Dani James will step up into interim executive finance director role next month

Onward Homes has announced that Dani James, current finance director at Onward Homes, will be promoted to interim executive finance director on a 12-month contract.

Danielle James-5761 (Large)

Danielle James, the new interim executive finance director at Onward Homes, will start her new role on 1 November.

James will take over as interim executive finance director at the 35,000-home provider on 1 November.

James joined north-west based Onward Homes from Riverside in 2022, where she was head of financial accounting for almost two years.

She is a temporary replacement for Mike Gerrard, who earlier this month announced he was leaving the role of executive finance director after four years in post.  Gerrard will be moving into the role of chief financial officer at Great Places, a Manchester-based housing association, in the new year.

From 2013, James held the position of finance director at Liverpool John Lennon Airport for more than six and half years. She also served as chair of audit and risk at South Liverpool Homes for seven years.

Onward posted a surplus of £10.7m in the 2022/23 financial year, compared to a £22.5m loss in the previous year.

This resulted from Onward being affected by £36.1 million in fees from loans acquired by its former subsidiary, Contour Homes.

Onward also faced costs associated with the demolition and reconstruction of three tower blocks in Preston, and the knock-on financial impact of the main contractor at Halton Road development going into administration. 

Onward chief executive officer, Bronwen Rapley said that James has been “instrumental” to Onward maintaining its credit rating and ensuring it has the resources to invest in its homes.

Rapley added that James’ familiarity with Onward’s business plan will help the housing association to succeed in the years ahead.