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David Stephens
Assistant Director

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David has over 20 years of experience in student accommodation and university estates and has specialised in providing strategic estate advice to the higher education sector for the last five years.


David has particular experience in residential strategies, on-campus student housing partnerships, facilities management, catering and commercial operations, and student demand analysis. David has advised 40+ universities in the UK, as well as FE colleges, local authorities, NHS trusts, developers and investors. David’s passion for and thorough understanding of the needs of both students and institutions provide clients with the reassurance of SFG’s commitment to achieving the long-term outcomes and benefits of each project.


David assists Robert within SFG’s University Advisory team, providing services to various Higher Education clients.


Before joining SFG, David was at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) for six years, where as Associate Director of Higher Education, he advised universities on projects that created or upgraded 10,000 beds. For most of these, David led dialogue sessions and specialist workstreams around demand and supply studies, FM requirements and service level agreements, student experience and rental strategies. He has also advised student housing partners and investors on similar projects. David has also assisted in producing residential and non-residential estate strategies, provided strategic property advice for Further Education Colleges, and advised NHS trusts on residential partnership projects.


Prior to this, David spent 15 years at the University of London, where he was responsible for the c. 3,000-bed Intercollegiate Halls and also the operation of the academic estate, which consisted of c.140 buildings, 40 of which being directly operated and the considerable grounds which included historic Georgian squares. While at the University, he took a lead role in the specification, procurement and contract management of two student accommodation partnership projects of c.1,900 beds, as well as the University’s bundled FM and catering contracts of c.£10m per annum. He also served on several university committees.


David has a Hotel and Catering Management degree from the University of Surrey. Before moving into the HE sector, he worked in catering, serving as Food and Beverage Manager at a private golf club in Kent and as an Assistant Manager at various PizzaExpress restaurants in Central London.

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