The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) is one of the UK’s most well-known and most respected think tanks. The missions of the Centre are to develop and promote policies that are intended to limit the role of the state, to promote enterprise, and to allow society’s various institutions, such as families and volunteer organizations, to flourish. Currently, the CPS is focusing its policy work on the upcoming reality of a post-Brexit Britain, developing policy insights that center around the unique needs of British voters while also offering them a vision of a more prosperous future. In order to support this initiative, the CPS is launching four major policy programs touching on key areas of modern life. Of particular interest amongst these four areas, is the CPS’ drive to address housing and planning, partly due to the man they’ve tapped to head this initiative, Graham Edwards.
Closer Look at Edwards
Graham Edwards is the CEO of Telereal Trillium, which he has helmed for almost twenty years, originally known simply as Telereal. Under his leadership, it has grown into the largest privately owned property company in the UK. The company currently owns and manages a £6 billion portfolio that encompasses a total floor area of 86 million square feet. They also house 1% of the UK’s workforce.
Graham Edwards’ influence on the direction of his company serves as a good indicator of the force of vision he will bring to his role at the CPS. He has guided Telereal Trillium through a variety of company-altering moves over the course of his tenure. One instance of this that stands out, in particular, is his part in the 2009 merger between Telereal and Trillium. Not only did Edwards initiate the transaction by reaching out to Trillium upon hearing that it would be coming to market, he also personally led the negotiations which resulted in the acquisition. These negotiations led to a combined business with yearly revenues that totaled more than £1 billion.
Edwards will be joining the CPS as the Chairman of the Centre’s Housing Policy Group. He will also serve as a Research Fellow at the Centre (https://www.crunchbase.com/person/graham-edwards-a3ed). While maintaining his role as CEO of Telereal Trillium, he will also work with the in-house team at the CPS to help develop policies designed to increase the rates of both home ownership as well as the building of new houses.
In addition to its policy initiative centered around housing, the CPS will also establish programs focused on the areas of tax and cost of living, welfare, and business and enterprise. The ultimate goal of the policies created under these new programs is to work towards giving people an authentic sense of control and ownership of their lives.
Heading the Tax policy group will be Tom Clougherty, who has served leading roles in a variety of think tanks both in the UK as well as the US. The tax group’s focus will be on how to reform and simplify the tax system with the goal of putting more money in people’s pockets.
Rachel Wolf, the founder of the New Schools Network, and Public First will be collaborating with the rest of the CPS team to work toward the Centre’s goals related to its Welfare policy initiative. That initiative will focus on options for remodeling the welfare system and welfare state to bring them up to date with 21st century needs and priorities. They will also work to make the system more responsive to the public.
Though the head of the Business team is yet to be announced, the CPS has goals in place for that team as well, ensuring that its head will step into a role that is already well-placed for success. The group will focus on promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship at all levels throughout the British economy.
The respective heads of the four teams will all bring with them a host of experiences that leave them prepared for the particular needs and realities of the policy areas which they will be tasked with addressing. For his part, Graham Edwards brings a long career in the field of finance and housing, positioning him well to tackle the issues of his policy initiative.
Educated in economics at Cambridge University, Edwards built upon his educational background to fill roles at a variety of high-profile institutions upon entering the workforce. In a career that has spanned both finance and housing, he has worked at both Merrill Lynch Investment Management, as well as the BT Group Plc’s property department.
Prior to taking on his CEO role at Telereal Trillium, then known as Telereal, Edwards served as chief investment officer of Talisman Global Asset Management. During his time at Talisman, he worked to establish it as the Pears FSA registered asset management arm. In part due to his efforts, Talisman currently has assets under management that total more than £1 billion.
In addition to his prior experience, it was also Edwards himself who initiated the transaction which ultimately led to the creation of Telereal. That deal saw the transfer of 6,700 properties from BT to Telereal. The transfer, part of a £2.4 billion property outsourcing deal, not only established Telereal as a major player in the property world, but served to highlight Edwards’ credentials as a leader and innovative thinker (DiscoverOrg). It is those credentials, along with his wealth of experience, that the CPS hopes to capitalize upon by bringing him into their initiatives centered around housing policy.
With an eye toward the future of Britain in a post-Brexit world, the CPS is working to build a robust team of industry leaders and policy minds to tackle the emerging demands of the 21st century. With a focus on the major policy areas of taxes, welfare, business, and housing, the new CPR policy initiative is sure to have far-reaching effects through Britain and beyond. With a strong core of thought-leadership heading the program, the initiative is set up well for success from its earliest days. This policy team’s strong foundation of experience and innovation can be well exemplified by the CPS’ new Chairman of the Housing Policy Group, Graham Edwards. Under his leadership, one can’t help but be excited about the new policy initiatives to come from the CPS.
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