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Our Market

We see an increasingly global marketplace, with UK universities competing with international rivals to attract domestic and overseas students.

The good news for student accommodation investors, developers and operators is that UK universities now recognise more than ever the need to provide high-quality accommodation and facilities, to give themselves a competitive advantage in the market.

We predict continued growing demand from current and future students for high-quality, modern and affordable accommodation and it is vital to the continued success of UK higher education that universities meet these expectations by ensuring the very best experience is available to all.

Given the number of international institutional lenders that we work with and the continuing appetite from the wider capital markets, it’s clear that investors share this view.

Our Strategy

Our strategy is a simple one – to establish long-term partnerships with leading universities to provide cost-effective funding and high-quality, affordable residential and academic infrastructure.

At UPP we maintain a single-sector focus in the UK higher education sector.

Our model involves being located at the heart of campus, aligning the long-term strategies of universities with the opportunities afforded by historically cost-effective capital market funding and establishing long-term partnerships – evidence of our belief in the sector and its ability to flourish in a global competition for students.

We have established a long-term growth strategy to ensure we remain well positioned to meet the growing demand for investment within the sector, while at the same time helping our university partners achieve their long-term ambitions.

Our Business Plan

We recently completed our new Business Plan covering the period 2017/18 to 2021/22. With more than 36,000 rooms in operation or under construction we are looking to grow our portfolio significantly over the next five years.

Our focus is to deliver our construction pipeline, improve the residential student experience and maintain and enhance our Shareholders’ value in our existing portfolio.

We are committed to growing on a controlled and risk-adjusted basis, with our primary driver being to increase the value of our Group over time, focusing on the quality of revenues, our overall investment proposition and in turn enhance our overall cash generation and the value of our portfolio.

We plan to increase our number of partners and the size of our portfolio in a selective and controlled manner, to strengthen our relationships with existing partners and to continue to deliver great services to students.

We will continue to develop new and innovative ways to fund infrastructure projects, establish innovative solutions for the non-residential requirements of our partners and harness the economic benefits of effective procurement – while investing in the wellbeing of our people and keeping them safe in the workplace.


UPP REIT Holdings Limited


Financial Announcements

Key Financials

£88.1m EBITDA
£206.7m projected gross rent roll (fully built‑out)
£258.1m turnover
Over £3bn invested in the UK higher education sector
Provided a home for over 400,000 students since 1998
Over 36,000 rooms in operation or under construction
Average occupancy level across the portfolio
Over 800 employees
Long-term bespoke partnerships with 15 world-leading universities

Company Structure and Directors

Elaine Hewitt

Chief Executive Officer

Elaine was appointed Chief Executive Officer of UPP in 2020, to lead and deliver on UPP’s strategic
commitments to operational excellence, long-term partnerships and generating value for
reinvestment in the future growth of the Business.

She has significant experience and expertise in delivering facilities and property services, gained
most recently during her role as Chief Executive Officer for NHS Property Services Ltd where she 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.

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

Elaine is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Henry Gervaise-Jones

Chief Financial Officer

Henry was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2019.

He has significant experience and a strong track record in leading high-value transactions in the property and Private Finance Initiative sectors, including M&A and debt capital markets.

Henry joined UPP in 2018 as Director of Corporate Finance. Previous positions include Head of Financial Planning and Analysis at logistics real estate business Logicor and various corporate finance and treasury roles at Transport for London.

Henry is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA).

Craig Bryant

Group Legal Director

Craig was appointed Group Legal Director in 2019. In this role, he provides commercial and legal oversight and support and is responsible for delivering the Group’s company secretarial, governance and compliance, insurance, risk and internal audit functions.

He originally joined UPP in 2013 as Commercial and Legal Director within UPP Projects Limited where he was responsible for the structuring and negotiation of commercial terms with universities, funders, contractors, operators and consultants on new developments.

Craig has more than 18 years’ experience in the privately financed development and facilities management sectors, with previous roles including Investment Director at John Laing, a global developer and operator of infrastructure projects.

Mike Eady

Group Health and Safety Director

Mike was appointed Group Health & Safety Director in 2016. He is responsible for developing and maintaining the highest standards within the fields of safety, health and environment across the Group.

Mike joined UPP from Wates Construction, a division of Wates Group Limited where he was Head of Operational Safety. He also previously worked Direct Line Insurance Group plc as Head of Operations and Marketing Supply Chain. Prior to this, Mike was Logistics Director for Royal Mail plc (Midlands) and held other senior roles within the Group including Head of Engineering and positions within property development, business continuity and network management. Mike has also worked at The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc.

Paul Milner

Managing Director, UPP Residential Services Limited

Paul was appointed Managing Director of UPP Residential Services Limited in 2015. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the Group’s provision of specialist residential management services.

Paul has over 25 years’ experience in construction and operational management. He joined UPP from Balfour Beatty plc where he spent 15 years of this career, most recently as Commercial Director for UK Support Services. Paul has also held senior roles at Shepherd Building Group Limited, Taylor Wimpey plc and Mowlem, now Carillon plc. He is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor.

