GSA leadership team further strengthened with Non-Executive Chair appointment focused on global growth ambitions

30 September 2021


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Following a strategic board review in July, Global Student Accommodation Group (“GSA” or the “Company”), the international leader in student housing, announces board changes including the appointment of Alec Burger as Non-Executive Chair effective immediately, marking a major milestone for the business.

Based in the US, Alec will work closely with GSA’s executive team to support global growth, with specific focus on North America, strengthening the Company’s continued expansion following GSA’s entry into the US market in 2020. Alec’s appointment complements the strength of the executive team in Europe and coincides with GSA’s plans to open a New York office in the fourth quarter of this year enabling new appointments, building upon its strong capital partnerships, market access and opportunities.

As former President and CEO of GE Capital and GE Capital Real Estate, Alec brings unparalleled experience and knowledge of global capital and debt markets along with extensive business acumen across multiple disciplines. Alec will also introduce key relationships and provide valuable insight into GSA’s growth strategy while further developing GSA’s strong corporate governance culture.

GSA’s founder, Nicholas Porter, the sector pioneer with 30 years of experience in student housing, will continue to be an active board member in supporting transactions, capital and key stakeholder relationships. Nicholas will work alongside Alec on GSA’s global expansion plans, develop executive leadership and achieve strategic and performance priorities.

This strategic milestone for the business enables GSA to capture significant opportunities that exist for the student housing market, particularly across the US and Europe, driven by the growing demand for higher education and investor appetite for exposure to the sector globally.

Also, as part of the board’s strategic review it was agreed, based on the future direction of the business and growth ambitions in the US, that CEO Will Rowson will depart GSA at the end of 2021, allowing time for a smooth transition with the executive team and new appointments in the US. A process to appoint a new CEO is underway. We would like to thank Will for his contribution and for helping guide the business through these unprecedented times. We wish him well in the future.

Nicholas Porter, Founder, GSA, said “This is another important milestone for GSA. We have major ambitions and are delighted to welcome Alec as a significant addition to the GSA board. His international experience and relationships within real estate markets will help steer our growth and with his in-depth US knowledge will complement our exceptional teams in Europe and APAC. His proven ability to engage and attract key partners, strong governance and best practices are a real asset. GSA will continue to capitalize on the robust and growing demand for student housing as the world emerges from the pandemic”.

Alec Burger, Non-Executive Chair of GSA, said, “I am delighted to join GSA at such an exciting time for the business. The group is ideally placed to continue its expansion in the US and internationally, bringing its unique global experience and operating model to the world’s largest student housing market. I look forward to working alongside GSA’s talented board and executive team to support its global growth strategy and reach its full potential”.

GSA specializes in investment management in the student housing sector, and the appointment represents GSA’s focus to further position the company for growth through exceptional leadership.