The bid by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to re-establish itself as a trusted body continues with the naming of three new senior leadership figures.
One is Isobel O’Regan, an Irish-based director of Savills, who has been appointed interim chair of the management board. She has practised for over 30 years across sectors including asset management, lettings and sales, professional services and compulsory acquisition work.
The other two are men, also from establishment backgrounds.
Richard Collins, who joined RICS in 2019 as executive director, is the interim chief executive officer. His work at the institution has included bringing together responsibility for its public interest regulation. Previously he was at the Lord Chancellor’s Department, Law Society, Legal Services Commission and Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Nicholas Maclean is now the interim chair of governing council - he’s the chairman and managing director of the Middle East region of commercial consultancy CBRE, and serves as the Scottish Government’s Trade Envoy to the United Arab Emirates.
RICS has also launched the application process for an individual to lead the external review of purpose, governance and strategy, as recommended by Alison Levitt QC in her investigation into the institution’s governance crisis earlier this year.
The objectives of the review are to "create clarity about RICS’ purpose, given its current position”; make proposals to put RICS as “a beacon for best practice in governance, transparency, and accountability”; and ensure that RICS’ strategy, governance structures, culture and resources are fit for today and “can be reviewed and refreshed so they remain relevant in the future.”
Over the summer Alison Levitt QC wrote a 467 page review following media revelations earlier this year concerning failures by RICS to act on a report by accountancy firm BDO. The BDO report said that two years ago RICS was at risk of “unidentified fraud, misappropriation of funds and misreporting of financial performance.”
BDO’s report also gave the lowest possible 'no assurance' rating for the effectiveness of RICS’ financial controls - something which Levitt described as being “the most significant criticism an auditor can make” of an organisation.
RICS has already issued apologies to four non-executive directors who wanted the organisation to act on the BDO report’s concerns, but who instead had their appointments terminated.