Better Balance II

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23 May 2023

06:00 PM

CMS, Cannon Place, 78 Cannon St, London EC4N 6AF

Join us for an event hosted by CMS to celebrate Real Estate Balance reaching 120 industry leading companies in our membership, achievements to date, and the ongoing changes being driven by individuals and organisations alike, as we work towards better balance.

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We’re delighted to invite CEOs and senior leaders from the Real Estate Balance membership along with their NextGen colleague to join us at Better Balance II.

At this, the second of our annual events to celebrate Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) in the real estate industry, we’ll be showcasing the progress being made by individuals and organisations alike as we work towards better balance – Educate. Include. Enable.

This year’s event will include keynotes on key DEI issues by Dan Labbad, Chief Executive at The Crown Estate and Liz Peace, Chair of Real Estate Balance, plus a panel discussion and networking drinks reception.

The event is open to CEOs and senior leaders in our membership, who are invited to attend with a NextGen committee colleague if they have one, or to bring along another junior property professional from within their organisation.

We had an incredibly rich, vibrant and well-attended discussion last year and hope many of you will be able to join us for Better Balance II this May.

Keynote speakers

Dan Labbad

Dan Labbad, Chief Executive, The Crown Estate

Dan Labbad is Chief Executive of The Crown Estate.

The Crown Estate is a significant national landowner with a diverse £16bn portfolio that includes urban centres and regeneration opportunities across the UK, Regent Street and St James’s in London’s West End, a substantial rural holding and Windsor Great Park. It also manages the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland and plays a major role in the UK’s world leading offshore wind sector. Established by an Act of Parliament, it has generated more than £3 billion in profits to HM Treasury for the benefit of public spending over the last ten years.

Prior to The Crown Estate, Dan held a number of senior positions at the global property and infrastructure group Lendlease, including Group Chief Operating Officer and the dual roles of Chief Executive Officer, International Operations and Chief Executive Officer, Europe to oversee the disciplined expansion of Lendlease’s businesses in Europe, Americas and Asia.

Dan has actively championed sustainability throughout his professional life. Between 2001 and 2004 he was CEO of The Hornery Institute, a not-for-profit established by Lendlease employees and shareholders to focus on more equitable, resilient and sustainable communities. He has previously served as a director of the Green Building Council of Australia and more recently as Chairman of the UK Green Building Council.

In addition to his role at The Crown Estate, Dan is currently a Trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and a Director of The Hornery Institute, trading as Studio THI.

Liz Peace

Liz Peace, Chair, Real Estate Balance

Liz is Chair of Real Estate Balance, a campaigning organisation working to improve diversity and inclusion in the real estate industry.

Liz has had a somewhat unusual career which has spanned both the public and private sectors. She spent her early career in Government in the Ministry of Defence, eventually becoming a key player in the creation of QinetiQ plc in 2001. She then moved into the private sector, becoming Chief Executive of the British Property Federation where she played a significant role in the creation of the UK’s Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) structure. She was awarded a CBE in 2008 for services to the property industry.

Liz now has a non-executive portfolio career primarily focussed on real estate including NED roles at Howard de Walden Estates and the Connected Places Catapult. She is Chairman of the GLA’s Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation and of the University of Cambridge Property Board. As well as Real Estate Balance, she also chairs a heritage charity, the Churches Conservation Trust.


Kevin Boake

Kevin Boakye (Chair), Talent Acquisition & DEI Specialist, Hines

Kevin Boakye has over 10 years’ experience working within the Property & Real Estate sector in both recruitment and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion capacities. Kevin is currently the Talent Acquisition & DEI Specialist for Hines Europe, based in London, UK. He is a lead member of the Hines Young Leaders Council for Europe in addition to serving as a member of the NextGen Committee of Real Estate Balance, as well as serving as a School Governor at The Cooper’s School in Bromley.

Sheena Singla

Sheena Singla, General Counsel & Head of ESG, Logicor

Sheena Singla is the General Counsel, Head of ESG and HR lead at Logicor, a leading European owner, manager and developer of logistics real estate.

Previously, from 2010 to 2016, Sheena was the General Counsel at Essar Energy plc, at the time a FTSE 100 company, and from 1998 to 2010, a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer which included time spent living and working internationally.

Sheena has extensive experience in a variety of different sectors and internationally, working closely with a wide range of stakeholders and with companies undergoing change management and high growth.

Sheena is focused on driving positive change; she has recently been appointed to the board of Real Estate Balance, is responsible for D&I at Logicor, and among other responsibilities, is the lead governor for D&I on the board for a secondary state grammar school.

Dr Heather Melville

Dr Heather Melville OBE CCMI, Senior Managing Director, Teneo People Advisory

Heather Melville is a Senior Managing Director with Teneo's People Advisory team in London and leads the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practice.

With a career spanning over 40 years, Heather brings a wealth of experience across corporate and international banking, technology, and most recently in professional services, which positions her to advise leaders on both the challenges and opportunities in building commercially strong and inclusive businesses. She has a proven track record of helping companies to attract, develop and retain the very best talent whilst ensuring they create inclusive cultures that nurture innovation.

In 2017, Heather was awarded an OBE for her work, as well as an Honorary Doctorate from Portsmouth University, recognising her influence and impact on diversity in business. In 2021 Heather received the prestigious President’s Medal for leadership from the British Academy of Management. She holds a number of trustee positions, is Chair of CMI Women, NED, Enfield Enterprise. Patron of Women in Banking and Finance and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), a global network of C-Suite leaders.

Heather has recently become Chancellor of the University of York, helping them to drive inclusion across the university, to attract more diverse students and to collaborate with business leaders to build more inclusive businesses.

James Brandon

James Brandon, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Responsible Business Manager, CBRE UK

James drives DE&I practice across CBRE UK Advisory. James has arrived in the commercial property after a 10 year career in culture, sport and mental health. James has worked closely with different types of communities to platform their voices and mediate the relationships between ‘institutions’ and those marginalised by them. Taking a coaching and mediation approach James has delivered on a range of policy changes based on the listening to what our communities tell us. From enhancements in family friendly working practices, introduction of Carers Leave and guidance resources like ‘Coming Out’ and ‘Work and Cancer’.

Sophie Ogbonda-Jardine

Sophie Ogbonda-Jardine, Senior Marketing Executive, Vertus (Canary Wharf Group)

Sophie is an experienced marketeer, working within the homes & property industry for the last five years. Sophie is currently the Senior Marketing Executive for Vertus (Canary Wharf Group), based in London, UK. She also serves as a member of the REB NextGen Committee, as well as serving as one of Canary Wharf Groups first Junior Board Members.

Sam Monger

Sam Monger

Sam is an independent advisor to the real estate sector, focused at the intersection between commercial and ESG goals. He spent over 11 years at Grosvenor, where he led on strategy, research, financial analysis and innovation, most recently leading the establishment of an impact-led affordable housing business (Grosvenor Hart Homes). Before that, he spent 17 years in consultancy at PwC and IBM, where he led on large, complex property transactions and developing early thinking on smart buildings. Sam has been an active member of REB since the early days, instigating the biannual members' survey and the recent EDI data guidance note developed in partnership with PwC.

If you would like to attend, please request a place using the button above by 12 May 2023, remembering to include the name and email address of the colleague you are bringing with you. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.