Watkin Jones confirms Pease as CEO

Alex Pease

Alex Pease stepped up the become Watkin Jones chief executive on an interim basis in July when predecessor Richard Simpson departed suddenly amid trading difficulties.

The listed building company, which specialises in multi-occupancy buildings such as purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) student halls and build-to-rent (BTR) blocks, has now confirmed Pease in the role.

Alex Pease joined Watkin Jones in 2010 and took on the role of group investment director in 2013. He was appointed chief investment officer in 2021 and joined the board in 2022.

In his four months as interim CEO, he is credited with steering the business through a critical period, concluding the sale of three non-core private rented sector assets and cutting costs.

Alan Giddins, chair of the board, said: “Over the last four months, as interim CEO, Alex has shown his ability both to lead Watkin Jones and think strategically about the future direction of the business.  While the board ran a full search process, which included a number of strong external candidates, it was clear that Alex was the outstanding candidate for the role.  I and the board very much look forward to working with Alex and the rest of the executive team to deliver on the full potential of Watkin Jones.”

Alex Pease said: “Watkin Jones is a fantastic business, with talented and dedicated employees.  The PBSA and BTR sectors are amongst the most attractive asset classes in real estate and whilst we continue to face short term macro-economic headwinds, I have no doubt about our ability to navigate through these successfully and return the group to profitable growth.”

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