Aleksander Johansen

Senior Analyst, Somerston Capital Ltd

In his role as Senior Analyst, Aleksander is responsible for the analysis and financial underwriting associated with acquisitions and developments within the hotel and health care sectors. Aleksander joined Somerston Capital in November 2015 following three years at CBRE Hotels where he specialised in investment advisory assignments in the EMEA region. Prior to CBRE, Aleksander worked as a consultant at TRI Hospitality Consulting and his operational background include organisations such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Exclusive Hotels and London Fine Dining Group. Aleksander attended the University of Surrey from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management before earning his Master of Science in Business Analytics and Consulting from Warwick Business School.


Andy Jansons

Managing Director, Jansons Property

Andy Jansons is the Managing Director of Jansons Property, a multi-million-pound turnover property development and investment company. Andy is a serial entrepreneur in the real estate sector which includes, hotels, mixed use, residential, student accommodation and air space. In 1990 Andy started his first business, Jansons and Partners, a commercial property agency. Realising it was more lucrative to be a principal in the property development and investment sector, in 2004 Andy left his practice and founded Jansons Property, a private property developer and investor focusing mainly on West London & Thames Valley as well as the hotel sector throughout the UK. Jansons has now acquired, developed and refurbished over 30 projects during the last 12 years and is a major player in real estate and the hotel market.


Camil Yazbeck

Partner and Investment Director – Hospitality & Leisure, Patron Capital

Camil Yazbeck is Partner and Investment Director – Hospitality & Leisure for Patron Capital, a Pan-European private equity real estate investor, representing €3.4 billion of capital across several funds and related co-investments. Patron’s Past & Current Hospitality Platforms consist of 60+ multi-branded hotels spread across 13 countries, including Generator Hostels, Luxury Family Hotels, Jupiter Hotels, The Spencer Hotel Dublin, Staybridge Suites, Hotel Arts Barcelona, the Bratislava Carlton Hotel and 3 Linder Hotels in Switzerland.  Patron's strategy is to back local partners and management teams in growing their respective business. Camil leads all aspects of origination, acquisition, underwriting, execution and asset management of new and existing Hospitality investment opportunities.


Chris Penn

Co-founder, Steel Hotels

A Hotel professional, GB triathlete, Ironman and one of just 1,700 people in history to swim the English Channel. Chris has spent the last twenty years working up through the independent side of the hotel industry alongside pushing his own limits of human performance. Chris most recently launched the first Ace Hotel outside of the US, cementing the brand in its London home in Shoreditch. The deal received much acclaim and saw a challenged asset brought to life and successfully sold after a short period of development. After stabilisation of the asset and working with Ace on future opportunities, Chris stepped away to pioneer his own new movement within the industry under his new company Steel Hotels. Steel Hotels is centred around providing human performance hospitality through the vehicle of sport to professionals, performers and players.


Christopher Eddlestone

Head of Global Hospitality & Leisure, Squire Patton Boggs

Chris Eddlestone is head of the global Hospitality and Leisure team at Squire Patton Boggs. He has long associations with the leisure sector, having been a director and shareholder of a number of companies in the industry. He is also the founder of the Annual Hotel Conference.

Chris is a skilled advocate with over 30 years’ experience in advising clients, using his knowledge of the legal landscape together with an in-depth understanding of the sector to ensure clients are given advice that is in tune with their commercial needs. Chris, along with Squire Patton Boggs’ Hospitality and Leisure specialists, is committed to providing comprehensive sector-focused legal advice to clients in this rapidly expanding industry, including shareholders and directors in leisure businesses, hotels, arenas, restaurants, fitness clubs, breweries, pubs, nightclubs and gaming operators. Chris’ extensive team of lawyers from all legal disciplines includes individuals who have practical hands-on commercial experience in a multitude of complex and diverse legal issues in the leisure industry. Offering a complete in-house service enables them to consolidate their experience and offer flexible rates designed to suit all business needs and budgets.


David Hart

Chief Financial Officer, Redefine|BDL Hotels

David qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2003 and has since gained more than 12 years’ experience in progressively senior finance roles within the hospitality industry, ranging from limited service hotels through to 5 star resorts. His experience includes both operational finance roles as on-property Director of Finance and Divisional Financial Controller as well as central Group FC, Finance Director and CFO roles.  David’s current role involves working with the RBH Executive Committee on driving RBH’s strategy for growth and ensuring a smooth transition into managing hotels outwith the UK. 


