INsite: How did Heritage Lifecare begin?
Murray: The business was founded by Executive Chairman David Renwick who also founded Guardian Healthcare which was later acquired by Bupa. Heritage Lifecare Limited has two major shareholders, and once the acquisition of the 12 Bupa sites is completed, we will operate 35 Rest Home and Hospitals across New Zealand.
INsite: I note Heritage’s recent acquisition of 14 properties. Has Heritage been gradually acquiring sites over time, or is this recent expansion particularly significant?
Murray: Heritage has acquired sites over the last few years, with two significant acquisitions being Anglican Care Waiapu in July last year and the acquisition of the 12 Bupa sites, due to complete in April this year. We have also completed the acquisition of Cantabria rest home, Hospital and Village on 1st February. This is the largest rest home and Hospital in New Zealand with 176 beds.
INsite: Why so many Bupa sites? Are these facilities a good fit for Heritage in terms of their locations, or how they operate?
Murray: Yes they are a good fit for Heritage. The majority of our homes are located essentially in the provincial regions, but we do have homes in Auckland and Christchurch as well.
INsite: Does Heritage build new facilities, or is it mainly about acquiring existing sites?
Murray: Whilst we have built a new boutique village in Balclutha in 2017, we intend to continue to grow the business by way of acquisition.
INsite: I note Heritage has a care focus (as opposed to an independent living focus). Will you maintain this or are you seeking to add more retirement villages to the mix?
Murray: We are primarily focused on delivering top quality care in the rest home, dementia and hospital care areas. Over half these sites have a village as well which enable us to provide a village lifestyle on site.
INsite: What are the challenges typically associated with embedding new facilities into your organisation – and how will you look to overcome these?
Murray: We are very experienced with the transition of new acquisitions and have a team of people dedicated to this to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for residents and staff. As always, the residents’ wellbeing is our priority.
INsite: Can you please tell me a bit about your role with Heritage and your vision for the company?
Murray: I’m very proud to be a member of the group executive team and my primary areas of responsibility are as General Manager for Villages and Marketing. Whilst we grow, we will continue to provide caring and compassionate service to our residents, ensuring our people are well resourced and supported to deliver that care to the highest standard. At a senior level within Heritage we are fortunate to have a team of people that have significant industry experience having worked for other large operators, including Guardian Healthcare, Bupa, Oceania and Metlife.