Five Star Senior Living Appoints Margaret Wigglesworth as Chief Operating Officer

NEWTON, Mass. — Margaret Wigglesworth will assume the role of senior vice president and chief operating officer at Five Star Senior Living (Nasdaq: FVE) effective Aug. 12, the Newton-based company announced Tuesday. In addition to leading Five Star’s operations, she will direct various aspects of its administrative functions. Wigglesworth replaces former COO Scott Herzig, who left the company in December 2018.

With extensive management experience spanning nearly three decades, Wigglesworth brings valuable leadership to Five Star’s executive team during a period of transformation, according to the company. Wigglesworth previously held leadership roles at the International Council of Shopping Centers, Cresa and Colliers International Group Inc.

“Margaret is a great example of Five Star’s recommitment to investing in its team members,” said Katherine Potter, Five Star’s president and CEO in a press release announcing the appointment. “She is an experienced leader with a proven track record of delivering results. Margaret is uniquely qualified to drive strategic prioritization and accountability within Five Star to achieve operational excellence. She joins an energetic and motivated team at the ideal time to capitalize on a number of opportunities as the senior living industry evolves.”

Five Star is one of the largest operators of independent and assisted living communities in the United States. As of June 1, the company operated 255 properties and 29,450 units across the country.

This morning the company released its latest earnings report, which showed net income of $4.2 million in the second quarter, the company’s first profitable period since the second quarter of 2013. “Notably, we are very pleased that there no longer exists a substantial doubt about our continuing as a going concern,” said Potter in a news release.

Occupancy at owned and leased senior living communities for the second quarter increased 160 basis points to 83 percent compared with 81.4 percent for the same period in 2018.

In April, Seniors Housing Properties Trust (Nasdaq: SNH) and Five Star restructured their business relationship with regard to 261 seniors housing properties owned by SNH and operated by FVE. Effective at the start of 2020, the five master leases currently governing the bulk of the portfolio — 184 properties totaling 19,979 units — will be converted to management agreements. The rest of the properties — 77 communities totaling 10,135 units — are already on management agreements.

At the same time the conversion to management agreements occurs on Jan. 1, 2020, SNH shareholders will receive Five Star common shares, bringing the ownership stake of SNH and its shareholders to 85 percent of Five Star. SNH itself will own 34 percent of Five Star following the transaction.

Five Star’s stock price has ranged from 31 cents to $1.30 per share over the past year and closed Tuesday at 48 cents per share.