Lunch with BLP
Our Thought Leadership Regional Lunches are hosted by our CEO, Kim Vernau, and other senior representatives from BLP. They are limited to a small number of selected guests, enabling us to assemble a key group of industry peers each of whom enjoy unrestricted opportunities to participate in the interactive discussions and put questions to renowned guest speakers.
This presents our guests with an opportunity to network with other senior executives who are also charged with formulating corporate strategies, creating innovative products and services and facing the challenges of business transformation in a digital age, whilst contending with complex and ever expanding regulations.
Guests hear ideas in the making and feel the pulse of our industry. We hope to enable them to enrich their own thinking by hearing how others perceive the business, shape their competitive advantage and plan for uncertain futures. These events are held over lunch, in exquisite surroundings and an atmosphere charged with creativity to deliver mutual benefit.
London, 2 May 2019
The Soho Hotel | Guest Speaker: Liz Peace CBE
"The barriers to urban regeneration: How can we work together to overcome them?"
Guest speaker Liz Peace will ponder the seemingly insoluble problem of aligning private sector developer commercial objectives with local authority goals and community needs.
Local authorities want, and many desperately need, affordable housing. People want communities that are safe to live in and raise children in, with the amenities and facilities they should be able to take for granted. Understandably, the private developer sector is profit oriented; which, in a ‘politically correct’ society is all too easy for critics to label ‘a bad thing’.
An irrational view in itself, this perception can gain traction as developers continue to build houses that people cannot afford to buy, not for investment, but simply to conduct a normal life in.
Liz encounters varying degrees of intransigence between the many parties and interests involved in urban regeneration as a regular feature of her role as Chair of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, responsible for the largest regeneration scheme in the UK. They have to be managed if they are not to stand in the way of forward momentum and progress for the project.
In this session, Liz will be talking about the value of trust within the eternal triangle of local community – local authority – developer. Liz focuses on trust between parties, seasoned with compromise. She believes that developers must make sacrifices for the greater good of community outcomes and that the developers themselves only stand to benefit in the long run. Something has to give to remove the barriers to urban regeneration in the UK, contends Liz. Her discussion will be about exploring what that something might be.
This is an invitation only event.
London, 28 June 2018
Berry Bros. & Rudd | Guest Speaker: Paul Nash
"Quality - why is the construction industry getting it wrong?"
Guest speaker Paul Nash discusses the need for the construction industry to adopt new strategies and policies to ensure quality.
The construction industry is coming under increasing scrutiny for its failure to consistently deliver quality in the buildings and infrastructure it creates. Guest speaker Paul Nash MSc, PPCIOB, is leading the Chartered Institute of Building’s [CIOB] investigation into the issue of quality in construction and what needs to be done to improve it.
The issue may not be described as exactly ‘endemic’, but recent events, notably the collapse of a wall at a primary school in Edinburgh that led to the closure of 17 schools, and the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, have served to highlight the consequences of poor quality in construction and the urgent need to understand the root causes of failure.
As a former President of the CIOB with over 35 years’ industry experience, Paul is well qualified to lead an investigation that aims to identify these causes, raise awareness of the potential outcomes and bring about the changes necessary to eradicate them. Paul will outline the aims of the CIOB’s Construction Quality Commission and its work on better educating people in the industry on what quality is and how to deliver it.
What is clear is that change is needed if the industry is to avoid past mistakes. Paul is the Immediate Past President of the CIOB and Chair of the CIOB’s Construction Quality Commission investigating the issue of quality in the construction sector. He has been actively engaged in supporting and promoting the policy agenda of the Institute through reports such as ‘Understanding the Value of Professionals and Professional Bodies’ and ‘Productivity in Construction’.
Video: Quality - why is the construction industry getting it wrong?
Luton, 24 May 2018
Luton Hoo Hotel | Guest Speaker: Mark Farmer
"A year is a long time in construction"
Guest speaker Mark Farmer led an interactive discussion on progress in the construction industry just over a year since he authored the UK government review: ‘modernise or die’.
