The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) is a British think tank with a long history of producing innovative policy insights. Their work in the field is aimed at encouraging enterprise and enabling the institutions of society to flourish. But as Britain faces the fast-approaching era of a post-Brexit world, policies that have previously been formulated for the country’s status as a member of the European Union may have to change. In order to better advise government and industry leaders on paths forward in Britain’s changing landscape, the CPS has begun a new initiative intended to address a wide range of issues. One area of particular interest is policy formulation on housing. For their program related to this issue, the CPS has brought on Telereal Trillium CEO, Graham Edwards.
The CPS initiative will touch on a wide range of issues. The Centre has divided its efforts into four groups, business, and enterprise, tax and cost of living, welfare, and housing. Each of the groups will be headed by an expert in their respective field. They will be working with in-house members of the CPS team to formulate policy recommendations born out of a depth of experience and familiarity with the considerations of each particular area.
The tax and cost of living team will be focusing on issues of reform and simplification related to the tax system. Ultimately, the group will be looking at ways to use these methods in order to allow taxpayers to retain more of their income. The team will be headed by Tom Clougherty, previously of the Adam Smith Institute.
The business and enterprise team will focus on methods that can encourage enterprise and entrepreneurship in the British economy. Though the CPS has yet to announce the team’s head, whoever it is will find themselves a part of the Centre’s long history of policy work that has focused on free-market economics and privatization.
The welfare team will concern itself with an exploration of how to overhaul the British welfare system as well as the larger welfare state. The Centre has expressed a policy objective of updating the system for the evolving needs of the 21st century as well making it more responsive to the public. The CPS has tapped Rachel Wolf and Public First to work with the in-house team on the shared initiative. Wolf is the founder of the New Schools Network.
Edwards as Housing Chairman
For its housing initiative, the CPS has appointed Graham Edwards as Chairman of the new Housing Policy Group. The group’s objective will be to explore the development of policies that can turbo-charge both housebuilding as well as homeownership. With a focus on support for families, the CPS has a well-documented foundation of in-house experience on the subject. These CPS experts will collaborate with Edwards to meet the team’s policy goals. Edwards will also serve as a CPS Research Fellow in his work with the organization.
Role at Telereal Trillium
While administering his duties at the CPS, Edwards will stay on as CEO of Telereal Trillium, a role he has held for almost twenty years, since the company’s founding as Telereal in 2001 (GlobalGraceMissions). The 2001 creation of the company serves as an informative look into the type of experience and business acumen Edwards brings to his policy work. He was the person responsible for initiating the deal with resulted in the start of the company. That £2.4 billion deal, which resulted in the transfer of 6,700 properties from BT to Telereal, was a landmark moment in the UK property market.
Since its inception, Telereal Trillium has become recognized as the UK’s largest privately owned property company. Currently, the company owns 8,000 properties and houses 1% of the UK workforce. Their portfolio is currently valued at £6 billion and contains 86 million square feet of property estate.
The success and holdings of Telereal Trillium owe much to the leadership provided by Graham Edwards during his tenure as CEO. Not only did he play a pivotal role in the creation of Telereal, he was also heavily involved in the acquisition of Trillium which created the company in its current form. In that transaction, Edwards led the negotiations with Land Securities PLC which resulted in the deal being completed. Once the two companies were merged, the resultant firm became the market leader in property outsourcing and investment. The combined annual revenue of the company was in excess of £1 billion.
Beyond his time as CEO, Edwards has had a long and varied career that has touched on many areas of property, business, and investment. Before joining Telereal, he served as chief investment officer of Talisman Global Asset Management. While there, he established it as the Pears FSA registered asset management arm. Today Talisman has assets under management that total over £1 billion (https://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-Telereal-Trillium-EI_IE431179.11,28.htm).
Prior to his time at Talisman, Edwards worked at Merrill Lynch Investment Management as a fund manager and also served as the head of finance for the BT Group Plc’s property department. Before entering the workforce, he studied economics at Cambridge University. From his unique combination of professional and educational background, he brings a host of experience to the policy initiatives he will be working on at the CPS.
In light of the ever-changing state of the world, think tanks such as the CPS are finding themselves inundated with a range of considerations when working to formulate and advise on policy. As the upcoming Brexit-fueled split promises to alter numerous aspects of British society, policymakers in the region are finding their work even further complicated. By hiring a strong group of seasoned professionals, such as Graham Edwards, who have a foundation of experience in their fields, the CPS is working to ensure their policy initiatives will have the benefit of well-reasoned thought and logic to back them. As the world looks for solutions to the complicated problems of modern life, this background of experience and track record of success will allow the CPS to provide answers to many difficult questions.