Recipient of Award : Mark Hodgson - F1384
Mark Hodgson became a member of the ABI on 08 December 2003 as an Associate member, now known as Provisional, but was quickly elevated to Full membership within a few months. He was then, and is to this day, head of a very successful investigative agency, Tremark Associates, an ABI Corporate member in its own right, which has grown commercially whilst playing a significant role in the support of the ABI.
Most members will know Mark primarily through business but also as a past President of the ABI having taken the position, reluctantly I may add, whilst holding the Vice President post and following the then President’s resignation during what will be infamously remembered as one of the most troublesome periods in the ABI’s history in 2016 and 2017. This was for the President a massive challenge. More so for a man running a busy company and not least a very demanding young family who has been without doubt Mark’s primary devotion and they, in turn, a huge support in Mark’s work and voluntary efforts for the ABI.
Mark not only met the challenges head-on and steered the ABI through those troubled waters but safely into what has proved to be one of the ABI’s most successful periods in its history.
I will not dwell on that bit of history and Mark’s outstanding performance as the ABI’s President, even though that alone qualifies him, in my opinion, a worthy recipient of this prestigious Award.
There are, however, other remarkable contributions to the ABI spearheaded by Mark that history will equally attribute to this industry captain and that few will appreciate but which I have witnessed first-hand.
Prior to his appointment as President, Mark had been the ABI’s IT governing council official. It was in that capacity and amid, what has always been an undercurrent within more senior ABI members, of strong opposition to any change, that Mark took the first and monumental step to the complete modernization of the ABI, its public-facing shop window and its backroom administration by the complete overhaul of the ABI website. This project took many many months of hard work leading to the website’s launch in September 2016 and which still holds well today.
Mark’s innovative vision and sheer determination led the website developers to create a tool that completely catapulted the Association into the modern IT world and far ahead of its rivals who have been left behind in the ABI’s wake.
As someone who has been hands-on in the ABI’s governance since 1999 I can tell you first-hand that the website and Mark’s efforts are without doubt the major turning point for not just the ABI but, as it commands the lead role in the sector, the wider industry, bringing with it opportunities for all its members and a new generation of investigators.
Mark first came to prominence in 2010 during my term as President when he raised an issue with me about the anomaly in the access to the Land Registry’s Proprietors’ Register. Mark’s vision was remarkable and the point he made not only gained traction with numerous lawyers but the Land Registry in Scotland too. I shall not bore you with the issues but suffice it to say that although the ABI did not succeed in its attempts to persuade the Land Registry to review its policy, an effort that went as far as an application for Judicial Review in the High Court, it was none the less a visionary and innovative initiative by Mark.
Mark Hodgson & Past President Dick Smith QPM
Lastly, I pay tribute to Mark’s input in the transition of the ABI’s administration to the current secretariat, which was a monumental task made more complicated by the changes brought about by the new web site and all the new IT supporting platforms with which the web site and the ABI systems now interact. Without Mark at the helm and obliging our needs for help to get the secretariat show on the road its possible the whole administration would have collapsed around us. And all this whilst Mark had to deal with the malicious undertone of a few who were determined to disrupt the ABI’s progress.
I recommend wholeheartedly that the ABI give recognition to Mark for his contribution to the ABI project and let his pioneering example lead the inspiration for the next generation of members.