CEO Succession

We are delighted to announce that we have appointed Richard Simpson to succeed Mark Watkin Jones, as CEO. Richard will be joining us on 2nd January 2019, from Unite Group plc, the FTSE 250 developer and manager of purpose built student accommodation, where he was Group Property Director. He is well known to the Watkin Jones Board having worked closely with the business on several occasions.


Richard, has significant experience in the student accommodation market having joined Unite 2005.  During his time at Unite, Richard held a number of senior roles and, in January 2012, he was appointed to the main board as an Executive Director.  Richard’s most recent role at Unite was as the Group’s Property Director, where Richard was responsible for all aspects of Unite’s property portfolio, co-investment vehicles and overall growth strategy.  Richard’s track record and experience in the sector will be invaluable to the Group as it continues to grow and deliver shareholder returns.


Mark Watkin Jones said “I am delighted that Richard is joining us and I strongly believe I am handing over stewardship of Watkin Jones to the right candidate as the Group enters the next phase of its growth. I remain committed to providing ongoing support to the Group as CEO for as long as is needed, and upon Richard’s formal start date, to work with him during a transitional period to ensure an orderly handover. It is a true testament to everyone in the business that we have been able to attract someone of Richard’s calibre to lead us into the future and is a reflection of the great business we are all part of”