WHY CHOOSE US?
We believe in maintaining a positive mindset, creating partnerships with a purpose, and always striving for tangible impact for our clients. We are widely respected in the sector for our expertise in strategic asset management, asset valuation and organisational efficiency.
We have worked with some of the largest Local Authorities in the UK including Durham County Council, Bristol City Council, Oxford City Council, Lancashire Constabulary, Pembrokeshire County Council and the London Borough of Camden.
Our Senior Partner, Chris Brain, has worked within the UK public sector for over 40 years, and brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and skill to help you with your challenges.
Chris established CHRIS BRAIN ASSOCIATES in 2019 after nearly 17 years at CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) where he developed and delivered a wide range of property consultancy projects and property training across the UK and Ireland.
His experience taught him that it is people that bring about change, not simply strategies, structures, systems and processes alone. Strategies can be written, structures can be re-drawn, systems introduced and processes updated, and that absolutely has its place. But none of that helps you move forward if you don't have true engagement and buy-in.
That is where we can bring our special insight, using our experience to help you truly transform, by working with people and groups to make them more effective, and to guide and support you to you become the organisation you choose to be.
We do not believe in 'one size fits all' approaches to consultancy and training, and we look to build relationships with clients to ensure that the support we deliver is bespoke to their needs. Whatever your challenges, get in touch and let's begin a conversation about how we may be able to hep you.
Prior to joining CIPFA Chris spent over 24 years in local government which involved developing corporate asset strategies and policies, managing commercial property, undertaking estate management work and valuations.
He is a Fellow of the RICS and a serving member of the RICS Public Sector Valuation Group. He is a past member of the RICS UK & Ireland World Region Board.
When you work with us, you should expect a collaborative approach, with transparency and consistency.
Want to learn more about us and the value we can bring to your organisation and your people?
Contact us today, and let's get the conversation started on how we might be able to help.
After over 40 years of employment working in and with local government, including nearly 17 years at CIPFA, it was quite a big step for me to head off into the brave new world of self-employment and establish Chris Brain Associates.
There were a range of reasons for this decision, but the most important factor was the opportunity to be my own boss and to have complete freedom around how I can use my wealth of expertise in strategic asset management to add value to others.
Prior to joining CIPFA in 2003 I had been at Bristol City Council, and I was taking the corporate lead on strategic asset management. For those that remember that far back, strategic asset management was really new to everybody – or so it seemed. But is wasn’t new to me.
The idea of taking a strategic view on property portfolios was a part of my mindset long before the Government requirement to produce asset management plans was introduced in 1999. A full decade earlier I had chosen property strategy as my dissertation topic towards my professional qualification.
Indeed, I had already been instrumental in drafting and implementing in Bristol, firstly an Estate Management Policy and latterly a Corporate Land Policy. These documents provided a policy framework within which property decisions were made and established. If you looked at those documents today, some might describe them as a Corporate Landlord Model, a term which has only come into common use in the past few years.
I regard myself as being ahead of my time when it come to property strategy in local government. When the opportunity came along in 2003 to use that knowledge and experience at CIPFA and to share that value with a wider UK audience, I jumped at the chance. And over the 17 years I spent at CIPFA I thoroughly enjoyed that opportunity to share my experience and to learn from and absorb the experience of others. The training and consultancy that I delivered was very wide ranging and really has developed me in a way that I never imagined.
Fast forward to 2019, and I found myself in a position where I felt that I could add greater value through my own company, Chris Brain Associates. It was a difficult decision to leave CIPFA, but it was certainly the right decision. This has opened new doors and new experiences.
I am focussing my attention now on much deeper dives into the challenges and problems that local government is facing with strategic asset management. Whilst diagnosis of problems remains of course a key part of what I do, the real value is in working in and alongside an organisation in what I like to call ‘relational consultancy’.
I regard myself as much a coach or mentor as a consultant, gaining a deeper understanding of the coal face challenges a client is facing and devising implementation plans and change plans that will get them to their chosen destination. By working closely with them, and by holding a mirror up to what they are doing and how they are doing it, I can help organisations to have more confidence that what they seek is achievable.
The way I like to work with organisations means that it is necessary to build a relationship. This is not your typical management consultancy. I look to embed myself in the organisation. Whilst most consultants come at problems from the outside, I like to come at problems from the inside. Whilst most other consultants have to rely on anecdotal evidence of the challenges an organisation is facing, I like to see and experience those problems for myself. This allows me to identify what the true challenges are in that organisation, and enables me to tailor solutions that are very specific to that client.
External consultants are often described as someone that borrows your watch and then tells you the time. And that label comes from standard diagnostic reports that you may well have seen or commissioned in the past. That is not what I do. I don’t want to hear about your challenges, I want to see them. I want to experience them. And once I do that, I can work with you to find out what is going on, and what needs to change. That is how I can really add value.
You should judge external consultancy support on the value it brings, and that is why I have established Chris Brain Associates. We don't just deliver consultancy and walk away, we like to maintain on going relationship with you.
If you feel that your asset strategy or asset management plan is not as good as it could be, or you feel that the decision or governance arrangements around your property assets could be stronger, or you feel that whilst you have an asset strategy not everyone seems to be pulling in the same direction, then get in touch. I am more than happy to schedule a call with you for an initial FREE consultation.