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Anette Simpson. Credit: ULI United Kingdom

Anette Simpson Appointed as Chair of ULI United Kingdom

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has announced the appointment of Anette Simpson, director of development and partnerships, Legal & General Affordable Homes, as chair of ULI United Kingdom (ULI UK). She succeeds Vanessa Hale, director of research, BNP Paribas Real Estate, and will officially begin her voluntary two-year term on 1 July 2021.

Her appointment was announced during the National Council’s Annual Conference today. Vanessa Hale, outgoing chair of ULI UK, said: “Anette has been a very active executive committee member for ULI UK and will be a fantastic chair for the National Council. As an industry leader, she has been involved with some of the most high-profile projects across the country working collaboratively across both the private and public sectors. With her affordable housing and planning expertise and connections, we expect to see the council continue to grow and inspire a whole new generation of real estate professionals.”

As chair of ULI UK, Simpson aims to leverage ULI’s global and multi-disciplinary network and knowledge base to contribute to some of the most pertinent challenges in the UK, including delivering affordable housing, sustainability and decarbonisation, levelling up and promoting diversity and innovation in the built environment. 

Simpson said: “ULI brings together a wealth of knowledge and experience from across the sector, sharing ideas through thought leadership and best practice. This is an exciting time to be involved in ULI to engage across the membership to collaborate and explore ideas to address some of the big challenges our UK towns and cities face. Encouraging investment which delivers significant social outcomes and supports the levelling up agenda is crucial.” 

A key role for the incoming chair will be to grow the membership by attracting like-minded businesses and professionals who are committed to these aims, and to expand ULI’s educational and mentoring initiatives. “Our UrbanPlan programme, where we go into schools to teach students about the forces of urban regeneration, is so inspirational for all involved and is a particularly important part of educating young people in the built environment and leads to innovative ideas,” she explained.

Lisette van Doorn, CEO of ULI Europe, said: “Anette has such a wealth of experience and such a great experience across the industry, and is so passionate about delivering great quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes and places from which people can build better futures and where cities can flourish. We look forward to working with her and the executive committee in growing the membership and furthering the mission of ULI in the United Kingdom.”

Marnix Galle, Chairman of ULI Europe and Executive Chairman of Belgian developer Immobel, said: “As the new chair of ULI’s largest National Council in Europe, Anette has a wonderful opportunity to lead the Institute’s mission of shaping the future of UK’s built environment. She is a renowned industry leader with connections across the private and public sectors, which will help foster a culture of collaboration in delivering transformative impact for communities.”

Anette Simpson is responsible for leading and coordinating the direct delivery of Legal & General’s affordable housing schemes, overseeing all aspects of development to legal completion, as well as sales and marketing. She has significant experience in delivering complex large-scale mixed-use developments through the planning process, in partnership with others. Simpson has experience in delivering complex residential-led projects in partnership with the public sector.

Simpson was formerly group planning director for Capital and Counties Properties PLC, and prior to that head of development at First Base. She is also a former chair of London First’s Mayoral Planning and Development Forum, which brings together the main property companies to discuss and raise issues affecting the property industry with the Mayor’s senior team.

In a career spanning over 20 years, she has been in planning roles at Ballymore, St James Homes and EDAW, and completed a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning & Management Studies at the University of Nottingham as well as a master’s degree in Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University. She is also a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and Academy of Urbanism.

ULI is the world’s oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate experts, with more than 45,000 members globally. ULI UK is the largest National Council in Europe with over 1,000 members from the private and public sectors representing all disciplines within the UK commercial and residential property market. It has an active events calendar, including for Young Leaders (members aged under 35) and NEXT members (aged 35-45), a group mentoring programme, and themed product council events looking at residential, infrastructure & urban development, innovation and urban art. In addition, the council produces innovative research, such as a report looking at raising the ambition for new community development in the UK, published earlier this year.