Five Star Names Real Estate Veteran Wigglesworth as COO

After eight months, Five Star Senior Living (Nasdaq: FVE) has a new COO.

The Newton, Massachusetts-based senior living owner and operator hired Margaret Wigglesworth for the role. She will assume her duties effective August 12, according to a release announcing the hire. Five Star has been without a COO since Scott Herzig left the company on Dec. 12, 2018.

Wigglesworth was most recently executive vice president of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), where she expanded and diversified the organization’s membership to include new tenant classes including health care; improved communication and collaboration among members; and created programming to respond to changes in demographics, tenant classes, spending and lifestyle related to retail activity.


Wigglesworth also held leadership roles at real estate brokerage and services firms Cresa and Colliers International. She will lead Five Star’s operations and direct various aspects of its administrative functions.

“Margaret is a great example of Five Star’s recommitment to investing in its team members. She is an experienced leader with a proven track record of delivering results,” Five Star CEO Katie Potter said in a statement announcing the hire. “Margaret is uniquely qualified to drive strategic prioritization and accountability within Five Star, to achieve operational excellence. She joins an energetic and motivated team at the ideal time to capitalize on a number of opportunities as the senior living industry evolves.”

Wigglesworth joins a company in transition. Five Star posted a $33.2 million net loss in the first quarter of 2019 but other metrics, such as occupancy and revenue, trended upward. Five Star and Senior Housing Properties Trust (Nasdaq: SNH) agreed to a major lease restructuring in April. The restructuring terminated all master leases in favor of RIDEA structures that will go into effect in Q1 2020, and transfers a substantial portion of Five Star ownership to Senior Housing Properties Trust, a REIT also based in Newton. Five Star anticipates making $900 million in asset sales as a result of the deal.


Herzig and former Five Star CEO Bruce Mackey launched a new senior housing operating company, Sona Senior Living, in June. Sona Senior Living will initially focus on third-party management of senior living communities across the care continuum, and is seeking short- and long-term opportunities.

Five Star has scheduled a call to review its second quarter earnings for 11 a.m. Eastern, Thursday, Aug. 7.

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