Unite Group, the London-listed student accommodation developer, has revealed that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Richard Smith, will step down from his position on December 31. The company has appointed Joe Lister as the new CEO, effective January 1.

Additionally, Unite Group announced that Michael Burt, the current Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will be promoted to the role of CFO, starting from January 1. Lister, who has been with Unite Group for an impressive 22 years, currently serves as the CFO.

To ensure a seamless transition of responsibilities, Smith will continue to support the company as an advisor until the end of September 2024.

According to Unite Group, Smith's decision to step down is driven by his desire to dedicate his efforts to the education and development of young individuals, particularly in the realm of mental health awareness.

On a separate note, Unite Group reported that the occupancy rate for the 2023-24 academic year has risen to an impressive 99.7% from 97.9% in the previous year. Moreover, the company experienced a rental growth of 7.3% during this period, compared to 3.5% in the previous year.

Acknowledging the cost of living crisis, Unite Group remains committed to offering affordable accommodation options while sustaining rental growth to counter rising operational costs. Furthermore, the company continues its substantial investment into its properties.

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