On this latest episode, Nick welcomes on the show Richard Simpson, CEO of Watkin Jones Group PLC to discuss the Build to Rent (BTR) sector. Watkin Jones provides an end-to-end solution in developing large scale, multi-occupancy accommodation projects, with a primary focus on the student accommodation market.
The Company is one of very few players that operate across the entire development lifecycle from site procurement, planning and construction to ultimate scheme management. Watkin Jones’s end to end solution is unusual and this combined with its considerable track record and existing relationships with investors could provide a degree of protection if competition in the sector continues to increase due to the attractive market dynamics that exist.
Richard has 15 years’ experience working in the property development and student accommodation sector, most recently as Group Property Director at Unite Group plc, the FTSE250 manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation. Prior to starting his career in the industry, he served for six years in the British Army.
Qualified as a chartered surveyor and a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors he has substantial executive experience in setting the strategic direction for all aspects of property portfolio management, as well as holding various Board level roles including seven years serving on the Board of Unite Group plc and two years in a Non-Executive capacity with CityWest Homes. He was also Chair of the British Property Federation’s cross-sector Student Accommodation Committee from 2013-2015.