UPP Group Holdings Limited (UPP), the UK’s leading provider of on-campus residential and academic accommodation infrastructure, and its Parent Company UPP REIT Holdings Limited, today announces the appointment of Elaine Hewitt as its new Chief Executive Officer.
A Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Elaine joins UPP from NHS Property Services Ltd where she has been Chief Executive Officer since 2015 and was responsible for managing and servicing a £3bn asset portfolio, some 4,000 properties, 5,000 employees and an annual income of more than £700m. NHS Property Services has raised over £300m in the past three years alone through real estate disposals which has been reinvested in upgrading the NHS estate.
Prior to this, Elaine held the position of Group Property Director at BT Group PLC where she managed the largest corporate portfolio in the UK, delivering services to 7,000 properties globally. As well as having considerable private sector experience, Elaine has also held public sector roles, notably Crown Representative in the Cabinet Office for Property and Facilities Management across Government.
Elaine will join the Business on 1 April 2020, succeeding current CEO Richard Bienfait, who announced in September 2019 that he would be leaving the Company at the end of January 2020. Richard is departing UPP to take up the role of Chief Financial Officer at Mace, the international construction and consulting company.
Robert McClatchey, Chairman of UPP Group Holdings Limited, said:
“Elaine’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer comes at an important moment for the Company and the wider student accommodation sector. In an increasingly competitive market where affordability and quality are high on the agenda, not just for students but also for regulators of higher education, her considerable experience and expertise in delivering facilities and property services will reinforce UPP’s position as the leading on-campus accommodation provider. I look forward to working with Elaine to continue to drive UPP’s long-standing and successful strategic focus on the delivery of controlled, value-accretive growth.”
Elaine Hewitt said:
“I am delighted to be joining UPP at such an interesting time in the evolution of the UK higher education sector which, like the NHS, forms a vital part of the national fabric and economy. I am looking forward to building on the achievements and successes of my predecessors, working with members of its talented team and delivering on UPP’s strategic commitments to operational excellence, long-term partnerships and generating value for reinvestment in the future growth of the Business.”
UPP has over 36,000 rooms in operation or under construction through long-term, bespoke partnerships with 15 world-leading universities.
In 2019, it successfully reached financial close on a £139.7m deal with existing long-term partner the University of Exeter to design, build, fund and operate 1,182 high-quality bedrooms on the University’s East Park campus.
The year also saw UPP reaching financial close on a deal worth £43m with St Modwen Developments, Swansea University and Swan Global LLP, for the acquisition of the freehold of 411 rooms at Bay Campus in Swansea.
UPP is majority-owned by PGGM VERMOGENSBEHEER B.V. (PGGM). PGGM provides services in the field of pension management, integral asset management and executive advice to pension funds and has a long-term hold position with respect to UPP. The Company currently manages pension assets worth €215bn for different pension funds and is administrating pensions of 4.2m participants in the health and social sector of the Netherlands.