Property & Construction
Watkin Jones plc
Watkin Jones (WJ) develops build-to-rent (BTR) and purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) schemes, largely forward-funded by institutional investors, which acquire sites from WJ with the benefit of planning and then pay for the works monthly as development progresses, thus reducing capital tie-up for WJ. The group also provides an accommodation management service through its Fresh Property Group (FPG) business, which manages both WJ and third-party developed assets, and operates a more traditional housebuilding business focused on the North West. The company, which was founded by carpenter Huw Jones in 1791, evolved as a developer before specialising in student accommodation, and was admitted to AIM in 2016.
We believe WJ offers a unique low-risk, capital-light development and asset management model for the growing private and student rental markets. We believe the group should benefit from continuing growth opportunities in new student accommodation and that its experience offers it 'early mover advantage' in the less mature but potentially faster growing BTR sector. This is all tied together by FPG in what we have defined as a 'virtuous circle'. The forward-funding model offers attractive margins, but with little capital tie-up and risk, since the institutional investors then own the assets and assume long-term rental exposure. WJ's development risk is minimised by setting fixed-cost contracts with its supply chains. FPG enjoys good revenue visibility due to long-term contracts with building owners.
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones has confirmed it is on track to meet FY2022E expectations of rising […]
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones confirms in today’s trading statement for the six months to 31 March […]
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones today delivered an 11% rise in PBT to £51.1m for FY2021, beating […]
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones has confirmed in today’s trading update that operating profit for the year […]
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones will next week release a trading update and host a Capital Markets […]
Residential for rent developer and manager Watkin Jones has reported encouraging progress in homes delivery, institutional investor demand […]
Residential for rent developer and manager Watkin Jones reports increasing investor confidence in today’s HY 2021 results, which […]
Residential for rent developer and manager Watkin Jones has signalled “maintained momentum” during H1 in today’s trading statement, […]
Progressive Presents the management team of Watkin Jones, the UK’s leading developer and manager of residential for rent
Company Management Team
Chief Executive Officer
Richard joined Watkin Jones Group as Chief Executive Officer on 2 January 2019. He started working in real estate in 2003, holding roles including Group Property Director at Unite Group plc. Prior to starting his career in the industry, Richard served for six years in the British Army. Richard is a qualified chartered surveyor and a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He has substantial executive experience in setting the strategic direction for all aspects of property portfolio management as well as holding various Board level roles including seven years serving on the Board of Unite Group plc as well as two years in a Non-Executive capacity with CityWest Homes. Richard was Chair of the British Property Federation’s cross sector Student Accommodation Committee from 2013-2015.
Chief Financial Officer
Sarah was appointed to the Board as Chief Financial Officer Designate on 6 October 2021, assuming the CFO role in November 2021. She was previously the Chief Financial Officer of the UK & Ireland region at Compass Group PLC, the FTSE 30 food and support services company. She has held a number of senior finance and operational roles over her 13-year tenure at Compass, including Group Financial Controller, M&A Director, and CFO of the Asia Pacific region, based in Singapore. Sarah brings considerable financial, strategic and operational experience from across the commercial spectrum. She is a chartered accountant.