The roadmap for our brand, what the future looks like
What we stand for and why people choose us
We make things happen. We’re proud of what we have achieved and the reputation we continue to build
We look beyond the ‘here and now’. We have a raw desire to succeed and will never stand still
We do the right thing. Our relationships are mutually beneficial. We want everyone to win
Simply put, we are a people business. It’s in our nature to be open with everyone we work with
A perfect blend of brand potential and expertise
Chief Operating Officer
Formerly Co-Head of the Colliers International Hospitality Asset Management Team, Allan is an experienced multi-disciplined hotel operator and is proficient in hospitality investment, with a career in the sector spanning 32 years, managing some of the UK’s largest hotels within the Ramada Jarvis Group portfolio. Allan led the design, scoping, cost control and implementation of a £100m CapEx spend on the UK Marriott portfolio, and his international experience includes Asset Management for hotels in Holland, Spain, Norway, Croatia and Germany, and now he and his team drive performance through all asset classes within the Group.
Allan is our token Highlander, originally from Inverness, and now currently lives just outside Glasgow – shout if you spot him at the back of the peloton……on his electric bike!
After starting his career working as a client-side graduate project manager for a Housing Association providing over 11,000 high quality and affordable homes in regeneration areas across Essex and London, Alex then advanced to a multi-disciplined property consultancy as an Assistant Building Surveyor. His next step as a Project Manager in a global consultancy allowed him to gain experience in a wide range of sectors including residential, automotive and care homes, as well as exposure to the data centre sector during six months in Amsterdam, and there followed a spell working contractor-side for a company specialising in new office fitouts and refurbishments.
Alex’s leisure time is frequently spent travelling, watching football, enjoying exercise and when time allows, clay pigeon shooting.
Central Sales Team Leader
With more than 10 years’ experience in customer service and a passion for working with people, Alex studied ‘Geography of Tourism’ in Romania, starting her career as a travel agent, travelling extensively throughout Europe and working in hospitality in Denmark, Greece and the UK.
With 5 years in the student accommodation sector under her belt, Alex is proud to be part of the ‘true’ team, and loves the daily chats and interaction with students, helping them find a ‘home away from home’, aided by her first-hand experience of the brand, and she loved being a student so much that she did a 2nd degree in Forensic Science.
An avid reader, Alex loves hiking and camping, pints and picnics and looking after her cheeky cat, Captain Jack Sparrow.
Managing Director, true Student Ltd
As the Managing Director of the award-winning ‘true’ brand, with a spell as Operations Director under his belt, Ben is an engaging leader with more than twenty years’ experience in retailing and hospitality, with expertise at board level across differing ownership models in both UK & International markets. After graduating from Cardiff University and with an MBA from Aston Business School, Ben was previously with Whitbread PLC, employed in several of high-profile roles including Regional Operations Director for Costa UK & Ireland.
Ben enjoys a proven track record of growing profitability, fostering successful partnerships, building winning teams and developing talent throughout his career.
Married with two daughters, Ben loves to run and work on DIY around the house.
Business Development Assistant
After leaving home in Hong Kong for the UK, Ben graduated from Cardiff University with a BSC in Business and Management. Finding a new love for food and produce he went on to work as a Chef in a Hong Kong ‘Institute’, Mr Wolf, working directly under the chef de partie. Shortly, returning to the UK to work for a Sussex born sparkling wine producer as their sales and marketing executive.
Always an avid rugby player, Ben represented Hong Kong’s National Age Grade rugby team. He now spends most of his time involved in rugby union and touch rugby teams. When not in the kitchen creating things to add to his Instagram feed, you’ll probably find him in front of a screen watching anything and everything to do with the sport.
trueLife™ Marketing Executive
Bronagh is responsible for the strategy behind our market-leading ‘true Life’ events programme. She works with Site Managers to guide plans at a local level and support the delivery of the three pillars: Health, Community and Experience. As well as managing the blog and social media calendar, Bronagh strives to increase student engagement in true Life by building strong relationships with local and national partners.
Since graduating from Bournemouth University with an Honours degree in Marketing Communications, Bronagh has gained broad experience across digital and offline marketing for SMEs. Her previous roles were at a water sports e-commerce and a construction company; helping to grow their social media channels, develop digital strategies and manage content creation.
