- Business prepares for accelerated growth
- Appointment represents growing interest in sector
Audley Group, the UK’s leading provider of luxury retirement villages, has appointed Nick Edwards as Chief Operating Officer.
Nick will be the first person to hold this newly created post, and will report into Audley Group Chief Executive, Nick Sanderson. As part of the role, Nick will remain on the Audley Group Board but now as an executive director. Nick has been a non-executive director for the past five years during his time as Chief Financial Officer at Moorfield Group, the private equity real estate fund manager that manages the Moorfield Audley Real Estate Fund.
This appointment signals the scale of intent of Audley Group as it prepares for a sustained phase of accelerated growth, having led the market for the past 20 years. Awareness of the demographic pressures driving the retirement living sector is growing exponentially and the benefits of retirement villages are now more widely appreciated. Indeed, policy makers are beginning to recognise the demographic and societal issues that the UK faces in the provision of appropriate accommodation for those in retirement, and global financial institutions are increasingly attracted by the significant investment opportunity.
Audley Group has a portfolio of 20 villages across the Audley Villages and Mayfield Villages brands. Accessible to both owners and the neighbouring communities, the villages offer extensive leisure facilities including a library, restaurant and bar, swimming pool and health club, with flexible and discreet care available as and when required.
Audley Group has also recently announced a 500 unit, 400m GDV joint venture in partnership with Octopus Real Estate and Schroders to fund the development of four of its villages. Nick’s role will in part see him continue to create innovative structures such as this to help grow the business in the UK and beyond.
Nick Sanderson, Chief Executive, Audley Group, said: “Nick knows Audley as well as anybody and understands intimately what we are trying to achieve, immediately and in the
longer term. His sector specialism, combined with his experience of working with large institutions, means he is the ideal person to help us grow and capitalise upon the significant opportunity that exists.
“This appointment signifies Audley Group is entering a new phase; Nick will be instrumental in ensuring it is a successful one.”
Nick Edwards, Chief Operating Officer, Audley Group, said: “I’ve admired the progress Nick and the team have made for many years, and this move reflects my belief that the greatest achievements for Audley are yet to come.
“I am excited to join what I know is a business that will change the face of retirement living forever, in the UK and beyond. Living in an Audley or Mayfield retirement village has the capacity to enhance the quality of life for so many people. The high quality accommodation, the extensive facilities, the access to care and the benefits of being part of a like-minded community should be available to more people and I look forward to helping deliver this goal.”
Marc Gilbard, Audley Chairman and CEO of Moorfield Group, said: “We have been investors and supporters of Audley since 2008 and continue to be excited about the future growth of the company on multiple fronts.
‘’Nick has worked at Moorfield for over 10 years and has had very broad experience, strategically and financially, across many of the asset classes we have invested in, so his expertise will be of great value to Audley and all its stakeholders. Nick has had an integral role overseeing the investment in Audley for Moorfield and his appointment as Audley COO seems a natural and positive progression as Audley moves into its next growth phase.”
Nick will take up his new role in December.