s most successful workers’ co-operative, with a host of high-profile economic development roles, working with local and national government.

He was the Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership between 2011 and 2016, helping to build the relationships that have underpinned the economic growth of the region. Additionally, he has been lead non-executive director for the Department for Communities and Local Government as well as a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group.

In June 2015, Andy was awarded the CBE for services to the national economy. He was named the ‘Most Admired Leader’ of the year by business magazine, Management Today in 2014. He received the ‘President’s award’ from the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in for his work in the region.

Richard Cowell

Assistant Director Development

Birmingham City Council

Richard joined Birmingham City Council’s Planning and Regeneration Department in 2008. He currently heads up a number of multi–disciplinary teams leading on a range of development, planning and regeneration initiatives, with a primary focus on the city centre.

One of his first projects was the production of the City’s strategic city centre masterplan, the Big City Plan, launched in September 2010. The Big City Plan is one of the most ambitious and far-reaching city development projects in the UK and is seeing billions of pounds of investment in both infrastructure and major new development schemes. Following the launch of the Big City Plan Richard led the work to secure the city centre Enterprise Zone and the publication of the first Enterprise Zone Investment Plan (2012).

Richard remains focused on the implementation of the strategic vision of the Big City Plan and key initiatives to drive growth across Birmingham. This includes Birmingham Smithfield and the Curzon HS2 Growth Strategy, which has secured an extension of the Enterprise Zone and over £700 million of infrastructure investment targeted at maximising growth around the city centre High Speed 2 (HS2) terminus station.

Ian Mulcahey

Managing Director, London


Passionate about solving complex urban problems, with particular expertise in the integration of infrastructure with urban growth and regeneration, Ian has been at the forefront of growing Gensler’s Firmwide Planning and Urban Design Practice. As Managing Director of the London office, Ian oversees projects across the UK and Europe, bringing a deep understanding of the various political, commercial and social drivers that influence planning delivery. Most recently, Ian has been at the forefront of the national debate on the future of aviation in the UK with the London Britannia Airport project. Ian is passionate about game changing design and has led two award-winning concept projects for London. In 2011, the Thames River Park was awarded the ‘Best Conceptual Project’ and the ‘Mayors Award for Planning Excellence’ at the London Planning Awards, and again in 2015, the London Underline won the ‘Best Conceptual Project’. A regular speaker and panelist, both in the UK and internationally, Ian is often called upon to help define the future direction of urban growth and transformation. He studied at the University of Westminster, earning a diploma in Urban Planning Implementation and BA (Hons) in Urban Planning Studies.

Tony Pidgley CBE


The Berkeley Group

He left school at 15 to form his own company in haulage and plant hire. At 19, he sold his business to Crest Homes and became a Building Director, before leaving to form Berkeley Homes in 1975. The company enjoyed rapid growth, floated on the Unlisted Securities Market in 1984, and then gained a full listing in 1985 as the Berkeley Group plc.

Tony has gained a national reputation for his pioneering approach to building homes and creating successful places. His judgement of the markets, willingness to put his personal capital at risk, and his drive and commercial flair have made Berkeley one of Britain’s best residential developers. In 2011, Berkeley was ranked Britain’s Most Admired Company across all sectors and is the only housebuilder to win the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development twice.

His expertise has been used to advise the recent Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, the Mayor on the Outer London Commission and the Government on the disposal of public sector land. He is also a trustee of Open City London, a charity that champions architecture education, and President of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2016, he was nominated New Londoner of the Year in recognition of his contribution to housebuilding across the capital.

Sir Edward Lister


Homes England

Sir Edward Lister joined the Homes and Communities Agency as Chairman in June 2016. Sir Edward has considerable experience of the housebuilding industry, in particular infrastructure investment and large-scale developments. From 2011-16, he was London’s Deputy Mayor of Policy and Planning and Chief of Staff at the Greater London Authority, which included serving as Deputy Chairman of the Old Oak & Park Royal Mayoral Development Corporation. He was previously Conservative Leader of Wandsworth Borough Council from 1992-2011. As the longest-serving council leader in the country, Sir Edward made Wandsworth the most successful value-for-money local authority in the country with the lowest council tax charge and top satisfaction ratings from its residents.

