Press releases

Inspired Villages Group hires Shaun Whelan and Bernadette Koltai as it looks to recruit 100 new hires in 2018

Inspired Villages Group (“IVG”), an operator and developer of later living accommodation established by Legal & General in August 2017, announces its ambitious recruitment programme for 2018 making it the fastest growing company in the later living housing sector.

13 Feb 2018

Press release

Following the acquisition of Renaissance Villages in November 2017, IVG’s property portfolio grew significantly reaching around 1,000 homes.  This rapid expansion provided the impetus for a significant recruitment campaign for its management team and in all six villages over the next 12 months.

Kick starting the recruitment campaign were the appointments of Shaun Whelan and Bernadette Koltai who have joined the IVG management team as Commercial Director and Head of Marketing, respectively. Shaun brings over 25 years of commercial experience across a variety of residential, leisure and retail developments. Bernadette brings global marketing expertise from the luxury hotel industry, allowing the business to continue to take a fresh approach to the positioning of later living housing.

IVG has ambitions to increase the number of apartments in its property portfolio to 3,500 bringing its vibrant, service-led later living communities to locations all across the UK.  To support this portfolio growth and the forthcoming opening of facilities at existing sites, including; wellness centres, restaurants, libraries and cafes, IVG will be recruiting for a wide breadth of roles to complement the diversity of skills and experience in the current team. 

Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages Group, comments: “This year’s recruitment campaign will support our national growth ambitions for the Inspired Villages property portfolio.  Through the provision of more villages we can continue to make a positive impact on the later living sector. By offering over 65s the opportunity to move into an Inspired Village and creating a community with a wellness focus, we can provide a better quality of life for our residents which, in turn, will lead to a reduction in NHS costs and GP visits.”

Phil Bayliss, Head of Later Living at Legal & General Capital, added:  “Legal & General’s investment into this sector is a game changer – working with a best in class management team who have the track record of delivering high quality, positive later living communities, we can use our long term money to bring the necessary scale of supply to what is the most underserved sector of the housing market.  Our recruitment drive reflects this ambition. Complementing the existing team’s skills, we are now looking to attract a talented customer and delivery focused staff that can help us to meet the needs of an aspirational generation that are living life to the full and expect the very best facilities and services.”

Inspired Villages

Inspired Villages Group is a best in class operator and developer of later living accommodation. Creating safe, secure, social and comfortable village environments in which residents can celebrate the freedom of later life with flexible care arrangements, Inspired Villages offer an outstanding lifestyle choice for people whose existing homes no longer suit their needs.

It is backed by Legal & General and has a total of six village schemes, which are located in Warwickshire, West Sussex, Devon, Cheshire and Hampshire. With Legal & General’s long term financial support, Inspired Villages will continue to acquire several sites per year. Creating vibrant villages on the edge of and within the UK’s towns and cities, it is looking to build where people want to live, close to family, friends and facilities.

Its philosophy is to create beautiful homes, unique environments and thriving communities that are age appropriate and can support people in making the most of their wellbeing as they move through later life. The Chairman, and vision behind Inspired Villages, is Keith Cockell, who brings decades of experience in the conception and creation of retirement communities across the UK. The senior management team is headed by CEO, Jamie Bunce with the core management team in place to develop and operate a significant number of new communities across the UK in the next few years.

Legal & General in Housing

A natural evolution and fit for its multi-tenure housing investment strategy, Legal & General has been involved in supply side housing activities for nearly 20 years. These include:

  • Bringing housing back to the centre of the UK’s cities through large scale regeneration, such as Salford, Plymouth, Liverpool, Bracknell, Newcastle and Canning Town
  • Its c 48% stake in house builder CALA Homes, which is on track to deliver an annual capacity of 2,500 units and revenue of around £1bn in 2020, and believes it has the capability to build in excess of 3,000 units per annum thereafter
  • Legal & General’s total investment capability for the Build to Rent (BTR) sector currently stands at circa £1bn. It has secured around 2,000 homes under construction or in planning, with sites in Bristol, Edinburgh, Salford, Bath, Brighton, Leeds and Walthamstow, with the aim to have 6,000 in planning, development or operation by the end of 2019
  • Delivering its first three new housing communities, Legal & General’s housebuilding arm, Legal & General Homes, is bringing forward a housing pipeline of over 3,000 new homes. These include a 78-acre site in Shrivenham, Oxfordshire with outline planning for 515 new homes, building 1,000 new homes on its 250 acre site in Crowthorne, Berkshire, called Bucklers Park, and 1,500 new homes at its 272 acre site in Finchampstead, also in Berkshire.
  • Revolutionising the construction industry through its modular housing factory in Leeds, it will deliver highly-sustainable precision-engineered homes. The homes are built using modern techniques of construction, in a precision engineering manufacturing environment, on a moving assembly line, which will be constructed and fitted out in the factory before delivery to site
  • Providing later living accommodation through Inspired Villages Group, a best in class operator and developer of later living accommodation, which Legal & General acquired in August this year. Inspired Villages Group’s development portfolio currently has around 1,000 homes

It is also a significant investor in social housing, care homes and student accommodation. This holistic approach provides Legal & General with the mechanisms to deliver high quality returns throughout market cycles by pivoting investment to where the need is greatest.

Phil Bayliss, Head of Later Living at Legal & General Capital:

Complementing the existing team’s skills, we are now looking to attract a talented customer and delivery focused staff that can help us to meet the needs of an aspirational generation that are living life to the full and expect the very best facilities and services.

Further information


Olivia Bayliss

Head of Communications

Capital and LGIM Real Assets

Harriet De Beaufort Suchlick

Harriet de Beaufort-Suchlick

Head of Corporate Communications

Legal & General Capital

Notes to editors

Legal & General Capital (LGC) is Legal & General Group’s alternative asset platform, creating assets for Legal & General Retirement and third-party clients in order to achieve improved risk-adjusted returns for our shareholders. LGC has built its capabilities in a range of alternative sectors, including in residential property; specialist commercial real estate; clean energy; alternative credit; and venture capital, which are all supported by long-term structural growth drivers, meet a financing gap, and respond to a scarcity of supply that is underpinned by enduring societal needs.

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management (as at FY23) of which c40% (circa £0.5 trillion) is international.

We have a highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. We are a leading international player in Institutional Retirement, in Retail Savings and Protection, and in both public and private markets through our Asset Management division. Across the Group, we are committed to responsible investing and dedicated to serving the long-term savings and investment needs of customers and society.

As at 7 June 2024, we estimate the Group’s Solvency II coverage ratio to be 224%.

As at 11 June 2024, Legal & General has a market capitalisation of £14.6 billion.