Sovereign Housing
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Meet the 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.

The Executive Board, led by Chief Executive Mark Washer, work to deliver the strategy, oversee and improve performance while protecting and growing the business.

Mark Washer

Mark Washer 
Chief Executive


Mark joined Sovereign as Chief Executive Officer in June 2018, from his role as Chief Financial Officer at Clarion Housing Group. Mark has worked in the housing sector for 25 years and was, until recently, the Vice Chair of the National Housing Federation. 
Keith Astill

Keith Astill
Executive Director
Corporate Services


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 Keith joined Sovereign in December 2017.      

Tracey Barnes

Tracey Barnes
Chief Financial Officer


Tracey, a PwC-trained chartered accountant, has an impressive 30-year career, here and abroad, most recently holding senior finance positions at Diageo, the international beer and spirits giant. 

Tracey has a strong background in commercial finance, and is an experienced CFO, committed to developing successful teams as well as being passionate about equality. 

Heather Bowman

Heather Bowman
Chief Operating Officer

Heather is an experienced senior leader, having joined Sovereign in 2001, and brings extensive experience leading customer and housing strategies, as well as delivering major transformation projects. 

Heather was also, until recently, the Chair of the National Housing Federation’s South East Standing Board.

Kevin Ives

Kevin Ives 
Chief Information Officer


Kevin joined Sovereign in August 2019. With significant experience in delivering transformational change through technology, he’s held several senior roles in IT, working across the water, construction and transport sectors. Most recently Kevin led on digital delivery for Arriva Trains group of businesses, transforming its customer, operations and engineering solutions to businesses including CrossCountry and Northern and London Overground.

Barry Nethercott

Barry Nethercott
Interim Chief Financial Officer


An experienced leader, Barry joined Sovereign in January 2019 as Interim Chief Financial Officer. For the past 10 years, Barry has worked at an executive level at several housing associations including The Guinness Partnership, Southern Housing and, most recently, with Network Homes. 

Nicole Sharp_Executive Director_Property Services 300x202

Nicole Sharp
Executive Director Property

Overseeing all of Sovereign’s property services, Nicole brings extensive experience of the social housing sector and a passion for developing a forward-thinking customer-centric culture.

Nicole joined Sovereign in October 2011 and has led a range of operational and customer-service teams and major projects across property, housing and landlord services. This includes a pivotal role on the Transformation Board, which continues to drive forward Sovereign’s digital transformation into a modern, connected business.

Tom Titherington

Tom Titherington 
Executive Director
Development and Commercial



Tom joined Sovereign in January 2019, bringing a wealth of housing experience in delivering new homes on large-scale developments, building private and public sector partnerships and creating sustainable places. Tom was formerly Executive Director of Property and Growth at Catalyst Housing and before that spent two years as Chief Executive of the Network Housing Group, building on thirteen years as Executive Director of Business Development at The Hyde Group.