The Property Trust's Board of Directors comprises Trustees who provide specialist knowledge and experience of architecture, chartered surveying, attractions management, commercial property development, finance and education.

David Butters

David joined the Board in 2012 and became Chairman in April 2017. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1974 and retired from the London Office of Gerald Eve LLP, Property Consultants, in 2009 after nearly 37 years with the firm. He was Senior Partner for 7½ years and led the Leisure Team for 14 years. Since the late 1970’s David has advised operators and owners on valuation, business rates, acquisitions and disposal of hotels, public houses, breweries, motorway service areas and a wide range of other leisure properties throughout the United Kingdom. He has also prepared and given expert evidence in the High Court and Lands Tribunal. 

Paul Bennett

Paul joined the Board in 2023. Paul had a long career in Broadcast television culminating as Managing Director of Resources for ITV Studios. He ran the major studios across the UK including London, Granada (Manchester), Yorkshire TV and a BBC joint venture. Paul was Chairman of 3sixty Media and was on the boards of The UK Screen Association and Tideway Sailabilty.  He is an RYA Yachtmaster (Sail) Commercially Endorsed and an Advanced Powerboat Instructor. Paul is a regular skipper of Foxtrot 8 and helps with maintenance in BH4 as a volunteer over the winter months.   

Roger Ching

Roger joined the Board in 2011 having retired from the position of Strategic Director with Portsmouth City Council earlier that year. He was the City Council's Statutory Chief Financial Officer and was responsible for several key services including Finance, Revenues & Benefits, Housing, Cultural Services and Audit & Performance. Roger played a key role in a number of major projects including the Spinnaker Tower, the Mary Rose Special School and the Northern Quarter Retail Development. Roger was also a Director of Mainland Market Deliveries Ltd, a major fruit importing company which the City Council acquired in 2008. 

Michál Cohen

Appointed to the Board in May 2009, Michal was the winner of RIBA Woman Architect of the Year Award and is a Director of the London based practice of Walters & Cohen Architects and specialises in educational design projects. She was director in charge of the RIBA award-winning Redbrook Hayes primary school project, and two Building Schools for the Future (BSF) schemes led by her have received a rating of Excellent by Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. She is one of the Design Council's Built Environment Experts and in 2017 judged the British Construction Industry Awards.  

Rear Admiral Rex Cox

Rex became a trustee in 2022. He is a serving officer in the Royal Navy, a career which has spanned 33 years, 23 of which have been at sea, and has had the privilege of commanding four warships. Staff appointments have included three years as Defence Adviser to HM Treasury during the 2015 Strategic Defence & Security Review, and Head of Capability Plans in the Ministry of Defence during the 2020 Integrated and Spending Reviews. He is currently the CEO of the National Shipbuilding Office. He is a Freeman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, an alumnus of the Windsor Leadership Trust, chair of the Coastal Forces Heritage Trust, a Trustee of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and extremely fortunate to Skipper the historic Motor Anti-Submarine Boat (MASB) 27. Rex sits on the Trust's Boat Committee. 

Henry Flint

Henry joined the Board in 2023. Henry is an experienced Chartered Accountant with a background in commercial property, construction and civil engineering. He trained in the City with Binder Hamlyn and shortly after qualifying joined Hammerson plc and was appointed UK Finance Director. At Hammerson he had oversight of their large portfolio of UK offices and retail sites. In 1999 Henry joined Dean & Dyball, a large civil engineering, construction and property group based in Ringwood and soon after he became Group Finance Director. Henry oversaw significant growth across the business and in 2008 was closely involved in its sale to Balfour Beatty. Since then, Henry worked with the Dyball family to set up and run a successful private commercial property investment and development company. In 2019 Henry joined Lester Aldridge Solicitors as Finance Director and Compliance Officer. He stepped down from Lester Aldridge in 2022 and joined the Board in 2023. 

Ben French

Ben is a social entrepreneur with interests in heritage, resilience and humanitarian response. He is currenty the Director of Research and Development at a company creating bespoke digital products for international emergency response. He also sits as a visiting researcher at the University of Portsmouth, is a member of the Force Strategic Advisory Group at Hampshire Constabulary. As well as serving as a trustee of a number of other charitable bodies. In his spare time, Ben is a senior officer in a UK cadet organisation, and contributes to several academic & industry research groups, including the United Nations Simulation and Training Network.

