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News article created on 9 August 2013

Appointment of property professional looks to the future

We've teamed up with the Secretary of State for the Environment to jointly appoint an investment expert to help oversee our investment strategy.

The waterway’s property assets are a very important source of funds. Stuart Mills

Owner of a 62ft narrowboat based on the River Thames and Kennet & Avon Canal, Malcolm Naish is an investment property professional with a career advising major corporate and public bodies on their property investment.

His role is to monitor our strategy for our investment assets to help ensure they continue to provide a valuable long term source of income for waterway maintenance.

Important source of funds

Malcolm retired from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in 2012 having been responsible for their £8bn of property funds. He is currently non-executive chairman of two UK property funds, and non-executive director of another, a member of the Advisory Panel and Board at Greenwich Hospital and a non-executive director of a European fund of funds.

Stuart Mills, director of property at the Canal & River Trust, comments: “The waterway’s property assets are a very important source of funds. They provide a significant proportion of the money we’re able to spend each year looking after the canals.

“When we took over running the waterways, the government recognised the significance of the property dowry that they were gifting to the nation, and together, we agreed to appoint someone of Malcolm’s experience and expertise to provide comfort to Government that the assets were being managed in a sustainable way.”

Knowledge and experience

Malcolm comments: “Having been born and raised in the West Midlands, the son of an engineer, it was perhaps inevitable that I would develop a keen interest in our industrial heritage. Following a number of canal holidays with friends, my wife and I bought our own narrowboat which provides us with a great deal of pleasure. I am therefore delighted to have been invited to share my property knowledge and experience with DEFRA and the Board and team at Canal & River Trust, and to support them in keeping our waterways network on a sound financial footing.”

Malcolm will work closely with us to provide an annual report on our investment activity to the Secretary of State. The report will be publicly available.

Malcolm’s initial appointment is for a period of five years. The position is voluntary involving between five and ten days per annum. We're meeting the expenses of the post together with the government.