UPP - Partnerships Director (London, Reading and South East)





Introduction to University Partnerships Programme


Our Partnerships


The Student Experience


The role of Partnerships Director


Job description and person specification


Benefits of working at UPP


Further Information and Application Process




We are the UK’s leading provider of on-campus residential and academic accommodation infrastructure. We have over 36,000 rooms in operation or under construction through long-term, bespoke partnerships with 15 leading UK universities. With approximately 1000 employees, since 1998 UPP has invested well over £3bn in the UK higher education sector and provided homes to over 400,000 students. Our unique, long-term partnership approach enables our university partners to develop their estates whilst reinvesting in their core services of teaching and research. We design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) new, on-campus residential and academic infrastructure, and complete estate transfers of existing accommodation, for concession periods ranging from 40 years to 125 years. By providing high-quality and affordable accommodation on campus we aim to deliver the very best student experience in partnership with universities.

University of London

Our Vision

To be the leading infrastructure and services partner to UK universities by delivering next-generation campuses. To deliver on this ambitious vision we have developed a strategy focused on preserving and growing the value of our business through partnership, innovation and delivery. 1. Preserve the value of our business through active asset/investment management, maintaining a compliant estate and enhanced proactive marketing 2. Grow the value of our business by expanding our offer and working with leading UK universities 3. Partner more actively with universities through strategic relationship management 4. Innovate to deliver next generation products and services, driven by a new Innovation and Enterprise hub 5. Deliver for our partners by empowering our teams to provide an exemplary service, building the capability of our people, technology and processes, and driving a performance culture through strong leadership



Student Experience

Transforming the Campus Experience

Great space and services with student experience built in.

At UPP we want to reinvent the way students live and learn at university by transforming the campus experience. Our new and clearly defined strategy for growth is based on our overarching mission to develop long- term partnerships, supporting universities in improving the quality of their physical infrastructure and services to students. In aligning the interests of both parties, our unique approach provides security in the delivery of revenues and, in turn, expected returns to investors. Our strategy seeks to protect and grow the value of our existing business, innovate our partnerships, and deliver the very best experiences to our student residents. Our strategy will: • Grow the number of partnerships we have with selected universities • Expand and innovate our next-generation product offer to universities • Enhance our experiential offer for our partners and their students • Empower our teams to deliver by building capability • Transform and optimise our Portfolio through strategic asset management • Drive a proactive and multi-channel approach to business origination • Develop an energetic performance culture with leadership at its heart • Embrace technology in our products and services and to improve our processes • Expand our complementary facilities management strategy

Our partnerships enhance the support and connection we have with the students who make their home with us. We currently manage the needs of more than 35,000 students every term and this means we never stop learning and we share our experience with our partners. We also know that every university is as unique as the thousands of students it serves and this ensures that we are never complacent, and never take a one size fits all view.

Listening, responding, adapting

Students can be demanding, and their needs constantly evolve. Independent qualitative and quantitative research helps us understand the evolving needs of students, and face to face focus groups and regular surveys with our residents enable us to check and adapt our approach quickly. As specialists, the quality of our teams and their in- depth understanding of the unique environment and the people for whom we provide services enables us to support universities, understand their aims and their strategy and together deliver tangible improvements to the student experience. Our design teams work to understand how students want to use space, and how they interact with each other, leading to seemingly small improvements to the specification of a bedroom, or major changes that impact on construction or technology. At UPP we aim to deliver great places to live, with student experience literally built in.

Our Business Units

UPP comprises three business units;

• Asset Management Responsible for the long-term asset management of the Portfolio

• Residential Services Delivering facilities management services to our residences

• Business Development Designing, funding and development of new assets, as well as delivering strategic programmes

Each business unit, and the wider Group, is supported by a range of corporate services

Asset management

Our University Partners

Imperial College London

1,172 Rooms / FM Services

Lancaster University

4,347 Rooms / Eco-Residences / FM services 479 Rooms / Eco-Residences / FM Services

Leeds Beckett University Loughborough University Nottingham Trent University Oxford Brookes University

1,310 Rooms / FM Services

4,406 Rooms / Academic / Retail / FM Services

770 Rooms / FM Services

Plymouth University University of Exeter University of Kent

1,764 Rooms / Academic / FM Services 4,133 Rooms / Academic / FM Services

1,840 Rooms / Eco-Residences / Academic / FM Services

University of Nottingham University of Reading

2,229 Rooms / FM Services

4,982 Rooms / Accommodation Office / FM Services

University of York

1,043 Rooms / FM Services 1,711 Rooms / FM Services

University of London University of Hull Swansea University

1,750 Rooms / FM Services (matching the other lines)

2,440 Rooms / FM Services


The role of Partnerships Director

We are looking for a Partnerships Director to join us and play a central role in helping us realise our ambitions. You will be accountable for driving success across a number of our long-term university partnerships across London, Reading and the South East, as the General Manager of a number of Special Purpose Companies. You will nurture senior relationships, work collaboratively within a Regional Leadership Team and drive performance/continuous improvement programmes that reflect the changing needs of students and each university. Your success will be evident in continued high occupancy rates and strong student satisfaction feedback. We are looking for someone who is: • An exceptional relationship builder and confident at engaging with senior leaders. • Highly persuasive, collaborative and excellent at getting things done. • Commercially-minded and committed to continuous improvement. • Confident influencing service provision across large-scale, customer-focused estates and FM, accommodation or hospitality functions. • Knowledgeable around PPP/PFI partnerships and SPV/Asset Management, although this is not essential.

University of Kent

• Work collaboratively with the Asset Management team to ensure timely resolution of any post construction defects.



• Procure the assessment of, report and provide assurance on statutory compliance.

