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WHAT WE DO

As a newcomer to the market, YabbleHub is eager to use its experiences to offer value to the sector. Our aim is to provide a resource to clients that they can depend upon, trust and use when the need arises to question approach and enhance thinking in an array of different ways.

 

YabbleHub’s key principles, Listening • Engaging • Enhancing originated from our belief that a collaborative approach is essential to reach an optimum solution and enhance business performance. As such, we ensure that we understand the clients we work for in detail, to enable us to provide a more efficient business offering. 

 

Whilst it’s important to understand an organisation’s aims and vision, we recognise the importance of evidencing outcomes and that’s what YabbleHub strives to do. We recognise that our success is only attainable through our client’s advocacy.

 

We place great emphasis on understanding the topics regarded as crucial in the sector. Ultimately that revolves around ensuring all those working together to enrich the lives and future careers of students.

We work with:

  • Universities 

  • Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) and Facilities Management (FM) providers 

  • Investors

  • Developers

  • Architects

  • Construction companies

  • Advisors and consultants

 

Given our experience, and the experience of YabbleHub’s associates, examples of the services we can offer include:

  • Working with stakeholders to evaluate the impact of changes to demand

  • Review of service delivery and associated costs to ensure efficiency

  • Ensuring the Student Experience is considered and constantly re-evaluated in every aspect of design, build and operational phasing 

  • Operational support and delivery to universities, PBSA providers, investors and others 

 

We can also:

  • Provide step in and interim management

  • Support with project management 

  • Review your approach to maximising occupancy and revenue assumptions

  • Offer support in refinancing and restructuring, including distressed assets

  • And more….

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ABOUT US

FOREWORD BY DR PAUL MARSHALL

To ensure YabbleHub keeps abreast of the key issues facing the HE sector, we are delighted to announce the appointment of our HE Specialist Partner, Dr Paul Marshall.

 

Paul is a respected senior executive with a wealth of experience in HE and is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Careers and Enterprise) at the University of East London. Paul has 25 years of experience in transformational leadership and strategic policy development and

implementation in the HE sector in the UK and internationally. 

 

Paul was previously Group Director for Business Development at UPP. His previous roles include Chief Executive of the Association of Business Schools, the representative body for the UK’s business schools and independent management colleges, and Executive Director of the 1994 Group, a mission grouping of UK universities.

 

He has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Sussex. 

Paul said, “I am delighted to become YabbleHub’s HE Specialist Partner and excited to be working with my colleagues in taking their next steps in providing a valuable service to the HE sector. We are facing significant challenges in the sector at this moment in time. Never has there been a greater need for the sector to lean on the experience and expertise of those who have been involved in partnership with universities over the last three decades.

I am particularly looking forward to helping the partners, Sam, Julian and Beth in shaping their work to add value to a sector which, I have enormous confidence in moving forward. I share their vision and desire to contribute to the next phase of HE in this country.  

 

YabbleHub’s strength is in providing consultancy services, led by three exceptionally dedicated professionals, in many disciplines. Together we aspire to being able to work with a network of consultants to provide advice in many facets of university facilities. We acknowledge the expertise of many professionals working in the sector and aim to supplement those skills with our complementary efforts.

 

YabbleHub, however doesn’t only work with universities. We look forward to continuing our work with lenders, advisors, consultancy firms and many more organisations working in the sector. We very much look forward to working with you.”

 

BETH RAINE

PARTNER

Beth is a highly respected, experienced professional adept at developing practical routes to achieve business objectives. She has exemplary leadership skills providing direction to large and geographically diverse teams, is an innovative operator and thinker and always surpasses expectations. She is an industrious Executive Director with a track record in delivering results through collaboration and identifying the needs of stakeholders. Beth is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and qualified as a Chartered Director in 2019.

  • As Operations Director, a post held for more than eight years, Beth was responsible for an annual budget of £30 million. She led a multifaceted team of over 750 delivering FM services to over 32,000 bedrooms and associated areas in 16 universities across the UK.