David Bailey

Senior Director, CBRE Hotels EMEA

David has over 25 years’ hotel consultancy experience, developing a broad range of skills and expertise as well as wide project and geographical experience, with particular emphasis on project market, financial and investment appraisal and strategy development. Taking a lead role in client advisory work, David assists clients with hotel projects across all market sectors and levels. In addition to advising owners on the sourcing, selection and subsequent negotiation of hotel management contracts, he acts as an expert witness, with particular experience of planning appeals. David advises clients on new hotel projects and concepts and has extensive experience of helping clients to develop their existing hotel portfolios – as well as advising on individual and group acquisition projects.


Ed John

Partner, Shoosmiths LLP

Ed John is a real estate partner in Shoosmiths’ hotels and leisure practice. His work encompasses a broad range of hotel advisory work, including acquisitions and disposals, the negotiation of leases and suites of management and franchising documentation as well as prevention and resolution of disputes through litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. His work often entails strategic advice and having acted for or against almost every major hotel brand, his experience is extensive. He was part of the team which had conduct of the UK’s most expensive single hotel acquisition. His advisory work extends to hotels outside the UK with management or franchising documentation subject to English law. He is also a fluent German speaker, having studied in Marburg in Hessen.


Jill Whittaker

Managing Director, HIT Training

Jill is an award-winning Director with a strong bias for growth and commercial success. She has had a varied career, including experience in the not-for-profit and private sectors, gaining her professional qualification as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young.


Joe Stather

Associate Director, Investment Advisory, CBRE

Joe joined CBRE in 2014 and was initially responsible for the Hotels’ research function pan-EMEA. More recently, he has transitioned into CBRE’s Hotel Investment Advisory team as an Associate Director; applying his knowledge and skills at a bespoke, project level. Since taking up this position, Joe has advised institutional investors, private equity and financiers.


Jonathan Humphries

Chairman & Owner, HoCoSo - HCS Hospitality Consulting Solutions

Twenty years’ experience in the hotel and real estate sectors. For eleven years he supported the expansion of Marriott International’s fifteen brands, for hundreds of projects, across the EMEA region in the role of Vice President Development Planning. Personally, he was the lead for a two-year project which brought about the tailor-made extended-stay Residence Inn by Marriott (RIBM) concept to Europe in 2008. He was instrumental in the subsequent roll-out of the RIBM portfolio across Europe and the Middle East, including the now open five projects.


Jonathan Langston

Co-Founder HotStats, The AHC & Adsertor

Jonathan is a renowned industry commentator who specialises in market demand, financial feasibility studies, strategic planning, and product development. He advises on a wide range of projects from the development of individual budget hotels to multi-component urban and leisure resorts as well as market entry and development strategies. Jonathan has held roles at COO, CBRE Hotels and Managing Director of and the major shareholder in TRI Hospitality Consulting, a position he held from 1996 up to the time that the firm was acquired by CBRE Hotels. Jonathan is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and of the Tourism Society, a member of the Editorial Board of Hospitality Magazine as well as a Patron of The Edge Hotel School. A graduate of the University of Surrey at which he has held posts of Industrial Fellow and Visiting Fellow, he returns to lecture undergraduates and postgraduates. He is also a frequent commentator on the industry in the press and broadcast media and a regular speaker, moderator and panelist at conferences.


Katherine Doggrell

Hotel Analyst Distribution & Technology

Katherine Doggrell is a journalist with over 15 years’ experience. During my career I have worked for publications including the Financial Times, The Guardian, Q, Mojo and Business 2.0, meeting such luminaries as Steve Jobs, the Queen and a group of reclusive cowboys who pretend it’s 1850 in a field in Essex.


Kevin Charity

CEO, The Coaching Inn Group

Kevin is the founder and CEO of the Lincolnshire based Coaching Inn Group. The company buys freehold market town hotels, each of them being at the heart of the community. In many of them the company introduces it “Eatery & Coffee House” casual dining concept.


Mark McCulloch

Founder & Group CEO, WE ARE Spectacular

Mark has 15 years experience in brand, marketing, digital, social and PR. He started life at the British music magazines (marketing them to students), then worked in agencies back in 2002 before jumping the fence to work client side at lastminute.com where he rose to Head of Brand, then moved to senior positions at Barclaycard, YO! Sushi, Blinkbox Music & Pret A Manger. 


Martin Fullard

Deputy Editor, Mash Media – Conference News

Martin is a journalist, presenter, and producer. He is the Deputy Editor and Digital Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines and leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV, where he is a video presenter and producer. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.


