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A new Chief Executive for Arcon

Arcon housing

Wickland Westcott is an established Leadership Consultancy with nearly 40 years experience in Executive Search, Assessment and Development.  A key component of our success is the work we undertake at a strategic leadership level and we were delighted to be selected to partner Arcon Housing for a business critical search project.

Arcon is a well-established Housing Association based in Manchester, with over 1,200 properties across the Northwest of England.  They were formed in 1972 and have since grown organically and by acquisition. In 2015 Arcon appointed leadership consultancy Wickland Westcott to undertake a comprehensive search campaign to find their new Chief Executive. Colin Mercer, Wickland Westcott’s Managing Director, said: "Our experience in this field is extensive. We have a great deal of expertise in selecting and developing senior leaders, and CEO-level assignments across various sectors is a particular strength of ours.”

With mergers and acquisitions commonplace in social housing Arcon recognised that, as one of the smaller housing associations, some within the sector might question their ability to remain independent. Wickland Westcott therefore ensured all candidates understood that Arcon’s continued independence was of paramount importance – as the Board are convinced this is the best way to maintain the highest levels of quality and service to their tenants. This key message was emphasised throughout the advertising and search, as was Arcon’s excellent financial and operational foundations, underpinned by their strong pipeline of new housing developments.

The search strategy was designed to attract a Chief Executive who would significantly raise Arcon’s profile and inspire the team through innovation, energy and drive. Alongside housing professionals, the team at Wickland Westcott were tasked with generating interest from candidates outside the sector, and the search focused on leaders who had achieved impressive career progression in community-focused public, private or third sector organisations.

Wickland Westcott’s interviews honed in on the candidates’ ability to build Arcon’s profile and share-of-voice in key areas such as the devolution agenda, whilst nurturing relationships to ensure Arcon becomes integral to key regional decision-making processes. A diverse shortlist of candidates was produced, giving the final selection panel a difficult but exciting choice. Ultimately, the appointed candidate was a highly experienced CEO who was looking for a fresh professional challenge, and who recognised that Arcon would provide the opportunity to have a positive, long lasting impact on communities.

Dora Blake, Arcon’s Chair, commented: “The team at Wickland Westcott were of great assistance to us throughout the search. From the early discussions they made sure they had a clear understanding of what we needed. The support during the selection process was invaluable and they were always happy to help. We were very impressed with the service, resulting in the appointment of an excellent candidate from a high calibre field of applicants. I would recommend the team at Wickland Westcott.”

For a discussion about any aspect of Executive Search please contact John Dodd on 01625 508100