Stephen Smith has over 40 years of experience in the real estate industry. Stephen is currently non-executive Chairman of Starwood European Real Estate Finance Limited and non-executive Chairman of AEW Long Lease REIT. Previously, he was the Chief Investment Officer of British Land Company PLC, the FTSE 100 real estate investment trust from January 2010 to March 2013 with responsibility for the group’s property and investment strategy. Prior to joining British Land, Stephen was Global Head of Asset Management and Transactions at AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, where he was responsible for the asset management of a portfolio of more than €40 billion on behalf of life funds, listed property vehicles, unit linked and closed end funds. Before joining AXA in 1999 he was Managing Director at Sun Life Properties for five years. Steve was formerly a non-executive director of Tritax Big Box REIT plc and Gatehouse Bank plc.
Rod has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector. He was until recently an Executive Director at Aberdeen Asset Management PLC as the Group Head of Risk with responsibility for UK and Global operational risk and regulatory compliance. He was also chairman of the Aberdeen group executive risk management committee, the senior risk oversight function of the group. He has extensive involvement in corporate activity including transformational acquisitions and defence strategies. Previously he was Chief Operating Officer at Edinburgh Fund Managers, which he joined in 1991 and which was acquired by Aberdeen in 2003. Rod is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, having qualified with Coopers & Lybrand. He is Chairman of the REIT Audit Committee.
Steffan Francis has 40 years of experience in the real estate industry. Until early 2016, Steffan was a Director at M&G Real Estate where he was responsible for the £6 billion “Long Income” business. He was also involved in creating and ensuring the long term success of a number of real estate funds, including the M&G Secured Property Income Fund, which within 10 years of being launched, became the largest property fund on the AREF/IPD UK quarterly Property Fund Index. Currently, Steffan is a non-executive Director of M&G (Guernsey) Limited and is also an independent adviser to the British Steel Pension Trustee. Steffan is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of the Investment Property Forum.
Jim, a chartered accountant, has over 30 years of experience in senior financial roles. For the major part of his career he was Group Finance Director at Argent Group plc, the UK-based property developer, later becoming Finance Partner of Argent (Property Development) Services LLP and Argent Investments LLP, which specialise in mixed-use developments with a focus on placemaking and regeneration. Jim was involved in major development and regeneration projects in Manchester, Birmingham and the City of London, and from 2008 to 2015 he worked on the King's Cross Central joint venture, which was one of Europe's largest regeneration projects. Prior to that, he was Group Finance Director at NOBO Group plc, a leading European manufacturer of visual presentation products and at Creston Land & Estates plc, the property developer. Jim is currently Senior Independent Director at Empiric Student Property plc and a Non-executive Director at AEW UK Long Lease REIT plc. In addition until March 2019, Jim was Senior Independent Director at Tritax Big Box plc.