Outside of the office, she can be found reading a book or exploring the countryside with her Labrador.
Armed with a Bsc in Economics and an Msc in Investment and Finance from Queen Mary University of London, Chesley joined Bricks Group as an Investment Analyst. Having gained experience in a variety of different asset classes, including Equities at Man Group in London and Marine Oil at Cockett Group in Dubai, he then decided to specialise in Real Estate and joined Cheyne Capital’s Real Estate Debt team. This allowed him to gain experience in different property sectors, including Student Accommodation and Hotels. He has a keen attention to detail which he puts to use producing decision making financial models within his role.
Chesley is fanatical about several sports and often spends his leisure time watching Football, Boxing and Rugby, as well as training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He also enjoys great food (eating more than cooking) and can often be found menu in hand trying out a new local restaurant.
Group Company Secretary
With a BA (Hons) in Business Studies, Danni has enjoyed a 20+ year career within a top 50 Accountancy Practice and provides a well-rounded and resourceful approach to her main responsibilities on the Corporate Statutory function across the Bricks Group, Board Level Support, Corporate Administration Duties and assisting with the HR function.
With excellent interpersonal skills, diligence, a great sense of commercial awareness and an ability to manage a dynamic workload, Danni’s role influences many corners of the Group’s activities.
She has two teenage children, and can often be found alongside a footie pitch, embarrassing them both with off-pitch advice, and is most happy in her gym gear working out or spending time with her family.
With a career start in a Quantity Surveying role for a London-based Main Contractor, Ed progressed swiftly into Project Management and Quantity Surveying Practice as part of a Project Management Team, working on projects up to a value of £225m.
A member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Ed’s experience encompasses work on a number of exciting Residential, Mixed Use and Student Accommodation schemes throughout London and the South East, and his role as a Development Manager gives him end-to-end responsibilities on project delivery across asset classes, from supporting initial appraisal to certification of PC and beyond.
When not in the office or on site, Ed can be found on the golf course, playing football or clay pigeon shooting.
General Manager, true Glasgow
Having completed a Master’s in film and TV, Harriet decided to refocus her penchant for the dramatic by stepping into the customer service and hospitality industry. Working her way up the ladder in a budget hotel chain to Hotel Manager, she then decided to draw on her varied experiences and make the leap to student accommodation as the new General Manager for true Glasgow.
Creative, innovative and a lover of change, Harriet has a real drive to succeed and is passionate about the true brand, it’s personality and vision. As GM, Harriet is responsible for steering operational efficiencies at site level and motivating the team to provide an amazing experience to our guests.
Harriet is most happy when climbing a hill, eating al fresco, or adventuring in foreign lands.
Group Marketing Manager
After graduating with a First-Class Honours in Marketing from Nottingham Trent University, Harriet gained experience at Global Student Accommodation working across the UK and Ireland brands on digital marketing strategies. Now responsible for the implementation of marketing strategies across the Group and the varied portfolio of assets, she particularly enjoys getting her teeth into all things digital from the website, social media and email marketing, to seeing data-driven results on Google Analytics and helping shape campaigns.
Harriet has introduced several new online and offline marketing techniques to increase direct-let student bookings and thrives from working as part of a dynamic team.
Out of the office Harriet can be found horse riding or endless brunching.
General Manager, true Manchester, Salford & trueLife™ Champion
As our trueLife™ Manager, Holly is responsible for fulfilling the key brand promises, developing and implementing our market-leading ‘True Life’ programme and working with the on – site teams to ensure delivery of our three pillars of Health, Community and Experience. After studying Advertising and Public Relations, she went on to study Marketing before gaining qualification at the Institute of Public Relations and has gained valuable and wide-ranging experience throughout her career working in marketing and events agencies.
At true, Holly is front and centre in making sure the brand continues to deserve its award-winning reputation, driving the student experience to greater heights. Out of hours Holly can be found climbing a hill, on a surfboard or travelling.
Group Business Development Director
An experienced international operator with over 30 years’ experience, Ian leads the Business Development team, creating relationships that deliver the value and trust that our partners have come to expect when working with Bricks. After general management roles with Colonial, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and AXA.