Michael McCartan

Managing Director, Duetto

Michael McCartan has been Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Duetto since December, 2014 where he spearheads the rollout of Duetto's services and development of customer success teams throughout the region. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of eRevMax from March 2012 and as their Chief Operating Officer from December, 2010 to March 2012. He joined the eRevMax team to oversee the daily operations of the Rate Tiger and Connect brands.


Pablo Alonso

CEO, HotStats

Pablo Alonso is CEO of HotStats, a benchmarking company focusing of monthly P&L benchmarking for the hotel industry. HotStats collects monthly detailed financial data from over 3000 hotels worldwide from over 100 brands and independent hotels, and provides over 100 different KPIs covering all operating revenues, payroll, expenses, cost of sales and ultimately departmental and total hotel profitability. Prior to HotStats, Pablo spent over 7 years working for Hilton on Operations, technology and Finance roles at hotel and corporate level positions.


Paul Charity

Managing Director, Propel

Paul Charity started his career in the sector by co-founding the Bulldog Hotel Group (now the Coaching Inn Group) but his love and passion for journalism led him to return and eventually take on the role of Group Editor of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser and M&C Report, where he built them into market leaders. Paul is the co-founder and managing director of Propel Hospitality, publishing the industry’s leading daily news wire – Propel Morning Briefing – and Propel Quarterly, an editorially led business magazine for senior executives within the pub, bar, late night, restaurant and foodservice sector and a portfolio of events.


Robert Nadler

CEO, Nadler Hotels

Robert doesn’t come from a hotel background. He’s worked in a variety of industries, from qualifying as a chartered surveyor, smoking fish, policing the Soho streets, founding two research companies, and as CEO of a public company. In 2006, Robert developed and opened his first hotel, the 65 room base2stay Kensington, now renamed The Nadler Kensington. This move into the hotel industry was inspired by his personal experiences as a guest, and a view that sustainability was an increasingly important aspect of every business.


Shona Whitehead

Managing Partner, Cogent Blue Ltd

Shona heads Cogent Blue, a hospitality-sector commercial consultancy. With more than 20 year’s industry experience, Shona advises on a wide range of projects from commercial strategy to structure review as well as system optimisation, process improvement and training. She has extensive experience of helping her clients realise their commercial potential and works with diverse businesses, within the sector, including: independent hotels, small groups, hotel management companies, owners, investors and global brands. Together with her growing team of industry experts, Shona delivers consultancy and project management services throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. Prior to founding Cogent Blue, in 2009, Shona held a number of senior roles with IHG, Travelodge, Hilton and QMH.


Sir James Devitt

Managing Director, Herald Hotels

James Devitt is Managing Director and founder of Herald Hotels. He has worked in the hospitality sector since 1982 with chartered surveyors William Hillary, Humberts Leisure and Druce Hotels, brewers Greene King PLC and accountants PKF Hotels where he was Director of Hotel Property Services. Prior to forming Herald he was Executive Director at CBRE Hotels responsible for all hotel valuation, consultancy and professional services across EMEA.


Stephen Cassidy

Senior Vice President and Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Hilton

Steve Cassidy is Senior Vice President & Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Hilton, and is responsible for the company’s multi-brand portfolio across the British Isles. He joined Hilton’s revenue management team in 2009, moving into hotel operations in September 2011. His remit expanded in 2015 to include all Hilton’s owned and managed properties in UK & Ireland.


Steve Lowy

MD & Founder, Umi Digital

Steve studied Hospitality and Tourism management at the University of Salford & has gone onto run restaurants, hostels and hotels. Since launching Umi Hotels in 2007, Steve also launched Umi Digital in 2010 & now sits on a number of industry boards in the UK as Chairman of the Hotel Marketing Association & Chairman of the British Educational Travel Association. He loves nothing more than travelling, eating local food and supporting his beloved Liverpool FC. Steve is passionate about the Hospitality industry and in particular independent operators, who he believes, with the right tools and knowledge, can punch above their weight.


Trevor Williams

Managing Director, TW Consultancy

Trevor Williams is the former chief economist at Lloyds Bank, a position he held for about 15 years. Trevor runs his own consultancy – TWC. He blogs and presents at conferences and other client-focussed events, representing economic views on a range of topics. In plain language, he explains the impact of these trends on individuals, households, industry sectors, financial and banking markets, and businesses. He regularly writes articles for publications like Moneyfacts and the Voice newspaper.


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The AHC 2016 - Highlights