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Our Executive Board

While the Board is responsible for the effective governance of the business, day to day management is delegated to the Executive Board members.


Executive Board members

Mark Washer, CEO
Mark Washer, Chief Executive

Mark, a highly skilled executive and non-executive with 25 years in the housing sector, joined Sovereign from Clarion in 2018. Mark is a chartered accountant, having qualified with Deloittes. Mark is also a former Board member and vice chair of the National Housing Federation and has been involved with a number of national charities, including the Citizens Advice.



Mark Hattersley

Mark Hattersley, Chief Financial Officer
Mark’s previous roles included Finance Director in the commercial sector at Birmingham Airport and in the charitable sector with Staffordshire University. Mark joined Sovereign in 2015.




Heather Bowman
Heather Bowman, Chief Operating Officer
Heather has broad experience leading a range of service areas. Her former roles include Executive Director for Housing and Communities as well as Managing Director for former subsidiary Sovereign South+West.




Picture of Ben Denton

Ben Denton, Executive Director – Development and Commercial
Ben oversees our major development programmes, building around 1,500 affordable and market homes a year. A qualified surveyor, Ben joined Sovereign in 2018 from Keepmoat, where he was Group Strategy and Business Development Director. Ben also brings experience as a former Executive Director for Growth, Planning and Housing at Westminster City Council.


Keith Astill

Keith Astill, Executive Director – People and Change

Keith is a commercially orientated senior HR leader with experience across sectors and economic cycles and at Board level, with a proven record in general management. His experience includes executive responsibility in UK Financial Services, Telecomms and Retail, with a particular focus on leadership of major change and integration programmes. 


Steve Barford

Steve Barford, Executive Director - Property
Steve has extensive experience in construction, the majority of which has been in the private sector, including commercial estates and facilities management with national infrastructure company, Amey PLC.