Ian has a proven track record of developing people and teams, and delivering commercial revenue activity. Currently the Chairman of his local rugby club, supporting the growth of community rugby in his area, Ian enjoyed a successful playing career, and is married with two daughters. He lives in the North West, and enjoys a few pints and home cooking.
General Manager, true Swansea
With a career revolving around student accommodation that has taken him from Wales, across to Ireland and back across the water to land at true Swansea, James brings experience of working with all that is student living. Great successes have come in the form of delivering exceptional service, creating great teams and a welcoming environment. James has a keen passion for student wellbeing, helping students through tough times and creating great moments comes naturally.
Out of hours, James is passionate about fitness and is keen on the wonders of the outdoors and not to forget, Manchester United!
A fully-qualified Registered Nurse and after enjoying broad experience with true in operational and sales roles, Jess now works within the centralised commercial team, helping to deliver bookings and revenue.
Focusing on international partners and agents, she works hard to maintain maximum occupancy levels and rates, whilst ensuring student retention year-on-year is at an industry-leading level, reflecting guest satisfaction. Our partners and agents bring the true brand to the huge cohort of international students who come to the UK every year to gain a world-class education, and Jess works with organisations across the globe in promoting our award-winning brand to ever wider markets.
A keep-fit fanatic who can often be found in the gym, Jess loves all animals and country walks
Regional Operations Manager, true
With more than twenty years’ experience in hotel operations in various senior roles with The Carlton Hotel Collection, Mercure and Ramada Hotel Groups, Kirsty provides operational support for the true student portfolio. Passionate about exceptional customer service and an unrivalled guest experience, she was awarded a scholarship to Dubai working with the world-renowned Jumeirah Group, including a spell working at the luxurious 7 Star Burj Al Arab – a truly unforgettable experience.
More recently, working as Sales and Marketing Manager at the Carlton George Hotel, Kirsty was responsible for maximising revenue opportunity, and brings her great experiences to good effect.
Kirsty is a mum of three, and when she has a spare moment, enjoys a good book with a glass of wine.
Group Commercial Director
As an accomplished operator with over 35 years’ experience, Linda leads the Group commercial team, and with a passion for hospitality, she recognises the value and trust that our guests, teams and partners place in us. After stints with Jarvis/Jupiter hotels, working with brands including Ramada, Accor and Hilton, as Regional Operations Director, The Hotel Collection and Head of Operations for Crerar Hotels, Linda has a proven background of successfully improving profitability with a purposeful focus on commercial top line activity.
Always seeking to exceed expectations, Linda likes to make things happen, working collaboratively with teams to help achieve challenging goals and bringing positive change to influence dynamic results.
Linda enjoys a good catch up with friends and great music, along with travel and planning the ticks she is going to make on her bucket list.
With over 35 years’ experience in property development within a varied portfolio of asset classes including close-care, mixed use, residential, live-work, PBSA and hotels, Marc led the design and delivery of the award-winning ‘true’ student brand. An end-to-end developer, with a deep knowledge of all aspects of planning and design, legal, procurement, finance, sales and operations, including a stint as a CDM-C, Marc now focuses on product development, ensuring that our student accommodation and co-living offerings reflect the very latest and best design features.
Married with two fast-growing sons and resident in North Devon, Marc is passionate about water-sports and music, and enjoys playing in and on the sea when not trying (but failing) to emulate his 1970’s rock guitar heroes.
Group Development Director
After more than three decades in Construction Management, Martin leads the team responsible for delivering the new hotels, student housing and co-living schemes being added to the Bricks portfolio.
With wide experience across a broad range of construction projects, Martin is equally at home on site or in the boardroom, and brings a forensic but open and engaging approach to procurement and management, ensuring best quality and value whilst maintaining first-class relationships with consultants, contractors and funders, creating a real team spirit on all projects.
Married with a teenage son, Martin enjoys getting out with the family dog, father-and-son fishing trips, and clay pigeon shooting and teaches martial arts to children at a local club.
