Gary Forrest has over 30 years’ experience in financial services and instruments, initially in the mortgage sector and subsequently in investments. Gary successfully grew his lending business from a £100 million lender to a £1 billion lender in 5 years, and sold his company High Street Home Loans in 2003 to GMAC-RFC. The High Street Group of Companies was conceived in 2011 initially focussing on alternative investment strategies and development finance, entering into the construction and development sector in 2013.
In this short space of time, Gary has successfully steered the company to become one of the largest in the North East, with upcoming projects valuing in excess of £260 million and focussing on PRS schemes, traditional development, rooftop extensions and the leisure and hospitality sector.
Gary is committed to exploring the opportunities presented by innovative development and financial schemes and recognises their benefit to both the company and its investors. Although the Group has grown substantially in terms of companies and employees, Gary maintains full involvement in the operations of the businesses, whilst looking for new sectors and challenges.
In June 2015 Gary led a team of 14 members of staff to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and in 2016 trekked the Grand Canyon to raise money for local North East charity St. Oswald’s Hospice.
Gavin has worked in the Construction and Development field for over 25 years, holding senior leadership and director positions at Ballast Nedam, Rok Plc and Balfour Beatty. Gavin was National Housing Director for Rok plc, helping grow the business from £250m to £1bn turnover in 10 years, including £300m per annum of residential projects for the Private Rental and Affordable Housing sectors.
Gavin has performed various roles as a non-executive adviser to Directors at Kier, Macquarie, United Living and Forrest, helping to grow their businesses through the creation of investment grade products in residential and energy.
Gavin’s skill is understanding specific investment appetite from both institutional investors and overseas buyers, identifying potential projects in the Build to Rent sector to meet these requirements. Gavin’s extensive expertise and knowledge of both the private rental and construction sectors ensure that the projects identified are both sustainable and deliverable in a cost effective manner.
Steve graduated from the Medical School of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with an honours degree in Pharmacology in 2002. Working as an analyst for Scottish and Newcastle Breweries for a short period of time he returned to education, undertaking a law conversion degree at the University of Northumbria before qualifying as a barrister and being called to the Bar in 2005. He practised in a variety of areas focusing on litigation and contract disputes until 2010 when he cross qualified and was admitted to the roll of solicitors of England and Wales. Steve worked in private practise specialising in civil and commercial matters before moving in-house with The High Street Group at the end of 2014 to take to the role of Group Legal Director.
Steve currently heads the Group’s legal structure, overseeing the many facets of the business, from hospitality to large scale development, via the in-house legal team and external specialists. The majority of Steve’s time is focussed on the Group’s £1bn private rental developments business; he is integral in the security of the development sites and the negotiation and execution of the multi-million pound institutional development agreements with the likes of Grainger Trust PLC and Cording Real Estate.
Steve’s pragmatic, commercial approach and depth of knowledge is and will be vital to the continued secure growth and achievement of all aspects of the company.
Tony is Group Sales Director for The High Street Group and has been involved in the Financial Services sector for around 25 years. He has built up strong working relationships with a number of Providers and Introducers, as well as developing long lasting relationships with a broad spectrum of Clients. Tony recently established a successful IFA practice specialising in complex Tax and Financial Advice.
Given his ability to connect well at all levels, he acts for a number of high net worth clients involved in Professional Football and Rugby.
Joanne is Group Finance Director for The High Street Group of Companies, having joined the company in January 2018. She has 18 years of post-qualification experience and a BA (Hons) degree in Accounting and Financial Analysis from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Prior to joining High Street Joanne worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Gentoo Group and Gentoo Genie.
Having qualified as a chartered accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Joanne moved into the residential sector, and spent fifteen years in a senior finance role at Gentoo Group. Gentoo are predominantly a large housing association, who own in excess of 29,000 homes in the North East England, and also look to diversify its operations to generate income to invest in social causes.
As the finance director and CF1 of Gentoo Genie, a subsidiary of Gentoo, she has valuable experience of both property and financial services. Genie was a new business, delivering home ownership finance for first time buyers. The product was an innovative home finance product, which could firstly provide an alternative home ownership solution to first time buyers, and secondly attract long term institutional investment into housing. Joanne worked with the MD to drive the strategic direction of the business, bringing to life the financial models and raised external funding.
Joanne’s role of Group Finance Director for The High Street Group requires me to oversee both transactional day to day finances of the group, and advise on strategic finance. She works with the accounts team, and the operational teams, to ensure that the business has robust financial information on which sound decisions can be made.
