HCP President to Leave, Become CEO of U.K. Care Home Company

Justin Hutchens will be leaving HCP Inc. (NYSE: HCP), a major owner of medical office buildings, just four months after assuming the role of president.

Hutchens will stay on at the Irvine, California-based REIT through June 1, and then will become CEO of HC-One, one of the largest care home operators in the United Kingdom, HCP announced Monday morning.

“Though we are disappointed to lose such a talented and experienced executive, we are fortunate that Justin has helped build a strong operational infrastructure within HCP, backed by a deep pool of talent, that positions us well for future growth,” said Executive Chairman Mike McKee, in a press release. “We look forward to continuing to work with Justin, both through the transition and in his new role at our client HC-One, and we wish him every success.”

Hutchens first joined HCP in 2015 as executive vice president and chief investment officer. HCP now has initiated the process of recruiting a new CIO.

HCP owned 227 medical office buildings across the U.S. as of Dec. 31, 2015, according to an annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In late 2016, HCP acquired 10 medical office buildings from Franklin, Tennessee-based hospital firm Community Health Systems, Inc. (NYSE: CYH) for $163 million.

Prior to HCP, Hutchens was CEO of NHI Inc. (NYSE: NHI), a Murfreesboro, Tennessee-based REIT.

He joined HCP following a period of upheaval for the company, which had seen its share price slide amid ongoing trouble for its primary skilled nursing tenant, HCR ManorCare. Hutchens helped oversee the spin off of the ManorCare assets into a separate REIT, Quality Care Properties (NYSE: QCP).

At the same time that Hutchens ascended to the president role, Tom Herzog became CEO of HCP. The two leaders articulated a three-part strategy for creating “HCP 3.0,” with a focus on portfolio rebalancing, balance sheet metrics, and cash flow and shareholder dividends.

“While the opportunity to become the CEO of HC-One is exceptionally exciting to me, this was nonetheless a difficult decision given my extremely rewarding experience at HCP,” Hutchens stated. “I’ve been fortunate to work with a management team and Board of Directors of exceptionally high caliber, and I believe HCP’s portfolio has been repositioned to achieve great success. I’m proud of my contributions and remain highly confident in HCP’s growth prospects moving forward.”

HC-One employs more than 14,000 staff members and cares for more than 10,000 residents, according to the company’s website. It was launched in 2011 and operates dementia, nursing, residential, and specialist care facilities across the United Kingdom.

Written by Tim Mullaney

Photo: Senior Housing News Leadership Series