In 2016, Sir Edward was appointed as Senior Advisor to the Regeneration and Investment Organisation within UKTI. He is also a consultant for CBRE’s One London team and a Non-Executive Director of Stanhope Ltd.

Dr Colin Clinton

Regional Project Manager Regeneration and Infrastructure, Midlands Engine Investment Hub

Department for International Trade

Colin is DIT’s Midlands Engine Regional Manager for Regeneration and Infrastructure, part of the Midlands Engine Investment Hub team based in Birmingham. He joined UKTI part-time in Sept 2015 during which time he directed production of the ME’s first Investment Pitchbook, launched at MIPIM in March 2016. He helped create the 2017 ME Investment Portfolio with over £8BN’s worth of investment opportunity, and chairs the ME MIPIM steering group which helped deliver create a ME Pavilion at MIPIM Cannes for the first time in March 2017.

As DIT’s ME Regional Manager he is currently accessing many regeneration and infrastructure projects around the West Midlands that are seeking International Investment. Those that are currently investor ready to an increasing number developing within the Midlands Engine project pipeline of opportunities.

After 16 years in West Midlands public sector, Colin joined Arup in 1988 and appointed a Director in 2002. In 2004 he became the youngest President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and in January 2010 was appointed Arup’s Director of BD East Asia.
He delivered a new East Asia five-year BD Strategy for Arup before returning to UK in April 2015 as Director of Infrastructure in Arup’s Liverpool office.

Simon Marks



Simon has been involved in shaping cities throughout his entire career. As Arcadis’ City Executive for Birmingham, he is responsible for improving quality of life across the wider West Midlands, particularly focusing on growth and investment to ensure the regions continued evolution.

With 30 years’ industry experience, he helps clients make the best of their built and natural assets in relation to achieving their vision, strategy and key priorities. He has delivered a range of projects across the public, private and infrastructure sectors and has a deep understanding of the housing and regeneration arena. Simon is also the Main Board Director of the GBSLEP Optimising Assets Group and Chair of the Enterprise Zone Executive Board.

Sarah Middleton

Chief Executive

Black Country Consortium Ltd

Sarah is the Chief Executive of Black Country Consortium Limited (BCC) since its incorporation in 2006. Sarah joined the Consortium Partnership in October 1999 and has been central in developing the Black Country Sub-Regional partnership and its 30 year vision including the Economic Strategy and Spatial Strategy, establishing joint approaches on Planning, Investment, Economic Intelligence and the Black Country Education and Skills Strategy. She has also supported the West Midlands Combined Authority on the development of the Combined Authority Strategic Economic Plan. Sarah qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive for East Mercia Chamber of Commerce (including responsibilities as General Manager for Business Link Walsall) and Chief Executive of Walsall City Challenge.

Leigh Natasha Salter

Managing Director

Movers & Shakers

Leigh Natasha Salter is Managing Director of Movers & Shakers, having formerly been the Business and Events Director. Leigh has been responsible for developing the brand over the last 12 years and was responsible for the launch of the Movers & Shakers UK Regional events programme. Previously she worked in marketing, communications and research, and also ran the Windsor & Maidenhead Borough’s Business to Community Partnership, facilitating CSR for businesses. She qualified at Oxford University with a BA Honours in Human Sciences, and a scholarship, and is also a member of the BPF, WPA and UK-GBC.

Rob Groves

Regional Director

Argent LLP

Rob Groves, is the Regional Director of Argent and has over 30 years of planning, design, construction and commercial experience. Prior to joining Argent in 2007 he was an Equity Partner at a large multi-disciplinary consulting engineer practice. His development experience includes mixed use, residential, commercial, industrial schemes as well as major public sector infrastructure.

Rob has led schemes from feasibility through to planning, compulsory purchase, which includes expert witness work, detailed design, funding both private and public sector, construction and commercial legals and lettings.

