Tom Riall and the Priory Group have dominated the headlines this year, with blockbuster deals at both the start and the end of 2016 providing the sector with much-needed M&A activity, but also illustrating once again that the role of chief executive of The Priory Group is arguably one of the most pressurised in the sector.
In January, it was confirmed that Acadia Healthcare had bought the Priory Group for £1.3 billion and Acadia shares. The NASDAQ-listed Acadia already owned Partnerships in Care (PiC), which it acquired for $660 million in July 2014, and in one fell swoop created one of the largest healthcare companies the UK has seen.
However, the scale of the new organisation didn't escape the eye of the regulator, and shortly after the Competition & Markets Authority intervened in the merger, instructing Acadia to divest a number of assets through a sale process. After a keenly-contested auction process, it was confirmed last month that BC Partners is to buy a 22-strong portfolio of Priory Group and Partnerships in Care assets for a sum of around £300 million.
Throughout this, Tom has remained a constant and calming figure for Priory and according to one reader, "oversaw an exceptional year for any chief executive, and now holds more influence than anyone else within the industry". And it is indeed a convincing statement. As boss of Priory, Tom and his team support more than 30,000 people every year across its four divisions of healthcare, education and children’s services, adult care and elderly care (Amore Care).
While the process of divesting the portfolio to BC Partners will undoubtedly change the landscape for both Priory and the wider sector, Tom will no doubt remain one of the most influential figures in the market.
Previously, Tom spent eight years at the Serco Group, most recently as chief executive of Serco's global services division, spanning 12 countries and employing more than 54,000 people. Between 2005 and 2010, he was chief executive of Serco's UK central government division.
Before joining Serco, Tom held senior leadership positions at both Onyx and Reliance Group working extensively with both local authorities across the UK as well as a number of central government organisations, before joining Serco.
Described by voters as a "strong" and "caring" leader Jane has proved an inspirational figure in the care sector. Not only does she have a CBE for services to older people, awarded in 2013, Jane has also particularly put Anchor on the map in recent times, leading the acquisition of 24 LNT Group care homes and Cavendish Healthcare Group towards the the end of last year.
Under Jane's leadership, the company has also been expanding in the innovative retirement living space with development underway on a couple of new retirement villages in the last year or so.
Jane joined Anchor in 1999 from Bupa, which had acquired Care First where she was personnel director, and was appointed Anchor’s chief executive in 2010. Jane juggles this with various non-executive posts. She is the trustee of Silverline, an older people’s helpline, a non-executive director of Dignity, vice chair of Associated Retirement Community Operators, a board member of Care England, and a board member of the National Housing Federation.
John joined Welltower as a senior vice president in 2014 and leads its international business. He has grown the London office of Welltower into one with origination, asset management and development capabilities, along with a portfolio approaching $3 billion in value. In addition, John supports Welltower’s capital markets activities, especially in relation to Europe.
Prior to joining Welltower, John was a senior healthcare and M&A investment banker in Europe for 17 years, working at Barclays' Investment Bank and Deutsche Bank. He worked across many areas of healthcare through his career, but specialised in healthcare services, and advised on or raised capital for many of Europe’s largest healthcare services transactions.
Unsurprisingly, sector stalwart Pete has retained his place in the top 15 in the HealthInvestor Power Fifty for another year. Pete is easily one of the most recognisable and influential faces in the sector.
Alongside the day job of leading one of the care sector's biggest providers, Barchester Healthcare, Pete is also a member of the Department of Health Forward Thinking Group, which informs policy decisions. He has been central to building awareness of the capability of independent operators to provide services that complement the NHS and in making the case for a joined up approach to health and social care funding.
Pete joined Barchester Healthcare in 2014, after eight years as chief executive of care home giant Four Seasons Health Care, bringing to the company his extensive knowledge and understanding of the care sector. He leads a dedicated team of more than 14,000 Barchester staff who provide top quality services for more than 10,000 residents.
Hedley is managing director and head of healthcare services at Rothschild and 2016 represented another blockbuster year for him and his team. At the heart of many of the sector’s biggest deal processes – both in the UK and across Europe – Hedley and Rothschild remain one the major players in the M&A scene.
After selling Priory to Acadia to kick the year off, Hedley has been engaged on a number of processes spanning dentistry, radiology, foster care and specialist care. One reader described him as an “articulate measured identifier of new trends” and another praised his “deep appreciation of sector dynamics”.
Hedley has been with Rothschild since 2001 and most recently has advised on the sale of Priory to Acadia, the sale of Al Noor to Mediclinic, the sale of Acorn to NFA, the sales of Synlab, Cancer Partner UK, Clinica Eugin, NFA, Care UK’s non-core divisions and Voyage Care, the IPO of Cambian Group, LuxMed on its sale to Bupa, Four Seasons on its sale to Terra Firma and its acquisition of Avery, and Bridgepoint on its acquisition of Oasis.
After several years of being at the fringes of the health and social care sector, 2016 was arguably the year that retirement villages stepped into the limelight. According to the trade body Associated Retirement Community Operators, over 20,000 people currently live in retirement communities in the UK. However, when the UK's demographics are compared to markets such as Australia, New Zealand and the US, this represents the tip of the iceberg and analysts believe the UK could increase its retirement living population by a factor of 10.
Indeed, research by property consultancy JLL estimates that there could be a need for an additional 725,000 housing with care units by 2025, based on demographics and the demand it has witnessed. That figure is the equivalent of 50% of all new homes expected to be built over the next decade, based on current construction rates.
None of this, however, is news to Nick Sanderson. As the founder and chief executive of Audley Retirement, the UK's largest developer and operator of luxury retirement villages, Nick has been one of the most visible champions of retirement villages in the UK and is a worthy recipient of our Pathfinder Award.
Readers described Nick as "an inspiring and motivating leader, passionate about the industry he serves". As one voter said: "Nick has had a dream to change care in later life for over 20 years. With Audley he is managing to achieve this and providing a better life after retirement for hundreds of people."
In the 1980s Nick founded Beaumont Healthcare, one of the first corporate providers of private-pay nursing care homes. Under Nick's leadership, in 1986, the company created close care housing, which offered independent living to older people in their own homes adjacent to a Beaumont care home. In 1991, Beaumont was successfully sold to AXA PPP and is now part of Barchester Healthcare.
Nick then created Audley to extend the Beaumont offer into retirement villages. These allow older people to live independently in purchased homes with flexible care and support that allows them to stay in place throughout their lives.
Deloitte's David Jones is one of the best known and most influential figures in the UK's health and social care sector, and 2016 represented another year where David and his team deserve recognition for their influence and activity in the market.
Readers described David as one of the "highest performing members of the healthcare M&A market over the last decade" and it was noted by a number of voters that the Deloitte healthcare and life sciences team picked up the HealthInvestor Corporate Financier of the year award in 2016 for the third year running. As one reader said: "David is continuously up to date on the latest matters in the industry advising both the government and public sector as well as small, national and global private sector companies. David has a vast amount of experience in M&A and restructuring and his opinion is valued extremely highly amongst industry leaders."
In 2016, David and his team worked across a number of deals in the sector, including buy-side and sell-side transactions, JV's and public sector partnerships. His clients includes large global corporates, private equity, privately owned entities and government divestments and his team works with a variety of partners across a range of sub-industries including healthcare services, technology and pharmaceuticals.