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BUILD TO RENT forum Scotland

Date for 2021 to be announced shortly!

  • Listen and learn; from Private and Public leaders in the Build to Rent market...

  • Network with the Industries key players and stakeholders; make new contacts and connections

  • Understand the challenges and opportunities in the Build to Rent market in Scotland

  • Listen and learn; from Private and Public leaders in the Build to Rent market...

  • Network with the Industries key players and stakeholders; make new contacts and connections

  • Understand the challenges and opportunities in the Build to Rent market in Scotland


The Build to Rent Forum Scotland, now in its 5th year, is organised by Movers & Shakers and supported by Scottish Futures Trust, Homes for Scotland and The Scottish Property Federation. This is an established, authoritative one-day event that brings together private and public-sector leaders and key stakeholders to debate and exchange ideas.

Movers and Shakers also organises the and real estate networking events and conferences around the UK.

“Build to Rent in Scotland - Still Game?”

Building on the success of the previous four conferences and tangible progress in the market, this year’s theme reflects the fact that despite the challenges around planning and funding, BTR in Scotland has made sound progress and the pipeline is growing.

However, some of Scotland’s Cities and Local Authorities are more readily embracing BTR than others, issues around the perception and fit of BTR in the housing mix remain!

The conference will explore:

  • What is happening across the BTR market?
  • What’s the latest thinking in BTR, design, operations, technology?
  • What are the prospects for the region?
  • How well are policy and planning working?
  • What are the experiences of the major BTR developers in getting schemes off the ground in Scotland?
  • Are Public, Private Partnerships the route to delivering affordable rented homes?
  • How well does BTR stacks up? The diversification of BTR – what is the bandwidth of BTR?

This year’s BTR Forum will take place in Glasgow, which has been hugely successful in attracting major BTR developers and investors into the city

Click for more information on conference content

This Conference will appeal to key players in Public and Private Sectors involved in Build to Rent in Scotland:

  • Organisations and individuals looking at the emerging Build to Rent marketplace, interested in understanding the market, identifying opportunities, making the right connections
  • Investors, Developers, Pension Funds, Banks, Housing Associations, Government & Local Authorities, Surveyors, Property Lawyers, Consultants and Contractors

A one-day event that will deliver value on multiple levels:

  • Be informed; understand the challenges and opportunities in the Build to Rent market
  • Listen and learn; from Private & Public leaders in Build to Rent
  • Gain valuable insights into the market; latest thinking; best practice and emerging models
  • Network with the Industries key players and stakeholders; make new contacts and connections

Event Speakers

David Jennings


Movers & Shakers

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

Tracey Menzies

Real Estate Partner

Brodies LLP

Tracey has over twenty years’ experience across a full range of real estate disciplines and is also head of Brodies’ Housebuilding group. Brodies’ real estate practice comprises 26 partners, and over 100 lawyers who focus purely on the real estate investment and development market in Scotland. Tracey specialises in commercial and residential land acquisition and development work, with particular focus on development construction and funding. Tracey’s clients include Bancon Group, Mactaggart & Mickel, Andrew’s Homes and Knight Property Group and she has been involved in substantial strategic land and developments across Scotland. She is regularly sought out by house builders and landowners to negotiate and implement complex option arrangements and promotion agreements.

Tracey is listed in the Legal 500 independent legal directory as a lawyer who is commended for her “ability to mix a strong commercial thrust with pragmatism and the personal skills needed to do property deals” and displaying “excellent awareness of the market”. She has proved herself popular with clients for her ability to focus on and explain key issues.

Rick de Blaby

Executive Chairman

Get Living

Rick is focused on growing Get Living’s platform and creating new neighbourhoods across the UK that capture Get Living’s vision to change we live and rent in cities.

Rick has over 38 years’ experience in development and investment in both the residential and commercial sectors, with particular interest in regeneration and design.

Prior to Get Living, Rick was CEO of United Housing Group and prior to that, CEO of MEPC. Rick is Non-Executive Chairman of Miller Developments, Non-Executive Director of Altitude Real Estate, Non-Executive Director of Curo Housing Association and Chairman of the Kinetic Foundation Charity.

