14 Nov Former British Land Resi Chief Joins PLATFORM_ To Lead Major Expansion of UK’s First National Build To Rent Brand
One of the UK’s leading operators of private rented housing has appointed British Land’s former residential head as its new Chief Executive to lead a major programme of development and expansion.
Jean-Marc Vandevivere spent five years leading the residential arm of Britain’s biggest property company delivering more than £800m worth of projects across London. He initially joined the executive committee of British Land as head of strategy, developing and implementing a new corporate and investment strategy across all sectors of activities.
His appointment as chief executive of PLATFORM_ marks the emergence of PLATFORM_ as a standalone business from parent company Westrock, a global real estate development and investment firm.
Vandevivere’s move follows a string of senior hires at the company, creating a fully integrated 20-strong team covering acquisition, development, asset management and operations with the capability to deliver in excess of 5,000 units within five years
Within a short space of time, PLATFORM_ has created the UK’s first nationally focused and fully integrated build to rent brand. The company’s five assets located across key employment hubs outside of London have formed an initial seed portfolio to support its further growth.
Build to rent is growing in popularity as an asset class among institutional investors attracted to it defensive and counter-cyclical qualities. Driven by the exponential growth of Britain’s private rented sector, investors are attracted by the opportunity to create long-term income streams at a lower level of volatility compared with other asset classes.
By targeting well-connected urban centres around the country, the company is providing high-specification innovative apartments catering to the needs and budgets of local professionals.
As a vertically integrated business, PLATFORM_ funds, develops and then operates its assets and has capability to offer third-party asset management services.
Vandevivere plans to lead an ambitious acquisition and development programme comprising new build and conversion opportunities, with a view to move into major regional cities and also establish a presence in Greater London.
With residents’ lounges, rooftop terraces, bike storage, on-site concierge services and smart technology, PLATFORM_ is targeting time-poor professionals across all age groups who want a better rental experience than traditional buy-to-let offers.
Jean-Marc Vandevivere, CEO of PLATFORM_, said:
“I am delighted to have joined PLATFORM_ at the start of an exciting journey for our sector. Build to rent is an emerging asset class that many are talking about. Our focus so far has been to deliver and stabilise a national portfolio and we now want to build on this early success.”
“PLATFORM_ has emerged as a leading operator, being one of the first to take the plunge into build to rent and moving it from concept to reality. As the business looks to scale further, the team we have in place and our experience navigating some of the industry’s early challenges will be crucial.”
PLATFORM_ is a fully integrated investor, developer, operator and asset manager of purpose-built residential communities throughout the United Kingdom. Through thoughtful design, smart technology, and responsive service we enhance the lifestyle of our residents, while also creating and managing institutional investments that drive long-term outperformance.