The Unite Group announces Richard Huntingford to its Board as Non-Executive Director and Chairman Designate

– UK, Bristol –  The Unite Group plc (LON: UTG), the UK’s leading owner, manager and developer of student accommodation, today announced the appointment of Richard Huntingford to its Board of Directors as Non-Executive Director and Chairman Designate effective 1st December 2020, to succeed Phil White as Chairman on 1 April 2021.

Phil White has advised the board that he will retire as Chairman and step down from the Board with effect from 31 March 2021.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Phil White for his leadership over many years and his contribution to the growth of Unite and making Unite the business it is today. Great people are at the heart of any business and Phil led this from the top. On a personal note, I would like to thank Phil for his support and guidance. I look forward to working with Richard as we look to the future with confidence and embrace the exciting opportunities ahead.” said Chief Executive, Richard Smith.

Phil was appointed Chairman of the Unite Board in 2010. Phil’s tenure on the Board was extended following the Liberty Living acquisition to ensure continuity during a critical stage of the integration of the business. Phil had previously indicated that he would not offer himself for re-election at the 2021 Annual General Meeting.

Phil White commented: “I am delighted with Richard’s appointment as Chairman Designate; his extensive track record and board experience demonstrates that he has the range of skills and experience for the role. I would like to welcome Richard to the Board and I look forward to working with him over the coming months to ensure a smooth handover of duties. Unite is a great business with great people and it has been a privilege to have played just a small role in its success over the past decade.”

About Richard Huntingford

Richard is Chairman of Future plc, an FTSE 250 global platform for specialist media. Richard, a chartered accountant, has over thirty years of plc board experience including as Chief Executive of Chrysalis Group plc between 2000 and 2007 and as a Non-Executive Director of Virgin Mobile Holdings (UK) plc. His Chair roles have included Wireless Group plc, Creston plc and Crown Place VCT plc. In addition to chairing Future plc, Richard is a Non-Executive Director of JP Morgan Mid Cap Investment Trust plc and The Bankers Investment Trust plc.

Richard Huntingford said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of Unite. I have strong empathy for Unite’s ‘Home for Success’ purpose which plays a fundamental role in helping students make a success of their time at University. Unite’s market-leading proposition, and its strong University relationships, provide a firm foundation for long-term sustainable growth.”

About Unite Students

Unite Students is the UK’s largest owner, manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation, serving the country’s world-leading Higher Education sector. Following the £1.4bn acquisition of Liberty Living in November 2019, we now provide homes to 75,000 students across 177 properties in 27 leading University towns and cities. We currently partner with 45 Universities across the UK.

Our people are driven by a common purpose: to provide a ‘Home for Success’ for the students who live with us. Unite’s accommodation is safe and secure, high quality and affordable. Students live predominantly in ensuite study bedrooms, with rents covering all bills, insurance, 24-hour security and high-speed Wi-Fi. We also hold a five-star British Safety Council audit rating.

Founded in 1991 in Bristol, Unite Group is an award-winning Real Estate Investment Trust, listed on the London Stock Exchange and a member of the FTSE 250 Index. Unite is invested in and operates two specialist funds and joint ventures with institutional investment partners: the £3 billion Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund and the £1 billion London Student Accommodation Vehicle.

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