In October 2016 Mark made a series of stark observations about the future of UK construction and its potential decline. A year on, he assesses what has changed, if anything. The rallying cry of his review – commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Communities & Local Government – still echoes: Modernise or Die. The big question is, will the industry answer the call?
Mark has identified a pressing need for collaboration and standardisation in offsite construction. Interoperable systems can break down the siloed approaches which currently exist; finding commonality in goals and processes to replace barriers to efficiencies and accelerated progress.
In 2016 Mark warned this same forum that acting in five years’ time would be too late. With less than four years to go against that prediction you’ll have a chance to hear about the real state of play in construction from a thought leader the government listens to. Now you can find out if they have also acted on his advice.
Mark is a recognised authority on emerging UK residential market segments such as Build to Rent and Later Living. He is at the forefront of the progressive modernisation of the construction industry. Mark is a member of the RICS, Vice Chairman of the ULI UK Residential Council, member of the BPF Build to Rent sub-committee and co-chairman of Constructing Excellence.
Video: A year is a long time in construction
Manchester, 19 April 2018
Hotel Gotham | Guest Speaker: Rosie Toogood
"Factory-made homes set to modernise the housing industry"
The UK construction industry has been set a steep challenge by the incumbent government of building 300,000 homes a year by 2022.
Against the backdrop of a UK housing crisis where the industry is struggling to house future generations, failing to reach this target is simply not an option. There is no silver bullet and a solution can only be found if the industry innovates, not least in the fundamental areas of construction.
Kim Vernau, CEO at BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers. This focused on the role of precision engineered factory manufactured homes, delivered on a large scale, in disrupting the UK housing industry. Guest speaker, Rosie Toogood, Chief Executive of Legal & General Modular Homes, provided a wake-up call that without disruption the future of housing construction will not be able to progress.
Video: Factory-made homes set to modernise the housing industry
London, 8 February 2018
Berry Bros. & Rudd | Guest Speaker: Alex Notay
"What does successful collaboration look like in the construction sector?"
The government has set itself the demanding challenge of building 300,000 new homes by 2022; however a number of long-standing issues within the construction sector are still acting as road blocks to tangible progress. In order to deliver on housing supply, through a more efficient, productive and aspirational construction sector, the industry requires wholesale innovation and collaboration.
Kim Vernau, CEO at BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the need for collaboration and innovation in the construction industry, with a particular emphasis placed on offsite construction. Guest speaker, Alex Notay, Director of Product and Service Innovation at Places for People, one of the UK’s largest development, regeneration and management companies, provided valuable insight from the perspective of creating effective community outcomes through successful collaboration. This paper summarises her speech on this subject.
Video: What does successful collaboration look like in the construction sector?
Birmingham, 23 November 2017
BANK Restaurant | Guest Speaker: Andrew Stanford
"Have we mastered build-to-rent yet?"
In April 2013 the Coalition Government signalled the importance of the role of the private rented sector (PRS) in the UK’s housing market with the launch of the PRS taskforce, with a view to stimulating the supply of and investment in purpose built rental development (build-to-rent).
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the evolution of the build-to-rent sector. Guest speaker Andrew Stanford, head of Residential at LaSalle Investment Management, reflected on his two year tenure heading up the PRS Taskforce and posed the question as to whether as an industry and country we have mastered build-to-rent yet, presenting his views on land supply, notions of how to attract global investment and the economic and political climate affecting the sector.
Video: Have we mastered build-to-rent yet?
Marlow, 9 November 2017
Danesfield House Hotel | Guest Speaker: Liz Peace CBE
"Is urban regeneration worth the effort?"
The UK’s housing crisis continues to plague policy makers, with ongoing discussions around different solutions to meet the challenge of shortages in housing supply. Regeneration offers the government and broader housing sector the opportunity to address this fundamental issue, while also reviving parts of the UK by driving growth, creating new jobs, and redistributing the population to address overcrowding.