Andrew Percival

Managing Director, UPP Projects Limited

Andrew was appointed Managing Director of UPP Projects Limited in 2016. He oversees the Group’s design, planning, funding and development business which is responsible for the origination, negotiation and subsequent financial close of all transactions. Since joining UPP, Andrew reached financial close on five transactions, creating two new partnerships (at the University of Hull and Swansea University), as well as growing UPP’s established relationships with the University of London and the University of Exeter through new residential development projects. This has resulted in an increase of over 5,000 rooms in UPP’s portfolio. An established speaker within the sector, Andrew is passionate about creating developments that enhance student experience and wellbeing and complement the strategic objectives of university partners. He is also an active lecturer at the Bartlett School (UCL), covering topics such as complex projects, supply chain and the development process in a management context. Andrew joined from VINCI PLC where he was Director of VINCI UK Developments and VINCI Investments. He is also Chairman of Stevenage First, a partnership focused on achieving the long term regeneration of Stevenage town centre.

Kelly Stafford

Group Human Resources Director

Kelly was appointed Group Human Resources Director in 2016. In this role, she has overall responsibility for people strategies across the Group.

Kelly joined UPP from Balfour Beatty plc, where she was Director of Talent & Development of the Construction Services (UK Division), as well as a member of the senior management team. Prior to this, she was Human Resource Director UK & Ireland for Tech Data Corporation Inc. In addition, Kelly has held senior positions at Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc (UK), MJ Gleeson Group plc and Crest Nicholson plc. Kelly has also acted as a consultant for the charity, Age UK (Southampton) on a voluntary basis.

Mark Swindlehurst

Managing Director, UPP Management Limited

Mark was appointed Managing Director of UPP Management Limited in January 2018. He leads the newly-created asset management company which will focus on driving the long-term performance of UPP’s Special Purpose Vehicles, both individually and as a portfolio.

He joined UPP from Lancaster University where he held the position of Director of Facilities. Having joined Lancaster in 2003, he led the University’s estates team through a significant campus redevelopment programme, including the investment of over £500 million in its Bailrigg Campus.

Prior to joining the University, Mark worked for the BBC in its corporate property department and he is a past Chair of the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE).

Jon Wakeford

Group Corporate Affairs Director

Jon is responsible for the Group’s business development, communications, public affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and has been on the Group Board for almost a decade.

Jon has more than 25 years’ experience in the higher education sector and originally joined UPP in 2000, when UPP was established as a specialist business unit of Jarvis plc. As Head of Research and Development he originated the company’s selective approach to partnerships and played a key role in the establishment of the Group’s bond programme and acquisition by its current Shareholders.

He has also worked as a Senior Advisor for the higher education team at KPMG.

Jon is a member of the cross-party Higher Education Commission.

Results and Presentations

To be posted in due course

Corporate Governance

We continue to implement further improvements in corporate governance to ensure that the Group is best placed to deliver the rigorous controls required to operate a listed entity.


The Group has a non-executive Chairman and non-executive Shareholder Directors who, together with the Executive team, ensure that appropriate governance and operational processes are maintained.

The Chairman is tasked with oversight of the strategic direction for the Group, whilst the non-executive Directors are tasked with providing constructive challenge to the Executive team on strategic matters.

Working together, this underpins the effective execution of our Business Plan.

We measure Board effectiveness through a process of annual Board evaluations and following the guidelines of the UK Corporate Governance Code, undertake an external evaluation on a three-yearly basis.

The ongoing process of evaluation generates valuable insight and, as a result, the Board develops action plans which it commits to implement over each twelve-month period.

Focus is placed on learning and development in light of both changing market conditions and a more challenging regulatory environment.

Board Committees

Corporate governance is embedded across the Group, with the following Board Committees in place to ensure that risk is actively managed:

  • Audit Committee (a committee of UPP Group Holdings Limited) whose primary function is to develop the Internal Control Framework of the Group and assist the Board in fulfilling its financial and risk oversight responsibilities. The Group has established an Internal Audit Function which consists of a co-sourced provider and a dedicated in-house manager, both of which report in to the Audit Committee
  • Remuneration Committee (a committee of UPP Group Holdings Limited) whose responsibility is to determine the remuneration and conditions of employment for Executive Directors and Senior Managers
  • Investment Committee (a committee of UPP Group Limited) is responsible for scrutinising and challenging proposed investments, sanctioning both the costs and commercial conditions relating to each project.
  • HSEQ Committee (Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Committee – a committee of UPP Group Limited) which sets industry-leading health and safety standards with which our contractors and suppliers are obliged to comply. This year our committee has been strengthened by the appointment of our new Group Director for Health and Safety. The Group has a dedicated in-house health and safety team that monitor all stages of development activity undertaken by the Group and advise on health and safety matters.
  • Risk Committee (a committee of UPP Group Limited) whose responsibility is to oversee and advise the Board on the current risk exposures of the Group and future risk strategy.