  • Beth was the FM and service delivery lead supporting the business development team, from Pre Qualification Questionnairestage to competitive dialogue through to bid submission. Beth successfully led the operational mobilisation of over 14,000 rooms for nine new-build and estate transfer transactions. Beth was also instrumental in helping steer the sector’s largest single estate transfer in the UK HE sector, which included a TUPE process involving approximately 130 staff.

  • Beth led the operational team in the achievement and retention of:

       - Investors in People silver                        accreditation

       - ISO 9001

       - ISO 14001

JULIAN BENKEL

PARTNER

Julian, a Chartered Accountant, offers valuable perspective and maturity to any work setting. He takes a measured and meticulous approach to business strategy and has exceptional analytical skills demonstrated within the corporate environment for more than three decades. He is a business start-up specialist and experienced Executive and Non-Executive Director, with significant understanding of Special Purpose Company (SPC), corporate governance, compliance and financial services.

  • Julian was the Group Finance Director involved in the MBO of UPP from the parent plc in 2004. He was instrumental in the sale of UPP by its shareholder Barclays Capital in 2012. Julian has completed multiple refinancing transactions where senior debt was provided through a combination of Bond investment, Pension Funds and Bank financing, increasing from £200m to £1.6bn.

  • As Head of Risk, Julian developed, introduced and oversaw a risk management process which considered preventative, detectiveand responsive controls and used the 3 Lines of Defence model for higher level risks. Julian 
    established 
    and led the Internal Audit department and ensured 
    that the annual programme was based on an Audit Universe that 
    supported the risks associated with achieving the Group’s Strategy.

  • Julian was responsible for insuring £1.6bn of assets and achieved a steady reduction in cost per room whilst improving insurance cover.

SAM BAILEY-WATTS

PARTNER

Sam is an intuitive professional with more than 30 year's experience in the UK HE sector both within universities and in a partnering organisation. He is an experienced Executive Board member and Chair offering balance and perceptive opinion on business activity. A forward thinker he is able to consider, evaluate and express business risks with clarity, to promote business success. He is an adaptable and versatile Director holding several pivotal roles at senior corporate level.

  • Sam was made a Director for a new residential services company and led this organisation as interim Managing Director (MD) during a period of wider Group restructuring. Sam was pivotal in successfully developing and generating a new business stream with FM only contracts as part of a diversification strategy.

  • As MD of the partnerships division, responsible for the strategic direction of the relationship and revenue management functions, Sam was responsible for successfully achieving a £140m+ rent roll and delivering occupancy levels in excess of 99%. He developed a partnerships team to support the revenue management function and a company-wide relationship plan to better equip the business to manage interaction with clients. His university relationship and student centric focus contributed significantly to the success of the UPP Group over some 15+ years.

  • Sam fulfilled both Chairman and Director responsibilities for SPC Boards, which were established to manage each partnership’s assets, some with university shareholders, acting as the key liaison between the Boards and the wider company.

 
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TESTIMONIALS

As the key shareholder representative of UPP until 2012 and then as a

non-executive director and subsequently Chairman of UPP, I worked with

Sam during his many years with UPP, latterly as Group Director, Partnerships. 

He was responsible for building and maintaining the relationships with our University partners and played a crucial role in the business's rental and revenue strategy for our student accommodation portfolio. He was at the forefront of understanding the importance of the student experience as a key driver of value. For me, his key strengths include his deep understanding of the residential issues in the HE sector, his commercial skills in a partnership and his ability to build lasting relationships. 

 

Robert McClatchey, Chairman, UPP Group

 
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CONTACT US

Let us know if we can help you,
contact us:

DR PAUL MARSHALL

Email: paul@yabblehub.com

 

BETH RAINE

Email: beth@yabblehub.com

JULIAN BENKEL

Email: julian@yabblehub.com

SAM BAILEY-WATTS

Email: sam@yabblehub.com

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