Brandon Hall Group Recognises Golden Trio with Joint Award for Greystar, 5App and Hemsley Fraser

August 27, 2020Gold award celebrates the learning partnership which has successfully supported Greystar’s transformation to a learning culture.

The Brandon Hall Group Gold award, jointly given to Greystar, the global leader in rental housing, 5App, the learning technology and digital UX expert and Hemsley Fraser, global learning and engagement specialist, recognises the success of the new Greystar Business School.

Greystar, 5App and Hemsley Fraser, united to win the coveted Brandon Hall Group Gold Award for Excellence in the Best Launch of a Corporate Learning University category. The successful Greystar Business School is a one stop hub that houses all employee learning and communication and delivers a frictionless, social and personalised user experience.

Since the launch of the Greystar Business School – an example of Hemsley Fraser’s learning-as-a-service model – the organisation has achieved:

  • 24% improvement in performance and productivity
  • 90% increase in understanding of company goals and objectives
  • 35% reduction in employee turnover

Steve Thompson, Senior Director – Learning and Talent Development at Greystar, puts this down to a clear vision and successful collaboration of what needed to be achieved. He said, “Greystar was expanding so quickly that we needed fast action to ensure skills and values were embedded in our growing team both at a Corporate and Onsite level. Bridging this gap and making learning available to all and at point of need required a fresh, innovative approach. The partnership has produced a phenomenal solution in terms of developing the Greystar Business School, building our brand and creating a learning culture in Europe.”

Matthew Prisco, Client Digital Transformation Lead, at Hemsley Fraser agrees. “From the very first meeting with Greystar, it was clear they needed a partner who could bring the strategy to life and reinvent L&D within the business through a multiple service offer. One of the key components to success was how closely we were able to work with the operational side of the business, thanks to the trusting partnership we had formed. This created key stakeholders across the enterprise who were able to adapt the approach to their specific function and job roles, driving context and relevance to a diverse audience. It’s been a really interesting journey so far, and I look forward to developing our partnership for consistent impact at Greystar.”

Stuart Mason CEO of 5App adds. “We’re proud to share this award with our partners at Greystar and Hemsley Fraser. Our combined strengths have come together to create the Greystar Business School. At its heart is the 5App Digital Hub, blending learning and communications and fuelling Greystar’s transformation into a learning culture.”

Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards are highly valued by organisations, as evidenced by the record number of applications received this year in the midst of a global pandemic. “The Excellence Awards serve the critical function of reinforcing the essential business benefit of creating great experiences for candidates and employees,” Brandon Hall Group CEO Mike Cooke said. “All award winners must demonstrate that their HCM programs drive bottom-line business results. That’s what sets our awards program apart from all others.”

The winners are listed at

Award entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts and executives based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation and overall measurable benefits. Excellence Awards winners will be honoured at Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence Conference, January 26-28, 2021, at the Hilton West Palm Beach, Florida. Select winners also will serve as presenters in breakout sessions, sharing their leading practices during the conference.


About Greystar

Greystar is a leading, fully integrated real estate company offering expertise in investment management, development, and management of rental housing properties globally. Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar manages and operates over an estimated $200 billion+ of real estate in nearly 200 markets globally including offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Greystar is the largest operator of apartments in the United States, managing approximately 693,000 units/beds, and has a robust institutional investment management platform with approximately $35.5 billion of assets under management, including over $15 billion of assets under development. Greystar was founded by Bob Faith in 1993 with the intent to become a provider of world-class service in the rental residential real estate business. To learn more, visit

About Hemsley Fraser

Hemsley Fraser create, deliver and execute learning experiences to drive higher levels of engagement. From their roots as a UK training company, they’ve been empowering talent for three decades, evolving the business into a global, award-winning provider. Experts in their field, today they’re transforming how businesses learn and engage. Providing blended, virtual and on-demand learning experiences, training courses and managed learning services. For further information about Hemsley Fraser visit

About 5App

5App is a team of product designers, UX experts, developers and business strategists based in London and Berlin, responsible for creation of the 5App Digital Hub.

The 5App Digital Hub is a cloud-based, rapidly deployed and easy to use communications and learning platform that drives employee engagement and learning culture, even in remote working environments.

Since launch in 2016, 5App has grown to .5m users from 50 brands in 12 countries across 4 continents. Customers include Zurich Insurance, Hemsley Fraser, Greystar, Defactoed, Telford Homes, Spirit Energy, Coca-Cola European Partners, Bank of England and Heineken.

About Brandon Hall Group

Brandon Hall Group is an HCM research and advisory services firm that provides insights around key performance areas, including Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management.

With more than 10,000 clients globally and 25 years of delivering world-class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is focused on developing research that drives performance in emerging and large organizations, and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results.

Our mission: Empower excellence in organizations around the world through our research and tools each and every day.

At the core of our offerings is a Membership Program that combines research, benchmarking and unlimited access to data and analysts. The Membership Program offers insights and best practices to enable executives and practitioners to make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, coalesced with analyst advisory services which aim to put the research into action in a way that is practical and efficient. (

For more information please contact

Gill FroodJane Franklin
[email protected][email protected]
+44 (0)7766 232022+44 (0)7775 660010

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.