Justin Hutchens has stepped down as CEO of HC-One, the largest care home provider in the United Kingdom, and will return to the United States to take a job in health care finance and investment.
The details of Hutchens’ new position will be publicly disclosed “in due course,” HC-One noted in announcing the news. Hutchens did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Senior Housing News on Tuesday.
In June 2019, Hutchens joined the board of New York City-based real estate investment trust New Senior (NYSE: SNR) — but this is just his latest role in a long career within the U.S. senior housing industry.
Early in his career, he worked for Summerville Senior Living, which merged with Emeritus Corp. in 2007 to become the largest assisted living provider in the nation at that time. Hutchens served as COO of Emeritus, forging a close relationship with industry pioneer Granger Cobb.
In 2009, Hutchens left Emeritus to become CEO of National Health Investors (NYSE: NHI), a Murfreesboro, Tennessee-based REIT with significant holdings in senior housing. During his six-year tenure with NHI, Hutchens grew enterprise value from about $750 million to more than $3.5 billion.
Hutchens next took a job with an even larger REIT — Irvine, California-based HCP, now known as Healthpeak (NYSE: PEAK). He began as chief investment officer for senior housing and care and later was named president of the company. At the time, HCP was undergoing a period of significant change, including the spin-off of its troubled HCR ManorCare skilled nursing portfolio into a separate REIT.
After two years with HCP, Hutchens transitioned back into operations by taking the job as HC-One’s CEO. He came aboard as the company was integrating the £300 million acquisition of 122 care homes from London-based company Bupa. That transaction made HC-One the largest U.K. care home company, with more than 320 properties.
HC-One was formed in 2011 by Hutchen’s predecessor, Chai Patel, following the collapse of a provider called Southern Cross. A group of investors, including Atlanta-based Formation Capital, acquired the company in 2014. Last year, rumors circulated that another sale might be in the works.
In his board role with New Senior, Hutchens has been helping guide the REIT as it continues to work through a period of significant change. Following a strategic review that began in early 2018, the company restructured to internalize its management, repositioned a 51-property Holiday Retirement portfolio and executed a $720 million refinancing.
More recently, New Senior sold its entire assisted living/memory care portfolio to a joint venture of Merrill Gardens and ReNew REIT. Just this week, New Senior announced the completion of that $385 million transaction, which leaves the company with a portfolio of 102 independent living communities and one continuing care retirement community.