Sales Administration Assistant, true
As our true Sales Administration Assistant, Mellissa is a passionate part of our growing sales team, with a hugely varied role that encompasses assisting students and the team alike, ensuring that she is always in the heart of true activity. With over 20 years of hospitality under her belt within branded hotels and unique events venues in Glasgow and Scotland including Jurys Inns and
Mercure Hotels, she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team.
Over the last year Mel has found a new love of hill walking and hopes to climb her first Munro soon! In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family in Glasgow, online shopping and watching Netflix with her fur baby Broxy the cat!
Joining the team fresh out of university where she graduated with a First-Class Honours, Molly’s motivated approach to problem solving enabled her to be highly praised throughout her studies. Shortlisted for numerous design awards including renowned branding agency Coley Porter Bell (Ogilvy) and global platform Creative Conscience, she demonstrates a thirst for learning and experimentation by constantly looking for fresh ideas.
Helping to increase sales and brand engagement through digital campaigns, Molly is a versatile designer who adapts her thinking to suit the media whether digital, illustration, motion graphics or print. Always keen to amplify innovation by collaborating with other members of the team, Molly offers an adaptable mindset, a critical eye and a glass half-full outlook within all situations.
Molly’s happiest when surrounded by friends and cocktails, exploring outdoors with her dog Eddie or dancing through mud at a music festival.
General Manager, true Birmingham
After spending a short time at Brighton University studying events management, Molly returned to Birmingham and started her career in health clubs. She worked her way up the company to spa duty manager, covering all things from front of house to customer service. She then changed job and went into student accommodation with CRM and totally fell in love with the industry, soon becoming assistant manager where she was responsible for looking after two Birmingham based properties.
Molly has now been at true since September when it first opened – starting as assistant manager and taking over as GM in December. She has learnt so much in the last 6 months but loves the fact that each day is rewarding & different.
Very much a people person, she thrives when building great relationships with guests and is extremely passionate about the job and our brand.
Outside of work you will either find her walking her two crazy dogs or sipping a glass of Pinot at the pub.
Armed with a BA in Industrial Accountancy in China, Pei came to the UK and graduated with an MSc in Finance from City University Business School in 2002, and has been part-qualified in CIMA since 2007. She is a dedicated and detail-oriented professional accountant, gaining working experience over twenty years in a variety of industries, with excellent knowledge of all financial and accounting systems and methodology. An expert with Sage and other accounting databases, along with Excel, as well as HMRC compliance and reporting, especially VAT related issues, Pei’s role experience often focuses on financial analysis and efficiencies.
Pei lives in central London, enjoys dancing and is learning to paint in oils
Chief Executive Officer
A dynamic serial entrepreneur, Peter is the founder and CEO of Bricks Capital. A British national, he lived in Hong Kong for almost twenty years, initially working for the leisure arm of a leading Hong Kong-based property firm, and subsequently helping to launch and swiftly grow a successful company operating large scale gyms across Asia for more than a decade.
Peter then co-founded another exciting and innovative fitness business as an equity partner, leading the company from start-up to more than 17 gyms and 1,000 staff before returning to the UK in 2012 to pursue his property interests full-time and focus on expanding the emerging Bricks Group.
Peter has two teenaged children and divides his time between homes in London and Devon, and is often to be found on a tennis court, a golf course or his bike.
General Manager, true Liverpool
With over 15 years’ experience in hospitality, Rachel brings a wealth of operational and management experience. Her passion is in delivering an exceptional guest experience and developing teams to provide outstanding true customer service. Having previously worked with Whitbread PLC in various roles including General Manager and New Openings Trainer, Rachel is excited to open and manage one of our newest properties at true Liverpool.
Most recently Rachel has been on the front line as a key worker, managing a Covid-19 test site and Department of Health and Social Care testing and trials. This being a complete contrast to where she started her professional life, as an acrobat in the Moscow Circus!
In any spare time, Rachel likes to hang out with her daughter, who are both avid shoppers or host cocktail parties with her family and friends.
Group Finance Director
As the Group Finance Director for the Bricks Group, Sachin is commercially focused with extensive experience in the hospitality and property sectors. To date he has been involved in buy, sell and development sides ranging from portfolio sales of £485M with pipelines, single asset/ company purchases of up to £15M to luxury five-star hotel and property refurbishments. More recently he was Group FD of a prime Central London based company owning boutique hotels, residential and commercial property.