Matthew Benson


Rettie & Co

Matthew is a Director at Rettie & Co, heading up the Investment and Development teams, with particular focus on Build to Rent and affordable housing in Scotland. He was awarded the Saltire Award for Innovation in Housing Finance, which was delivered through the Resonance® funding model developed by Rettie & Co. Matthew works closely with the Scottish Government, local authorities, SFT, regeneration agencies and others to look at new ways of stimulating housebuilding and delivering affordable housing, and developed much of the thinking behind the National Housing Trust initiative. Matthew is a Non-Executive Director of Springfield Properties plc and is a member of the advisory board of Kleinwort Hambros private bank, a trustee of ProjectScotland which assists 5,000 Scottish volunteers, and is a board member of the Edinburgh Arts Festival. Mathew was the founding Chair of bio-tech businesses EctoPharma Ltd and Ryboquin Ltd.

Robin Blacklock

Managing Director

Dowbrae Property Consultancy

Robin has been at the forefront of the Build-to-Rent market in Scotland since 2012 when he introduced the concept at Grosvenor’s Springside development at Fountainbridge in Edinburgh. Following a trip to the USA in early 2013 to better understand their equivalent market, Robin returned with an energy and enthusiasm for the sector which saw him lead a successful planning consent for a mixed use project anchored by 400+ build-to-rent units at Springside. He has also been instrumental in raising the profile of Build to Rent in Scotland, both in terms of introducing the concept to the industry, but also in the political arena around planning, promotion of the sector and tenancy reform.

Following the successful sale of the Springside site to Moda Living in early 2017, Robin set up Dowbrae Property Consultancy and splits his time between leading the development of the £250m mixed-use scheme, The Haymarket Edinburgh, and consulting on Build to Rent.

Dr John Boyle

Director, Research & Strategy

Rettie & Co

John is a property economist and chartered surveyor. He leads the Rettie & Co. Research Team, providing a cutting-edge research and consultancy function that informs clients on sales, lettings, investment and development opportunities as well as analysing where property markets are at and likely to be going. Over the last 15 years, he has built-up a wealth of experience from involvement at all stages of property projects, from small-scale developments through to major master-planned schemes of new towns and suburbs. He works for all of the major house builders in Scotland, the Scottish Government, many local authorities and investors. He sits on Homes for Scotland’s Policy Advisory Group and is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Society of Property Researchers.

John is a regular media commentator on BTR in Scotland and he has presented at a number of events recently on BTR including for RICS and the Investment Property Forum. He has co-authored Rettie & Co.’s reports on BTR in Scotland and has acted as an adviser on a number of the country’s current BTR schemes, including Moda’s at Springside (Edinburgh) and Holland Park (Glasgow), Whiteburn’s at VOX (Dundee) and Inhabit’s at Broadford Works (Aberdeen). He regularly undertakes viability analysis of BTR schemes and his work informs the pricing, mix and absorption rates of schemes. He also undertakes appraisals of Mid Market Rent schemes for a range of providers, including developers and housing associations.

Jean-Marc Vandevivere

Chief Executive


Jean-Marc has 20 years of experience in the Property, Retail and Consumer Goods industries. Prior to PLATFORM_, he spent 7 years at the Executive Committee of The British Land Company PLC, joining as Head of Strategy in 2009 to set up the new department, and later on becoming Head of Residential. Jean-Marc started his career at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), spending time across the Paris, Washington DC and London offices as a Principal. Jean-Marc sits at the IPF Strategic Board and the BPF Residential Board. He holds an MBA from Essec in Paris.

Patrick Flynn

Head of Housing and Regeneration Services

Glasgow City Council

Patrick Flynn joined Glasgow District Council as a housing officer in 1981. He joined Scottish Homes in 1991 and subsequently held a number of senior positions in that organisation and then in Communities Scotland and the Scottish Government. He re-joined Glasgow City Council in April 2011 and is the Head of Housing and Regeneration Services.

Elaine Scott

Housing Development and Regeneration Manager

City of Edinburgh Council

Elaine leads the Housing, Management and Development team at City of Edinburgh Council. The team is taking forward the Council’s ambitious housing strategy which includes a commitment to develop 20,000 new affordable homes over ten years alongside delivering investment in existing homes and estates. Elaine joined the Council in 1998 and since then has managed a number of major investment programmes; including the Affordable Housing Investment Programme, National Housing Trust and the Council’s own housebuilding programme (21st Century Homes). She is on the senior management team of Edinburgh Living (a new partnership set up to own and manage homes for mid market and market rent) and is working with a range of partners to support delivery of affordable housing across the city region.