In her spare time Joanne loves 80s music (particularly Marti Pellow), is a Grade 6 pianist and has a keen interest in property – she is currently renovating a grade II listed farmhouse.
In 2003 Phill began his management career with a directorship appointment in the care industry. In this role he was responsible for the management of multi million pound commercial contracts and a 25 strong team. Phill was appointed Operations Director for The High Street Group in 2012. He was charged with overseeing the growth and development of the Group’s many facets; ranging from commercial lending to pension fund investment, property development and the inception of the hospitality division of the business. His knowledge of local investment, hospitality opportunities and operational logistics will be of great value to the success of the Company.
Phill is a director of High Street Commercial Finance Ltd, All Saints Commercial PLC and All Saints Asset Management; development companies specialising in luxury residential developments.
Phill is currently Managing Director of High Street Hospitality Ltd, a division of the Group which specialises in hotel acquisition and refurbishment. On a daily basis Phill oversees the management of the hotels, restaurants and bars.
High Street Hospitality has to date successfully opened two hotels and two restaurants and is in the process of their third acquisition, a large coastal hotel with several food and beverage establishments attached.
In June 2015 Phill was part of the team which climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and in 2017 trekked the Grand Canyon to raise money for local North East charity St. Oswald’s Hospice.
Andrew attained a BSC Honours in Quantity Surveying from Northumbria University, and joined Wates as a trainee surveyor. During his 14 year career with Wates, Andrew climbed the corporate ladder to come Project Surveyor and worked on a variety of projects of varying sizes and value.
Andrew has held roles with Forrest as a commercial lead senior quantity surveyor, as well as Commercial Manager for Esh Homes.
Andrew has worked on a number of notable projects during his career including the Riverside Dene Development in Newcastle which was the £35m development refurb of 5 multi storey tower residential blocks over a 4 year period. Andrew was also the key financial and commercial lead and played a pivotal role in the first joint venture for Darlington Council with Esh Homes, which was the development of 60 two, three and four bedroomed homes.
Andrew joined All Saints Construction in 2017, and brought with him over 17 years of experience as part of the commercial team of national contracting companies, and a passion for delivering projects on time and in budget.
“My vision for All Saints Construction is to build high quality new build homes whilst building our All Saints brand, and become a key player in the contracting sector and known for our professional and passionate approach to the construction process.”
Dale Shotton is the Director of The High Street Group’s Capital Markets division and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. He has been with the company since its inception, bringing more than 15 years of financial and executive management experience to his role within the company.
Dale is head of the Capital Markets department and is responsible for sourcing funds for the new projects within the Group. Dale is integral to developing relationships with external funders in order to acquire projects for All Saints Construction to produce. Dale ensures all parties, the Funder, Valuer, external Quantity Surveyor and Solicitors, have the correct design details, site plans, sales comparables and investigation reports.
He is involved in the front end of any new development, ensuring the feasibilities are profitable and, by liaising with Estate Agents, guarantees that the Group has sales comparables to back up the GDV of any project.
Dale started working alongside Gary Forrest in 2004 at High Street Home Loans (which was a division of GMAC RFC) and was a mortgage underwriter within the Company responsible for lending residential mortgages. He was the manager of High Street Debt Management from 2007 to 2012 and ran a team of 8 to help thousands of clients with financial difficulties.
Prior to working with The High Street Group, Dale served for 6 years in the Royal Navy and was on-board HMS York and HMS Iron Duke.
Dale enjoys keeping fit, football, walking and is Coach of an under 9’s football team. Dale has raised thousands of pounds in tackling the Great North Run 5 times. In June 2015 he was part of the team to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and in 2017 trekked the Grand Canyon to raise money for local North East charity St. Oswald’s Hospice.
Sonali is the Marketing Director for The High Street Group and all related companies, and deals with all marketing, communication and public relation related activities. Sonali has over 20 years of experience, 10 of which was with Bank of Scotland, and the remainder in Marketing and Communications in the finance and property sector both in the UK and South East Asia.
After 6 years in India, Sonali spends most of her spare time looking after the dogs she brought back with her, and cooking Indian food. In 2016 she trekked the Grand Canyon to raise money for local North East charity St. Oswald’s Hospice.
Nicola has worked with The High Street Group since day one and has seen the Company go through changes in terms of location, sectors and expansion. Nicola holds the enviable position of being the longest standing employee, and therefore the person everyone seeks out for answers and help. Nicola is both Executive Personal Assistant and Office Manager, with many more skills in between.
Nicola enjoys keeping fit and ran her first Great North Run in September 2015. In June 2015 Nicola was part of the team to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.