When he’s not looking at his phone, Sachin loves spending time with his family and eating his daughter’s home baked cakes.
General Manager, true Newcastle
One of the true team’s longest serving members, Sally has worked her way up from Assistant General Manager to General Manager, and has several award nominations under her belt. With a wide-ranging knowledge of her audience, including hands-on experience in all aspects of the sector and a deep understanding of what makes the true brand so special, Sally is now an experienced operator, with the brand running through her veins.
Now balancing the demands of being a busy mum with her professional role, Sally serves as General Manager at true Newcastle, helping to ensure the guests have the very best experience whilst at university in the City. Sally’s main hobbies include exploring the world with her little girl, eating out and, of course, shopping!
Group Brand Director
As Group Brand Director at Bricks and Co-founder of ‘Infamous’, Simon uses his two decades of experience working with B2C and B2B brands to translate strategy into visual, living and breathing brand stories.
After starting his career at 1HQ, as a creative planner, working on accounts including, Pepsico Unilever and GSK, he went on to partner with the co-founder of ‘Identica’, working on a number of international and domestic clients and winning numerous design effectiveness awards. Simon has a proven track record of building brands across multiple sectors that drive real business results through compelling and motivating stories for all of our audiences.
When he’s not fighting loudly for good ideas, Simon is a fan of empathy, the great outdoors, photography and his A3 Sketch Pad
General Manager, true Newcastle Quayside
After working in the retail sector for 14 years, working his way to becoming a multi-site manager and opening new stores both in the UK and in Europe, Steven joined the Student Property sector initially at Vita student where he helped establish the accommodation as one of the market leaders. He then joined Opto Student, assisting in pre mobilising the site and delivering exceptional service standards. Whilst building up relationships with the major universities and colleges within the city, he also helped the site to achieve its ANUK accreditation, along with building a great team and a successful brand. Now joining team true, he looks forward to the new journey with a successful organisation that is forward thinking and passionate about a student’s journey.
Steven loves to meet new residents and learn about different cultures and languages. He also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same and is passionate about delivering exceptional service and an experience to all guests.
Outside of work, Steven enjoys spending time with his young family exploring the great outdoors and trying new foods.
As a well-organised Management Accountant with extensive experience in financial reporting and data management, Tomasz started his career in Poland and the Czech Republic in the finance & banking sector. Having graduated in Poland with a Masters in Financial Management, to which he added the UK ACCA qualification, Tomasz has worked in the student, professional lettings and hotel sectors, as well as within the media industry. With great enthusiasm for the hospitality sector and excellence in customer service, he keeps a keen eye on the detail and has proven his ability to produce accurate and insightful financial reports to help management with decision making.
Away from work, Tomasz cannot live without great food, inspiring biographies and spontaneous travelling, enjoying weekends away to destinations such as New York, and he is now learning to speak Irish Gaelic and traditional river-dancing, although not at the same time.
Partner Relations & Retention Manager, true
A customer focused individual with almost 20 years of hospitality experience in event planning and award-winning corporate sales, Victoria has worked with some of the biggest international brands including, Accor and Hilton supporting rebrand and new hotel opening projects.
As our true Partner Relations and Retention Manager, Victoria is our ‘true champion’, working with partners new and old to help us reach a wider audience of students from all over the world and with our onsite teams to drive our retention rates to the highest in the sector!
A volunteer at a local food bank and a mentor for young people with Project Scotland, Victoria rarely has any spare time, but when at home she likes to relax and cook with friends, or you can find her hogging the mic on karaoke night!
International Investment Project Manager
With extensive experience across hotel, PBSA and residential sectors, Wen carries responsibility for investor liaison across all parts of the business, as well as international sales progression and client-care. A long-standing team member, Wen’s knowledge of the company, its teams and key partners is unparalleled, and she provides invaluable support to the CEO and COO in investor communications, as well as playing a key role in developing investment and funding strategies.
A focused and detail-driven administrator, Wen divides her time between the London and Hong Kong offices to ensure consistency of approach and continuity of communications and works at Board level to support development of the business across its diverse activities.
When not travelling, Wen enjoys shopping, yoga and the gym, as well great movies.