Empiric hire Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer

Empiric Student Property appoints a new Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer Designate and Executive Director.

Empiric Student Property's 153-bed purpose-built student accommodation development in Bristol | PBSA News
Empiric Student Property's 153-bed purpose-built student accommodation development in Bristol.

Empiric Student Property plc, an owner and operator of premium student accommodation serving UK universities, announces the appointment of Donald Grant as Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer Designate and Executive Director of the company.

An experienced CFO, Donald has held board and executive level responsibilities across a breadth of senior finance roles, and has worked for FTSE 350 real estate companies, as well as major financial services firms, for over 20 years.

Most recently, Donald was CFO at RDI REIT plc (2015–2022), an income-focused UK REIT, leading on all finance matters, including establishing and driving RDI’s sustainability agenda, through to its eventual take private and delisting. Prior to this, Donald was Head of Finance at Liberty International plc, a FTSE 100 UK REIT, from 2008. Two years later, when the business was de-merged, he moved with Capital & Counties Properties plc (Capco) as its Group Financial Controller. Donald set up and managed the new FTSE 250 financial control and business planning function and advised the CFO, Executive and Board on financial matters.

Previously, Donald was Head of Financial and Regulatory Control for Europe and Asia at Cantor Fitzgerald LP and BGC Partners, a US based inter-dealer broker (2006-2008). Early in his career, Donald spent eight years in senior finance roles, most notably with ABN Amro Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston. Donald is a Chartered Accountant (NZ), having trained at Coopers & Lybrand.

“I am delighted to be joining Empiric and I look forward to working with Duncan, the Board and all the team at Empiric, a business that has made impressive progress over the past five years and has so much potential for the future. I am looking forward to getting started and helping to support the business execute its strategy and deliver attractive sustainable returns to its shareholders.”

Donald Grant, Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer Designate and Executive Director, Empiric Student Property plc

Donald’s appointment as Executive Director will be effective from 12 September 2022, and following a handover period to ensure an orderly transition, will replace Lynne Fennah, who, as announced on 23 May 2022, has decided to step down from the role.

“On behalf of the Company, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Donald as our new Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer. He is a strong, commercial and strategic CFO with a well-established successful track record in senior finance roles at FTSE 350 UK real estate companies, a combination that will be invaluable. We very much look forward to working closely with Donald as we continue to deliver benefits from the improvements we continue to make to our business and portfolio, further strengthening the performance and potential of Empiric.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Lynne for her invaluable contribution and commitment to the business over the last five years. We are all immensely grateful for Lynne’s great work, which has been integral to the transformation of Empiric. I wish her all the best for the future.”

Duncan Garrood, CEO, Empiric Student Property plc