Grainger announces upcoming appointment of Vanessa Simms to its Board as Finance Director

– UK, Newcastle Upon Tyen – Grainger plc (LSE:GRI), the UK’s largest listed residential property owner and manager, announces the appointment of Vanessa Simms to the Board as Finance Director. It is anticipated that Vanessa will join the Company in the early spring of 2016. She will be based in London.

As announced on 13 August, Mark Greenwood, Grainger’s current Finance Director, will retire from the Company at the end of 2015. The Company’s Group Accounting Director, David Smith (56), will cover the role on an interim basis until Vanessa joins. David, who has been with Grainger for over 10 years, acted as interim Finance Director in 2010 before the appointment of Mark Greenwood.

Vanessa (40) joins Grainger from Unite Group plc (‘Unite’), the FTSE 250 student accommodation provider, where she has been the Deputy Chief Financial Officer since 2012. Prior to Unite, Vanessa was UK Finance Director at industrial property specialist SEGRO plc. Vanessa has also held senior finance positions at Vodafone, Porsche and Stryker. She is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Baroness Ford, Chairman of Grainger, said: “Vanessa brings strong and relevant PLC and real estate experience to Grainger, having held a number of senior finance roles in the industry, whilst having a proven track record of successfully implementing strategic and financial programmes. These skills will be key as we build on the progress to date in simplifying the business, optimising our cost base and accelerating the execution of our private rented sector strategy.”

The appointment is subject to normal FCA confirmations. There is no further information that is required to be disclosed under paragraph 9.6.13R of the Listing Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority.

Helen Gordon, CEO designate, will start on 3 November 2015, while Andrew Cunningham, out-going CEO, will remain in place until the New Year to ensure a smooth handover.

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