Former RBS director to chair UK's largest student digs company

Penny Hughes, the Royal Bank of Scotland board member who oversaw chief executive Stephen Hester’s controversial ?963,000 bonus in 2011, has joined the country’s largest student housing company as chairman.
Ms Hughes will head the board of IQ Student Accommodation, a provider of student halls which is backed by the UK’s biggest charity, the Wellcome Trust, and Goldman Sachs.
It owns 66 student halls in some of the UK’s largest cities, making it the biggest provider of so-called purpose-built student accommodation by value and the second largest by number of bedrooms.
Former RBS director to chair UK's largest student digs company

Penny Hughes has spent the majority of her career at Coca-Cola
Ms Hughes has been a non-executive director of RBS and retailer SuperDry since 2010 and 2015 respectively, having previously sat on boards of companies including Reuters, Vodafone and The Gap.
She spent the majority of her career at Coca-Cola, where she was most recently president of the company’s UK and Ireland division.
She succeeds former chairman John Hughes, who was also chairman of food chain Just Eat, who died in 2017 after a short illness.
IQ Student Accommodation has grown rapidly in the last two years after the Wellcome Trust merged the original business with Goldman and Greystar’s Prodigy Living in early 2016.
Ms Hughes said: “The purpose-built student accommodation sector is an exciting one – with continued growth in student numbers and appetite for quality accommodation resulting in increased investment.”
Rob Roger, the company’s chief executive, said that Ms Hughes’ appointment was “testament to the growing interest in the sector”.
Privately built student accommodation has become a more mainstream prospect in recent years as universities have struggled to provide enough rooms in halls for growing student numbers, and limited their investment into new properties.
A record 30,000 new student bed spaces were delivered in 2017, according to property agency Cushman & Wakefield.
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