Close dialog
Go back
Skip to content (Press Enter) Skip to footer (Press Enter)

Start your search

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Yugo, The First Global Student Housing Brand Appoints Rui Barros as Global COO

Denver, CO, 2nd February 2022 – Yugo, the first global student housing operator, announces the appointment of Rui Barros as its new Global Chief Operating Officer. Rui’s appointment continues the momentum with which Yugo entered 2022, following its official launch last July.

Rui will be leading the business’ talented operations and commercial teams, while at the same time, working with key partners to support students and provide for their education around sustainability and personal growth, through the business’ three core pillars: YugoEco – education; YuPro - personal development; and YuGrow, delivering student needs and expectations.

Rui’s three decades of experience in the hospitality sector and extensive background in global leadership roles will also be instrumental in managing key relationships with asset managers and owners of student housing to deliver superior operations and embed value under the Yugo global brand.

Rui’s career to date has been significant in its international reach and has demonstrated an ability to execute on global strategy. Before joining Yugo, Rui was Chief Operating Officer of Habitas, where he led global operations with a focus on its hospitality, brand expansion, and membership divisions.

Prior to that, he was President and Managing Director for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Indian Ocean at hotel group Wyndham Worldwide, where he oversaw the development, operations, and cross-functional brand initiative of the group throughout the regions, before going on to serve as President and Managing Director for Wyndham Worldwide’s franchise operations in North America.

Rui’s proven leadership aligns strongly with Yugo’s brand values and culture with the mission to enhance the student experience beyond college life, as Generation Z navigates today’s society with a commitment to protecting, preserving, and changing the world for the better.

Yugo remains committed to the students it houses and recently launched several initiatives to support their journey through higher education. The Live Your Best Life program is a holistic living experience to empower students’ personal growth, based on extensive student-based research by Yugo, which demonstrates the importance of climate impact to Gen Z. Yugo has also launched a carbon literacy program to its students and workforce and aims to become a carbon literate organization, accredited by the Carbon Literacy Project. Meanwhile, the Yugo Movement, a sustainability-focused council within the YuPro pillar, unites students with the mission to eliminate single-use plastic in Yugo spaces.

Aly El-Bassuni, Chief Executive Officer of Yugo, commented:

“We are very pleased to welcome Rui to the business. His appointment comes at a time when we are redefining the college living experience for students globally, and his expertise in the hospitality sector and developing brand value strengthens our leadership team to support our global strategy of connected living spaces across the world.”

Rui Barros, Global Chief Operating Officer of Yugo, commented:

“I am delighted to join Yugo at such an exciting time for the business. I am hugely impressed with Yugo’s student-led approach and commitment to sustainability to make a real difference. Student housing is an integral part of the college experience, and I look forward to building on this with the teams while harnessing the company’s evident momentum to drive growth and the Yugo brand on a global scale.”

About Yugo

Yugo is the first global student housing brand and operator created to enhance students’ overall experiences throughout and beyond college life. Yugo offers a truly differentiated living experience that is environmentally and socially conscious, emotionally supportive, and safe. Its global property portfolio includes over 100 living spaces in nine countries, with a unique brand of 35,000 student beds in 69 of the top cities in the world for higher education.

Based in Denver, Colorado, the business was created through merging three successful international operational brands – The Student Housing Company, Nexo Residencias, and Uninest Student Residents with the US operations of UComm, which were previously all under Global Student Accommodation (GSA), the leading real estate and investment asset manager.

Learn more at

Media contacts: Finsbury Glover Hering

Richard Crowley: +44 7387 257 394 / [email protected]