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Sat July 11 2020

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NHS property chief moves to UPP

17 Jan Student accommodation developer UPP Group Holdings has appointed Elaine Hewitt as its new chief executive.

Elaine Hewitt
Elaine Hewitt

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) fellow joins UPP from NHS Property Services where she has been chief executive since 2015 and was responsible for managing a £3bn asset portfolio of 4,000 properties.

Before running NHS Property Services, Elaine Hewitt was BT’s group property director. She has also held public sector roles, including crown representative in the Cabinet Office for property and facilities management across government.

Ms Hewitt will join UPP on 1st April 2020, taking over from Richard Bienfait, who is moving to Mace at the end of January to become its chief financial officer. In the two-month interim, UPP chairman Robert McClatchey will take temporary executive charge.

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.”

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UPP, owned by Dutch pension fund PGGM, has more than 36,000 rooms in operation or under construction in partnership with 15 universities.

In 2019 it reached financial close on a £139.7m deal with the University of Exeter to design, build, fund and operate 1,182 bedrooms on the University’s East Park campus.

It also closed a £43m deal with St Modwen Developments, Swansea University and Swan Global for the acquisition of the freehold of 411 rooms at Bay Campus in Swansea.

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