More specifically the post holder will:

Job Description

• Convene and lead relevant Partnership Boards as a vehicle to collaboratively manage each SPV with relevant stakeholders.

• Work with our partners and internal stakeholders to undertake annual risk reviews for each SPV, employing appropriate mitigation and management measures.

Job Title

Partnerships Director (London, Reading and South East)

Reports To

Director of Revenue and Partnerships


London and South East region

• Act as senior liaison to build and maintain the strongest of relationships with UPP’s university partners and supply chain partners.

Job Purpose

• Develop and deliver an Account Development Plan, setting out specific partnership objectives, timescales and measures of success, ensuring it supports the needs of the business.

The Partnerships Director, acting as the SPV General Manager, will provide oversight and leadership to ensure that Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV’s) meet occupancy and revenue targets and deliver on contractual obligations throughout the concession period. The Partnerships Director will support the delivery and realisation of UPP’s 3-year corporate strategy, driving improvements for each Special Purpose Vehicle and associated partnership. The Partnerships Director will lead partner/university engagement activity and work collaboratively with UPP colleagues to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with university partners and other key stakeholders. Excellent leadership, interpersonal and communication skills are essential to establish key relationships both within the UPP businesses and with our university partners and supply chain.

• Drive improvements in partner relations, including leading the development of regular partner bulletins/updates.

• Be highly focused on ensuring UPP’s portfolio is maintained to appropriately high standards and that an annual improvement plan is focussed on continual (service) improvements.

• Ensure that each SPV has a current asset management plan including condition, lifecycle analysis, associated costings and programme for investment.

• Supporting the commercial team on bidding activity that arises, leveraging partner and sector relationships/knowledge.

• Work closely with the Construction Director where new build or major refurbishment programmes affect the relevant portfolio’s or SPV’s.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The post holder has an overarching responsibility to act as the SPV general manager, and will: • Be accountable for and report on overall contract performance and that of sub- contractors/retained services.

Other duties commensurate with the role.

People Management

• Drive the Above and Beyond Behaviour Framework throughout the business, empowering colleagues to challenge behaviours that do not align.

• Drive performance improvement in FM operations that underpin improvements in customer satisfaction.


• Be accountable for maximising contractual revenues, working with the lettings and revenue team on the implementation of annual sales and marketing plans/strategies and oversee the approach to annual rent setting.

• Regular travel and overnight stays to lead the national portfolio will be required.

• Procure and be accountable for a UPP estate management plan, including lifecycle/ sinking fund works and asset management data, for each allocated site.

• Consistently perform in a manner which aligns to Above and Beyond Behaviour Framework.

• Other duties as commensurate within the post.

Person Specification Attributes Essential criteria



Desirable Criteria


Essential criteria Degree or Masters

Desirable Criteria

Working within the HE sector / Student accommodation or housing background


Senior leadership experience in large and complex organisations Experience in change management and driving continuous improvement to deliver business and customer benefits

Education/ Qualification

Personal Qualities

Resilient and with gravitas. An ability to manage through others to deliver successful outcomes Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with colleagues and external organizations at all levels

An understanding of lifecycle/sinking funds An understanding of project documents including leases, project agreements and FM agreements

Skills/ Ability/ Knowledge

Ability to lead and work within a team, plan and manage work activities, communicate and prioritise workloads

Self-starter who can demonstrate drive and motivation to achieve deadlines

Excellent communication and presentation skills

Strong commercial acumen and negotiating skills

Uses initiative but with a consultative approach

Ability to resolve complex issues

Open and honest

Ability to effectively manage teams of multi-disciplinary professionals

Strong financial management and analytical skills

Project management skills

Strong influencing and relationship management skills

Self-sufficient in MS Office and other IT packages



The benefits of working at UPP In addition to a competitive basic salary level and industry leading annual bonus potential UPP offer a diverse range of employee benefits, including: • Salary exchange pension – matched contributions of 5% • Private Medical Insurance – single cover with the option to add dependants • Private Health Insurance (Group Income Protection) • Life Assurance x4 salary (x2 salary if opted out of pension scheme)

Further information and application process

For a confidential discussion to learn more about the role and opportunity please contact the UPP’s appointed recruitment partners Hayley Mintern and Nick Coppard of The Management Recruitment Group. Hayley Mintern

• 29 days annual leave, plus 8 days bank holiday • Holiday purchase option – up to 5 days (FTE) • Bonus Exchange • UPP Payroll Giving (Give as You Earn) • UPP Rewards (discount portal) • Employee Assistance Programme

T: 0203 962 9900 M: 07530 680 184 E: hayley.mintern@mrgpeople.co.uk Nick Coppard T: 0203 962 9900 M: 07896 079 495 E: nicholas.coppard@mrgpeople.co.uk

This is an exciting time to join a commercially focused, high performing, customer and results oriented organisation that operates with energy, pace and passion. We strive to develop a highly-engaged, skilled and collaborative organisation that is diverse and has an embedded culture that promotes equality of opportunity. We offer the opportunity for flexible working and an inclusive environment for our people. We have an ongoing commitment to making UPP a great place to work for our teams, and as a reflection of this, the Company has been awarded Gold accreditation by Investors in People (IiP). This internationally recognised accreditation is the sign of a great employer and a great place to work with a clear commitment to sustained success through people.

Applications should consist of a CV and covering letter and should be sent to hayley.mintern@mrgpeople.co.uk and nicholas.coppard@mrgpeople.co.uk.

All candidates are also requested to complete an Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form which will be available upon submission of your application. Privacy Notice: Please note that by submitting your details, you are accepting that MRG and UPP is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. You will receive an ‘Applicant Privacy Notice’ if your application is progressed. This notice will make you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of recruitment, and how long it will usually be retained for.

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