The group noted that Simms as over 20 years of experience in finance and extensive knowledge of UK real estate. She is currently CFO of Grainger PLC (LON:GRI), a role she has held since February 2016 and is also a non-executive director at Drax Group PLC.
Prior to that, she held a number of senior positions at other UK property companies, including deputy CFO at Unite Group PLC and UK finance director at SEGRO PLC, it added.
Simms is expected to join the business, and become an executive director at Land Securities, by no later than June 1, 2021, the FTSE 100-listed firm said. She will succeed Martin Greenslade who informed the board in September of his intention to step down as CFO during 2021.
In a statement commenting on the appointment, Mark Allan, chief executive of Land Securities, said: "I am delighted that Vanessa is to join Landsec as our next CFO, building on the strong foundations established by Martin. She brings a valuable combination of expertise and experience and I have been particularly impressed by the role she has played in helping to deliver strategic change and business transformation at Grainger in recent years. On behalf of the Board, and all of my colleagues, I welcome Vanessa to Landsec and look forward to working with her when she joins next year."
Simms added: "I am delighted to be joining Landsec at such a pivotal time. Mark and his colleagues set out a compelling strategy and vision at their recent Capital Markets Day and I am very much looking forward to being part of the Landsec team that will deliver that strategy."
In its own statement announcing Simms' departure, Helen Gordon, chief executive of Grainger said: "We would like to thank Vanessa for her tremendous contribution to Grainger over the past 4½ years. She has been a key member of the Grainger team in the successful development of our PRS strategy. We wish her all the best for the future in her new role."
Grainger said its board will now begin the formal process to appoint a successor and the FTSE 250-listed company added that it will provide an update as and when appropriate.