FORMER Marks & Spencer chairman Lord Stuart Rose has emerged as a surprise backer of Select Property Group, a developer and manager of student housing across the UK.
Select said yesterday that Rose has invested a “multi-million pound” sum alongside Terry Green, the former boss of BHS and Debenhams.
The privately owned group, which was founded in 2004 by chief executive Mark Stott, develops schemes, sells them on to an investor and running them on its behalf.
As well as its student housing brand Vita Student, Select has launched a serviced apartment brand called City Suites – the first of which will open next year in Manchester.
Rose is no stranger to property, having sat until recently on the board of Land Securities.
He said Select’s “retail-led approach” to property of creating strong consumer brands “has enabled them to deliver an exceptional product in the student accommodation sector”.
Rose and Green are not the first retail heavyweights to join the business. Former Matalan chief executive Angus Monro is chairman of Select and introduced the pair to the team.
They also join Trevor Moore, former chief executive of Jessops, who joined Select as chief operating officer after an ill-fated spell at HMV at the time of its collapse.
Speaking to City A.M., Moore said: “Our projects need a huge amount of retail output and insight. It is about the creation of property concepts and bringing innovation, and my job as a retailer is to really understand those concepts.”