Lynsey Thomson

Team Leader - Innovation Development and Project Management

Scottish Government

Lynsey is a Team Leader within Scottish Government’s Financial Innovation Unit. The Unit leads, supports and enables delivery of new ways of financing and funding housebuilding. Lynsey has worked closely with industry to deliver a package of measures to grow the Build to Rent Sector in Scotland including developing an innovative Rental Income Guarantee Scheme designed to kickstart the supply of good quality, purpose-built, professionally managed homes for private rent. She is currently involved in the design and implementation of the £150m Building Scotland Fund – introduced to support the development of housing; modern industrial and commercial space; and support industry-led research and development. Since launch last year the Fund has committed over £90m- supporting delivery of over 5,500 homes and around 600 full time jobs. Building on her academic background in land-use planning and regeneration, Lynsey has around 15 years of experience in developing housing policy across all tenures.

Ben Denton

Managing Director

Legal & General Affordable Homes

Ben Denton is Managing Director of L&G Affordable Homes. L&G Affordable Homes’ set up in 2018 with an ambitious business plan to develop 3,000 affordable homes pa by 2022 alongside building a best in class customer services experience. L&G are investing patient, long-term capital in order to grow the capacity of the affordable housing sector and in so doing, deliver societally important outcomes. L&G Affordable Homes sits alongside L&G’s other housing businesses including BTR, Modular, Cala and Inspired Villages Group. Prior to L&G, Ben held a number of positions in the public and private sectors, delivering residential led development and regeneration.

Karen Campbell

Senior Associate Director

Scottish Futures Trust

Karen leads SFT’s housing programmes (including the National Housing Trust, Housing Delivery Partnerships and Home Ownership Made Easy) and manages the team in the development of new initiatives to support the delivery of housing across Scotland. Previously Karen was Director of Policy & Operations at Homes for Scotland, responsible for addressing challenges across the house building industry, including the supply of homes, access to development finance, mortgage lending, skill shortages and quality. Past roles include a secondment to the Scottish Government to help deliver the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative and with West Lothian Council where she undertook both quality assurance and front-line roles within the housing management service. Karen is a Social Policy graduate from Edinburgh University and attained her masters in Housing at Heriot Watt University.

Dan Batterton

Fund Manager – BTR

L&G IM Real Assets

Dan Batterton is Fund Manager for the Build to Rent Fund at LGIM Real Assets and is responsible for the design and execution of fund strategy.

Dan has 19 years’ experience in the property sector and his exceptional understanding of portfolio strategy have been utilised to design L&G’s long-term acquisition and operational strategy for the sector. He leads the 5 strong BTR team at L&G that currently has 900+ homes in construction or planning and is aiming to deliver 1,000 new BTR homes per year from 2019.

Joining Legal & General in February 2007 he was recently Head of Product Development. Previously Dan was an Associate Director at IPD Ltd where he was responsible for the UK portfolio analysis service to a collection of major institutions. He spent 9 years at IPD analysing drivers of historic fund performance and discussing strategies that will influence future returns.

Rebecca Taylor

Managing Director of Long Harbour’s BtR / Multifamily business

Long Harbour

Rebecca is the Managing Director of Long Harbour’s BtR / Multifamily business. Since joining Long Harbour in 2015 Rebecca has deployed over £300mn of equity and is responsible for all assets from deal origination, design, development, delivery and operations.

Rebecca has over 15 years’ experience in development and investment having worked in projects in Australia, UK, Ireland and UAE. Prior to joining Long Harbour, Rebecca spent eight years at Laing O’Rourke working in their property and investment team. Here she worked on their offsite housing solution, a number of PFI schemes and their residential and mixed use property portfolio

Gwynn Thomson

Property Investment Director

Sigma Capital Group

With over 27 years’ experience in the property markets, Gwynn has a wealth of expertise and knowledge with his particular specialism being in the property investment markets. He is an honours graduate of Aberdeen University, where he studied Land Economy, and is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Prior to joining Sigma in 2010, Gwynn was a Director of Investment and Valuation at a leading property consultancy. Gwynn was appointed on to the main Sigma Board in June 2011 and has been integral to the formation and running of the Sigma PRS model.

