Former Assura chief dies from cancer

Graham Roberts, who stepped down last month as chief executive of Warrington-based healthcare property developer Assura, passed away on Friday.

In a statement to the stock market, Assura described Roberts as “a great leader and chief executive”.

Roberts stepped down from his position at the company last month, to focus his energies on the treatment of his illness.

At the time he said he was “very proud” of Assura, and called it “a great example of a company that has both supported local communities and created substantial value for shareholders”.

Roberts was appointed as chief executive of Assura in 2012, joining from his role as finance director at British Land, where he had worked since 2002. Prior to that, he was a real estate senior partner at accountancy firm Arthur Andersen.

During Roberts’ time at the helm Assura grew from a market value of £152m, to become a FTSE 250 company valued at more than £900m.

In March, Roberts cashed in 2.5m Assura shares, and donated the £1.3m proceeds to medical and humanitarian charities.

The statement from Assura said: “With great sadness, Assura plc announces that Graham Roberts, its former chief executive officer, passed away last Friday, having been suffering from cancer.

“Graham had been a great leader and CEO for Assura over the past four years, delivering a period of unparalleled success which has seen the market capitalisation increase from £152m to become a FTSE 250 company valued at around £900m. He had a clear vision, inspired investor confidence and built a strong team, all of which transformed Assura into a leading player in the sector.”

Roberts was also a non-executive director of Balfour Beatty. Philip Aiken, chairman of Balfour Beatty, said: “On behalf of Balfour Beatty, I would like to express our sympathy to Graham’s family and pay tribute to Graham, a highly valued colleague.”

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