“Success breeds success” is a crucial, yet under-appreciated, concept when it comes to investing. You see, great companies devote substantial amounts of time/resource nurturing and maintaining high-performance cultures. Management obviously plays an enormous part – walking the talk, motivating employees, recruiting the right people and challenging the status quo.
A philosophy embraced by Watkin Jones plc, who under the tutelage of CEO Mark Watkin Jones since 2003, has been transformed from regional Welsh housebuilder to become one of the UK’s leading developers of purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) and Build-to-Rent (BTR) properties.
The good news for shareholders is that this ‘X-factor’ is set to continue. The company announcing last Friday that it had appointed another accomplished leader to take over the helm - with Richard Simpson (42), previously Unite’s Property Director, set to join on 2 January 2019. Chairman Grenville Turner adding "Richard [is a] highly recognised industry figure with an immense track record and credibility. He is well known to the Board having worked closely with the business on several occasions."
In the interim, Mr Watkin Jones will stay for as long as needed, and “ensure an orderly handover”. With the key aims of further bolstering the firm’s strengths in PBSA, and rapidly expanding the fledgling BTR division to take advantage of the buoyant conditions.