Jake Chai

Senior Director of International Real Estate


Jake Chai is the Senior Director of Real Estate at Common, the national leader in community-driven city living spanning 6 cities and 30 coliving properties across the US. At Common, Jake is responsible for sourcing, executing and closing Common’s global real estate strategy, with a special focus on European and Canadian markets. He works directly with developers, investors, and owners to educate them on the coliving model and facilitate partnerships within their portfolios. Prior to Common, Jake was an asset manager for a private equity firm and entrepreneur focused on food sustainability. Originally from Canada, Jake holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from Columbia University in New York City.

Graeme Bone

Group Managing Director

Drum Property Group

Graeme is the founder and principal shareholder of Drum Property Group. After qualifying as a solicitor, he practiced as a Partner of an Aberdeen law firm for seven years prior to focusing on the property sector. He has over twenty years experience in the financing and delivery of complex land assembly, development and investment projects for blue-chip national and International occupiers.

Martin Ellerby

Head of New Business & Innovation


With a career background in architecture & urban design, Martin joined Placefirst in 2010 to help set up a new build-to-rent business aimed at families on modest incomes who are increasingly reliant on renting for their housing needs.

Since then Placefirst has gone on to deliver over 500 homes across six build-to-rent communities, collecting over 20 national and regional awards for their work in community-led BTR development and urban regeneration. Working in partnership with local authorities to unlock complex regeneration challenges, Placefirst aim to deliver 4000 homes over the next few years and are actively exploring investment opportunities across Scotland.

Iain Murray

Director - BTR Consultancy (Europe)

Liv Consult

Iain has been operating in the BTR market since 2014 and in Scotland brokered the sale of the Edinburgh Springside Project from Grosvenor to MODA. In addition, his team works closely with MODA on Glasgow Holland Park as well as all their other developments in the UK. Initially studying architecture Iain has spent time in Retirement Care before as a Partner for G&T specialising in PPP Schools and Hospitals. LIV Consult have delivered advice on over 45,000 BTR units across the UK and Ireland covering BTR Appraisal, Design for Operation and Lifecycle together with a focus achieving funding for its clients. In August 2019 LIV Group and Consult were acquired by Cortland Partners, the US owner and operator of over 65,000 multifamily units. LIV Consult continue to offer independent advice to the BTR market as well as internally on Cortland projects.

Lee Savage

UK Development Director

Moda Living

With over 28 years’ experience in property development, Lee has previously held the role of Development Director at both Scarborough Group International and Urban Splash, before joining Moda Living in July 2016 as UK Director of Developments. Moda Living is the UK’s leading build-to-rent developer and operator with a development pipeline of 6,000 apartments and a GDV of £1.3billion. Taken on board to help with national expansion, Moda now has sites in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Edinburgh, Birmingham Glasgow and London.

Gillian McLees

Head of BTR Operations

Rettie & Co

Gillian, who has joined us in the newly created Director of Build to Rent position, comes with more than 20 years management experience in the property sector. Most recently from the UK’s leading provider of purpose built student accommodation, where she headed up the teams in the North of the UK. Looking after 2500-4000 units across 17 schemes and 10 cities.

With direct experience of overseeing schemes and developments, Gillian is personally involved in all BTR/MMR/PRS projects from inception through to operational success. Gillian works with all stakeholders on our clients behalf and insures key performance indicators and a wide range of objectives are met.

Gillian is passionate about providing housing across all tenures, she sits on SPF Residential Investment & Management Committee and is a non-executive board Director for River Clyde Homes.

Robert McDonnell

Residential Fund Manager

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Robert has 17 years of commercial property experience and has worked in the residential team since October 2016. Previously he was a Fund Manager for a Swedish corporate pension fund, a position he has held since 1 January 2015. Before that for in excess of seven years, he was Assistant Fund Manager for the UK pension fund of a major UK bank. He played an important role in the restructuring of the Fund and had a wide range of responsibilities, which included the overseeing sales, acquisitions and asset management initiatives for both direct and indirect holdings. He also has oversight of the Fund’s development programme. Robert joined Aberdeen in 2007 from CBRE where he was part of the capital markets team focussing on shopping centre and out-of-town retail investment transactions. Robert graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Land Management from University of Reading. He is a qualified Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) and sits on the British Property Federation Build to Rent sub-committee.