Professor Ginny Gibson

Ginny, Professor Emerita in Corporate Real Estate, had a 30-year career as an academic at the University of Reading. She is an expert in understanding how organisations align their real estate with their corporate strategy to ensure that it adds optimum value.  During her time at Reading, she held numerous leadership roles including Facility Director of Teaching and Learning, Head of Real Estate & Planning and latterly, Deputy Dean of Henley Business School. Ginny now has a portfolio career and is a Non-Executive Director/Trustee for a number of organisations. She is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion; a founding member of the CREW UK which champions women in the real estate industry and is lead for the mentorship programme CREW UK Connects. 

Helen Green

Appointed to the Board in 2023 Helen is an experienced strategic customer experience and customer vulnerability professional. She has spent 35 years in Financial Services initially qualifying as a marketer at Nationwide Building Society then moving to Lloyds Banking Group to lead the Customer Experience and Customer Journey Strategy across a wide range of financial brands (Halifax, Lloyds, Bank of Scotland) and portfolio of retail and commercial banking customer needs.  Helen has a MSc in Mentoring and Coaching and works with a number of individuals on their development and achieving their life goals and career aspirations.

Robert Palmer

Robert joined the Trust in January 2018. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1987 and retired from Mayfair Capital Investment Management, a UK real estate investment manager in 2022 where he was the Chief Investment Officer. With over 30 years experience in Commercial Property he was responsible for advising both institutional and private clients on commercial real estate funds with assets across the commercial sectors and throughout the UK. He is also a member of the Investment and Finance & General Purpose Committees of Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham.

Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt joined the board in 2018. He was Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member for Culture Leisure & Sport at Portsmouth City Council from 2018 to 2021. He has worked extensively for over a decade with partners in the cultural community in the city, including nearly 7 years as Chair of the Culture Partnership. Steve co-authored the city's Vision for Portsmouth 2008-2018 and the renewed Imagine Portsmouth vision published in 2021. He has been involved in many fundraising and development projects across the city including the Landing Craft Project, the Exploria Attraction and the New Theatre Royal. Steve has 30 years experience as a licensee, has organised major events and activities both locally and regionally and has worked as an agent, promoter and manger in the music industry, including running his own venue for many years. He has directed professional theatre for over 30 years.   

Mike Ridley

Mike has lifelong links with the navy and the base as the son and grandson of naval engineers and was educated locally at Portsmouth Grammar School. After a science degree he practiced as a building consultant specialising in asset management and development across a diverse range of clients and portfolios becoming managing partner and chair of a London-based multi-disciplinary property consultancy. As a young surveyor he advised the Trust on the condition of the Historic Dockyard estate when it was transferred from the Ministry of Defence in 1986. In recent years, Mike has become involved in neighbourhood planning and development partnerships between government agencies and community organisations in his hometown of Emsworth. He joined the Trust in 2008 and chairs the property management committee. 

Tarek Teba

Tarek joined the Board in 2023. Tarek is an Associate Professor in Architectural Heritage and the Chair for ICOMOS UK Digital Technology National Committee. Tarek is the Course leader of MA Building and Heritage Conservation and the co-chair of the University of Portsmouth Heritage Hub. Tarek’s research concerns the conservation of tangible and intangible heritage through creating the balance between contemporary and historic, aesthetic and cultural values. Tarek explores methodological approaches to preserve the cultural and contemporary social values embedded in heritage assets and cities, using community engagement, cultural mapping and virtual modelling approaches to deliver adaptation and development strategies. 

Simon Verdon

Simon joined the Board in 2023. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1995 and is currently Head of Land and Property at the Landmark Trust,  a historic buildings charity created by Sir John Smith using funds from his Manifold Trust – which also largely funded the restoration of HMS Warrior. He manages a varied and diverse portfolio of property including shops, offices, agricultural land and, Crownhill, a Palmerston Fort in Plymouth. Before this he ran the charity’s self-catering holiday business with 200 let properties. During his time at Landmark he has been instrumental in saving some of Britain’s most important historic buildings and giving them a new lease of life. His grandfather served in Coastal Motorboats during WWI.        

Eric Parry - Architectural Advisor to the Trust

A graduate of the Royal College of Art and University of Newcastle. Eric is a Royal Academician and one of the UK's most respected architects. Born in Kuwait City, he is a designer, writer and educator. Eric is the founder and Principal of Eric Parry Architects established in London in 1983 and was a Trustee from 2013 to 2018.




Historic Buildings

Discover more about the history of the buildings managed by the Trust



Historic Boats

Learn more about the boats acquired and restored by the Trust



Get Involved

Find out how you can contribute to preserving our nation's naval history


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Supported by Regional Growth Fund