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Merger success brings national award

The recent merger between Housing Plus in Staffordshire and Severnside Housing in Shropshire has been spotlighted in a national award for the consultant who project managed what was described as a “true partnership of equals.”

Katrina Laud is director of housing investment at Savills and worked jointly for both organisations for almost a year before the launch of Housing Plus Group in October 2016. She was presented with a Women in Housing award for her involvement in the project.

“Katrina’s legacy is the unique character of this merger. She established a true partnership of equals to build a stronger, resilient Group which will make a real difference to people and communities across Shropshire and Staffordshire,” said chief executive Sarah Boden.

The creation of Housing Plus Group drew attention within the housing sector, following several high profile failed mergers and immediately after the publication of a voluntary merger code co-authored by Katrina Laud and published by the National Housing Federation.

“Our merger followed the principles set out in that report,” said Sarah Boden. “Katrina helped us take a fresh approach, putting the interests of customers at the heart of the process at every stage from our first discussions right through to the launch of the new Group.”

A single consultant working for shared ideals proved key to the formation of Housing Plus Group which has taken a ‘best of both’ approach to merger and integration.

“We are thrilled with this national recognition for Katrina,” said Sarah Boden. “She did some exceptional work to help create a Group capable of providing homes and care for our communities.”

Katrina Laud is pictured with Housing Plus Group chief executive Sarah Boden.