He is head of Argents’ Birmingham office and is leading the Paradise project in Birmingham, which is a joint venture with Birmingham City Council for a new commercial led mixed use development of 2 million sq/ft in the City centre, which is one of the biggest city centre projects in the regions. The project was one of the first in England to secure Enterprise Zone funding, delivering major site wide infrastructure changes to the city centre, the first phase of which is close to completion.

Rob is also the chair of the Midlands British Council of Offices.

Laura Shoaf, MRTPI

Managing Director

Transport for West Midlands

Laura Shoaf is Managing Director of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) – part of the West Midlands Combined Authority. She has more than 20 years’ international experience in delivering integrated economic and spatial regeneration.

Laura was Head of Strategic Planning and Implementation at the Black Country Consortium and was instrumental in the creation of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). As Black Country Director of Transport, Laura championed and led the area’s transport agenda, directly advising Chief Executives, Leaders and the LEP.

In 2015, Laura became Strategic Director for Transport at the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority and then in June 2016 took up her current position where she is responsible for key initiatives across the metropolitan area such as Midlands Connect, the HS2 Connectivity Package and the region’s Strategic Transport Plan, liaising with Government departments and regional agencies for the benefit of the West Midlands. She is also responsible for delivering a £4billion transport package over the next 10 years underpinning economic regeneration in the region.

Waheed Nazir

Corporate Director for Economy

Birmingham City Council

As Corporate Director Economy, Birmingham City Council, Waheed has worked for the authority in various roles for 20 years.

Waheed provides strategic leadership and direction across a wide portfolio, including the Council’s property portfolio, planning, regeneration, housing development, transportation and connectivity, highways and infrastructure, skills and employment, business development and inward investment.

Waheed led the major transformation of the city centre through the Big City Plan, bringing forward key projects including Birmingham Smithfield, Snowhill, Paradise and New Street redevelopment. He oversees £2.5bn public sector investment through the Enterprise Zone and HS2 Curzon masterplan.

Alongside leading Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust, one of the city’s largest housebuilders, Waheed led the Council to set up a series of commercial vehicles including InReach, the Council’s vehicle for building new homes across the city, and the development of an investment vehicle for commercial property to help deliver growth.

Waheed is a non-executive Director of Birmingham Airport Holdings Limited.

Waheed is a columnist for Estates Gazette, and a visiting Professor at Birmingham City University, he mentors a number of graduates demonstrating commitment to support the development of future professionals in the field.

Waheed was awarded an honorary Doctorate by Aston University in July 2017.

Martin Reeves

Chief Executive

Coventry City Council

Martin has been Chief Executive of Coventry City Council since April 2009. He had previously been with Bedfordshire County Council for three and a half years as Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Executive.

Martin was previously Head of Performance Improvement at Westminster City Council. He was also Programme Director for WorkSmart the City Council’s flagship transformation programme. Martin spent much of his early career as a lecturer and researcher, and has a PhD in applied economics. He was the President of SOLACE in 2013 and now leads their Digital Leadership Network. He is also the Local Government Association (LGA) National Procurement Champion.

In 2015, Martin was invited onto the independent taskforce, which produced the new 5 year national cancer strategy. He co-chairs the national systems leadership board and chairs the national cross system board for sustainable health & social care (taking over from Jonathan Porritt).

He is also a member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Advisory Board. In November 2015 Martin was included in the top 20 of the Local Government Chronicle’s list of the 100 most influential people in local government.

David Jennings


Movers & Shakers

Managing Director - Business Vantage Ltd
Chairman - Movers & Shakers Property Networking Forum

David started his career in Construction and Property. In 1990 he jointly founded and was a Joint Managing Director of the Salisbury Consulting Group; he sold his interest in 1995. In 1996 he formed Business Vantage, a business and research consultancy which specialises in property and construction and advises major UK plc’s.

David is the Founder Director and Chairman of Movers & Shakers formed in 1996 the UK’s most successful and popular networking forum.

He is also a Founder Director and shareholder of Stonemartin plc, an AIM listed serviced office business; founded in 1999.

David is Founder Director and shareholder of ResourceFull Ltd formerly Nice4Work Ltd.