Real Estate Balance Bristol and the South West launch

Request a place

08 November 2023

05:30 PM

Simmons & Simmons LLP, Aurora, Finzels Reach, Counterslip, Bristol BS1 6BX

People sitting on the quay in Bristol

Request a place

The South West of England has some of the best scenery and outdoor experiences to be found in the UK combined with a lower cost of living, better work-life balance and "friendlier" neighbourhoods compared to other regions. Covering an extensive area of the UK, the attractiveness of the South West for those seeking to escape cost of living pressures and find a more relaxed pace of life, has fuelled one of the fastest growing populations in the UK.

Bristol consistently places well in liveability indexes, with its higher cost of living compared to other parts of the region balanced by strong wages and house prices. A renowned destination for the diversity and quality of its culinary, arts and music scenes, it is also home to two highly rated universities and is the only European Green Capital in the UK. In a recent quality of living survey, Plymouth was voted the best place to live in England, having the happiest respondents who citied a healthy work-life balance being the main reason for their responses and Exeter recently earned the accolade of one of the "coolest" places to live in the UK.

But there are other ways to tell the story of this region. The South West faces some social and educational divides. Research shows upward occupational mobility in the South West was the third lowest of 19 regions in 2015, and, when local authorities in England were most recently ranked based on 16 different social mobility indicators, West Somerset ranked bottom of 324 local authority districts in the Social Mobility Index with Bristol placed a surprising 228th. 20% of the population of Bristol are ethnic minorities and this is not represented in real estate and related well-paying workforces. Additionally, a recent State of the Nation Social Mobility report found that only 26% of working class people progress to professional occupations in the South West – lower than almost anywhere else.

The South West is set to be one of the UK’s top regions for economic growth over the next few years and a report produced by CBRE has identified Bristol, alongside Manchester, as the UK’s highest-growth city across multiple real estate sectors over the next 10 years. How can we as an industry ensure that this growth results in opportunity for everyone in our communities and create pathways into real estate for those currently unrepresented?

Real Estate Balance and Simmons & Simmons LLP will be hosting a panel discussion to start a conversation with our members and DEI networks in the region to tackle this vital question. Real estate professionals working in Bristol and the South West will debate the topic and share their views to inform our thinking on overcoming inequities relating to ethnicity and social mobility in our industry, and in the process, reap the many benefits of diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Our panel

Tim Clark

Tim Clark (chair)

Legal & Professional Editor, Property Week

Caroline Turner-Inskip

Caroline Turner-Inskip (host)

Partner & Global Head of Wellbeing, Simmons & Simmons LLP

Caroline Turner-Inskip has a wealth of experience advising on the acquisition, disposal and portfolio management of commercial real estate assets. She specialises in advising banks and funders dealing with real estate financing, as well as dealing with renewables assets and acts for both investors and funders in this is area. 

As the Global Head of Wellbeing for Simmons & Simmons, her strategy focusses on building a workplace that puts the mental, physical, emotional, and economic wellbeing of the individuals in the firm first. Her objectives within this role include: creating a place of openness, destigmatising and normalising mental health, embracing the unknown and practising open-mindedness, engaging in proactive prevention, developing understanding of how individual rhythms set a collective pace, and unifying our firm by building a community to create a support network which benefits all.

Jas Chahal

Jas Chahal

Head of Strategic Change, Real Assets, Legal & General Investment Management

Jas Chahal has more than 20 years’ investment management experience, joining LGIM in 2018. She is Head of Strategic Change in Real Assets and sits on the Real Assets Management Committee responsible for driving business strategy and transformation of the platform encompassing real estate, private credit and infrastructure. Jas is also Chief of Staff to the Global Head of Real Assets, Bill Hughes, and is Chair of the Real Assets D&I Committee, a position she has held since the end of 2021. She also mentors young women who are interested in joining the investment management industry. 

Kate Craig Waller

Kate Craig Waller

Partner - Head of Development and Delivery, Granger Reis

Kate has more than 20 years’ experience in placing senior level executive professionals across industry sectors working with multinational organizations, conglomerates, in both public and private sector, across multiple lines of business.  
She builds long-term relationships with clients and candidates, gaining a deep understanding of individual needs and delivering the highest quality solutions. 
Kate is passionate about the role of diversity and inclusion, as well as innovation, in evolving these sectors, enabling them to deliver improved value and benefit to their employees and society. 

Lionah Kawonza

Lionah Kawonza

Programme Manager, Arcadis and South West Lead, Black Women in Real Estate

I am a Senior Project Manager and Chartered Surveyor with over a decade of diverse experience in the industry.

I studied Building Surveying at UWE and before settling into Project Management, I worked as an Estates Surveyor, Valuation Surveyor and Building Surveyor.

I am passionate about driving project success and making a meaningful impact and believe that fostering a collaborative environment that encourages-open dialogue, innovative thinking,  continuous improvement, maximises team productivity and achieves exceptional results that provide a competitive advantage.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my husband and two kids cooking something in the kitchen  – we are all massive foodies. I also enjoy running (recently completed the Mitchelmores Charity Run) and swimming . 

Simon Peacock

Simon Peacock

Head of UK Regions and Clients, JLL

Simon has leadership roles as Head of UK Regions and Head of Clients and is a member of the UK Board.   

He is based in Bristol and London and has worked for JLL since 2011, originally playing a key role in the Project Management business.  Having trained and worked in London and Sydney he specialised in Project Management and has considerable experience in the delivery of construction and development projects. 

Simon was asked to lead the SW & Wales business in 2017 being responsible for 180 colleagues, 3 offices and 14 different specialisms.  This expanded to leading our UK Regional business in 2021.  This role involves close working with his regional leads across the UK, our national business lines and membership of the UK Board.  In 2023 Simon took on the Head of Clients role which includes a focus on our national and regional client account programmes and fostering long term partnerships with our investor and occupier clients.  He is a Board sponsor for our ethnical under-represented colleagues working with our Race for Change group and uses his role to support positive change.   

These leadership roles provide Simon with an excellent oversight of the market, business, clients and future trends and issues affecting real estate and our communities – from regeneration, reuse vs new build, embodied carbon, circular economy and viable sustainability, to creating opportunties in our changing post covid cities, the adoption of proptech to solve our challenges and driving inclusivity into our traditional industry.     

Crucially Simon sees the successful adoption of commercial sustainability as critical to his clients success over the next decade and is focussed on leading these conversations and bringing new research and innovation to the support market change.  

Registration will be from 5.30pm for a 6.00pm prompt start with formal proceedings finishing at 7.15pm. Following the discussion, connect with like-minded individuals that share your passion for diversity and inclusion at our networking drinks.

If you would like to attend, please request your place by clicking on the button above.