LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--University Partnerships Programme (UPP), the leading provider of on campus student accommodation infrastructure and support services in the UK, today announces the appointment of Richard Bienfait as Chief Financial Officer of UPP Group Limited effective from 10 October 2016.
Richard was previously Chief Executive Officer of Affinity Water Limited, the largest water only supplier in the UK, a position he held for five years from 2010. Prior to this, Richard worked for 13 years at Veolia Water UK Limited, part of Veolia Environnement SA, the global leader in optimised resource management.
During his time at Veolia Water UK Limited, Richard held a number of senior financial positions, including Chief Financial Officer for six years. In this role, he helped grow the turnover of the business from £250 million to £600 million; led the sale of Veolia’s interest in Southern Water in 2006 and the acquisition of non-regulated contracts from Thames Water and United Utilities in 2007 and 2010 respectively; and managed the refinancing of £200 million of debt at Three Valleys Water, the debut long dated Sterling bond issue for Veolia Environnement SA.
Richard is an economics graduate from the University of Exeter, a Chartered Accountant and an associate member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.
Sean O’Shea, Group Chief Executive Officer said: “We are delighted Richard is joining UPP at such an exciting time for the Group, particularly following our new long term partnership with the University of Hull. He brings with him extensive experience in financial and strategic management gained across leading organisations and I am confident he will make a major contribution to our future development.”
Commenting on his appointment, Richard said: “I am looking forward to working closely with the teams at UPP, helping to deliver on its strategic plan and creating value for all our stakeholders.”
Notes to editors
About University Partnerships Programme
University Partnerships Programme (UPP) is the leading provider of on campus student accommodation infrastructure and support services in the UK. We have around 30,000 rooms under management or in construction through long term partnerships with 14 leading UK universities. With over 800 employees, we work to deliver the very best student experiences, together with great universities.
We offer bespoke partnerships of typically 40 to 50 years which enable universities to make the most of their assets, free up resources and improve services available to students. We design and develop high quality, affordable student accommodation on campus. Our innovative approach means our interests are aligned with those of each university partner.
Founded in 1998, we have since invested approximately £2 billion in universities across the UK. We have established a long term growth strategy to ensure we remain well positioned to meet the growing demand for investment within the UK’s higher education sector, while at the same time helping our partners achieve their long term ambitions. In 2013, we outlined a five year growth plan in which we aim to invest a further £1 billion in delivering the very best student experiences, as well as expand our portfolio to more than 40,000 rooms.
In 2013, UPP made its debut £382.1 million public bond issuance. With a multicurrency programme size of £5 billion, the issuance was the first of its kind within the sector and illustrates our ongoing ambition to bring long term institutional investment to higher education in the UK. In 2014, UPP launched a new tranche of £149.7 million index linked senior secured notes under its investment grade programme.
* All figures as at 31 August 2016.