Sandy Morrison



Sandy joined HTA in 1998. He was a founding partner of HTA Design LLP in 2013. In 2007 he set up our Edinburgh Studio and now splits his time between our studios in London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Manchester.

He is responsible for upholding design quality across the organisation, working closely with our department heads to achieve a high quality, integrated approach to Urban Design, Architecture, Landscape Design, Sustainability & Graphic Design.

Since 2012, Sandy has led HTA’s involvement in the emerging bespoke Build-to-Rent sector, working with established US and emerging UK operators. The team are currently completing the first building at Greenford Quay, one of the largest Build-to-Rent developments outside the US, alongside other BtR developments in London, Edinburgh & Dundee.

Through our internal design review programme and a close involvement in projects Sandy helps the practice develop its’ collective knowledge of good design in all housing tenures, and at all scales.

He is a passionate sketcher and believes in the importance of drawing in the process of developing and communicating design ideas. He is a portrait painter for charity and recently painted Ben Derbyshire’s portrait as President of the RIBA.

Ramona Bawden

Residential Consultant


With a wealth of American multi-family experience from her time with Yardi in the States, Ramona moved to the UK to become fully immersed in supporting UK build-to-rent and student accommodation market. In her role at Yardi as Residential Consultant, Ramona influences the development of Yardi’s residential solutions to ensure technology continues to add value to not only the entire journey from prospect to resident, but how software and mobile applications enhance the resident experience throughout their entire tenancy.

Angela Linton

Chief Executive


Angela Linton is the Chief Executive of Hillcrest and has been in post since 2014. Previously Angela was in the role of Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance. Hillcrest is a diverse Scottish organisation providing affordable housing, support, maintenance services and training and employment opportunities. They exits to improve the lives of everyone they work with and under Angela’s leadership provide services to over 6000 tenants and a further 1000 people who access their support services.

Freddie Wonnacott

Investment Manager

M&G Real Estate

Freddie Wonnacott is an Investment Manager at M&G Real Estate with a focus in the Residential and Student Accommodation sectors. His primary responsibility is to source and deliver investment opportunities either though acquiring standing investments or structuring the forward funding of developments. He also is involved in the ongoing asset management through the development phase to stabilisation and beyond to ensure that the strategic objectives are met and that the assets deliver outperformance. Freddie holds a BSc (Hons) in Investment and Finance in Property from the University of Reading, is a member of the Investment Property Forum and is a qualified Chartered Surveyor (MRICS).

Ann Leslie

Chief Executive

LAR Housing Trust

LAR Housing Trust is a charity, established to provide mid-market rental homes across Scotland using loan finance rather than grant subsidy. Ann was involved in the business case and initial set-up of LAR as an Associate Director in the housing team at the Scottish Futures Trust. Ann was seconded to LAR to commence operations, once funding was received in September 2015.

Appointed as Chief Executive in March 2016, under Ann’s leadership LAR has grown to a staff team of 12 people with over 300 homes in operation and a further 600 more under missive, in construction or in planning.

Ann graduated from Glasgow University, with an LLB in 1993 and spent her legal career at MacRoberts solicitors, leaving as a partner in early 2009. As a lawyer, Ann worked primarily on infrastructure and construction projects, acting in some of the most high profile and high value transactions of that time.

Derek McGowan

Chief Officer – Early Intervention and Community Empowerment

Aberdeen City Council

Derek is the Chief officer for Early Intervention and Community Empowerment at Aberdeen City Council, where he has worked since January 2017. In this role he has responsibility for managing the Council’s 22,500 council houses, Private Rented Sector regulation and for homelessness, housing advice and community services. Derek is also a Board Member at West of Scotland Housing Association.

Chris Dougray



Chris formed DougraySmith with David Smith five years ago. Since then the firm have been involved in some of the largest urban land transactions in Scotland including the sale of the Haymarket site in Edinburgh and the Candelriggs Quarter in Glasgow. DS advised the developer on the forward funding of the 261 apartment BTR deal at Lionel House in Birmingham in December 2018.

DS have growing list of end user clients in the residential and hospitality sectors- often the two merge into one. Chris has spent a considerable amount of time in the US studying the co-living sector and the firm are working closely with Common, the largest co living operator in the US. He will attend the Common Capital Markets summit in Los Angeles on 21st October.

DS are currently advising on development schemes in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and are advising clients on site purchases in Birmingham and Bristol.


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