Kim Vernau, CEO at BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on whether regeneration can really work in practice to alleviate pressure on the housing market. Guest speaker Liz Peace, CBE and Chair of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, provided valuable insight on the merits of urban regeneration versus starting from scratch elsewhere, also highlighting the complex range of public policy issues now on the agenda around housing and infrastructure funding.
Video: Is urban regeneration worth the effort?
Watch the short film of our first six lunches:
London, 18 May 2017
The Zetter | Guest Speaker: Richard Saxon CBE
"Construction in crisis: is off-site manufacturing the answer?"
The London housing market is feeling the brunt of skilled labour shortages in the construction industry, in the absence of a much needed government push towards research, development, and training. In comparison to other countries such as Japan, the UK is lagging far behind.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on offsite construction as the solution to an industry in crisis. Guest speaker and Non-Executive Director, Richard Saxon, provided a reality check into how skills and innovation gaps in the UK are limiting progress and why a top-to-bottom shake up is required if there is going to be any sign of a recovery.
Manchester, 30 March 2017
King Street Townhouse | Guest Speaker: Paul Beardmore
"The value of modular construction in revitalising the housing market"
Housing in Manchester is experiencing a significant turnaround, with an overall rise in residential developments demonstrating a new confidence in the market. Despite this growth, there is still significant undersupply to meet demand, presenting a major opportunity for investors and developers to embrace alternative methods of construction and new partnerships to bring forward development.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the value of modular construction in revitalising the housing market. Guest speaker, Paul Beardmore, director of housing at Manchester City Council, provided an engaging insight into the council’s approach to residential growth in the city, and the essential need for collaboration and shared vision between the development and construction industry and key policy makers.
Cambridge, 23 February 2017
King's College | Guest Speaker: Dr Jennifer Schooling
"The role of sensors and data in informing sustainable design, construction, and management decisions within the built environment"
Ageing and inadequate infrastructure, which fails to meet our society’s changing demographics and lifestyle needs presents an increasing challenge for the future of our UK cities.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the role of sensors and data in informing sustainable design and management decisions within the built environment. Guest speaker Jennifer Schooling, director of the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction at the University Cambridge, provided an engaging insight into the world of engineering and advances being made to harness information more effectively in infrastructure projects.
Bath, 19 January 2017
Lucknam Park | Guest Speaker: Charles Secrett
"The drivers for sustainability in construction and the urban environment"
At a local, national and global level business as usual simply isn’t working when it comes to construction and the urban environment, and the cost of inaction is becoming increasingly clear.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the drivers for sustainability in construction and the urban environment. Guest speaker Charles Secrett, co-founder of The Robertsbridge Group, led the thought provoking debate on the essential roles and responsibilities for insurers, construction professionals and city planners to help accelerate a sustainable and prosperous future.
Birmingham, 10 November 2016
BANK Restaurant | Guest Speaker: Mark Farmer
"The burning platform for construction"
The UK construction industry faces irreversible decline over the next decade unless industry leaders, market participants and the government take fundamental steps right now to change how the industry works.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlighted these key points at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the uncertain future of the UK construction industry, due to its growing skills shortage. Guest speaker Mark Farmer, CEO of Cast Consultancy, led a call to action, discussing the need for the adoption of more pre-manufacture led construction, with a greater use of automation, leading to a changing skills mix for the future which embraces digital engineering.
London, 27 September 2016
The Zetter | Guest Speaker: Paul Fletcher
"The fourth industrial revolution and the built environment"
The evolving nature of how people live is creating a much needed catalyst for change in the built environment industries.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion on “Building as a Service” organised for industry peers. Guest speaker Paul Fletcher led the thought provoking session, providing the context for change and posing the question of just how smart do we need to be to meet the needs of an agile society. If Smart Buildings are dependent on the internet of things are those ‘things’ good enough and are the buildings we create any better? Indeed, how is combining them ‘smart’?