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.
Alister is head of the UK and Northern European Hotels Advisory team which provides hospitality real estate advice throughout the UK, Ireland, Benelux and Scandinavia from various offices. Alister also leads the EMEA Hotels Valuation business and is a member of the Hotels & Hospitality Group's EMEA Management Team.
Andrew is a strategy consultant, investment banker and corporate lawyer who has 25 years of international experience focused on advising a wide range of hospitality and travel companies at board level, from UK and overseas multinationals to private equity firms and successful entrepreneurs. His special areas of interest are in making loyalty programmes more effective through advanced CRM/ data science, creating international joint ventures in the travel industry, and buying or selling hospitality businesses.
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.
Bob Silk joined Barclays in 1979, since which time he has worked exclusively at the "sharp end" of the business, engaging with corporate customers, ranging in scale from multi-nationals to SME's. A founder member of the Bank's Hospitality & Leisure Team in 1998, Bob's area of particular focus is on hotels, restaurants and pubs. The vast majority of his customers are multi-site operators and his experience with them spans MBO's, M&A, and new site development funding delivered via bilateral lines of credit, syndicated facilities and bond issuance.
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.
Cara is Head of Digital at Avvio, the premium direct booking platform, and Europe’s most advanced booking engine. The Digital Team at Avvio is always evolving, and after achieving Premier Partner status with Google last year, Cara ensures that the team are always at the forefront on the latest digital developments. With 14 years’ experience in a variety of senior digital marketing roles, Cara helps to drive exceptional growth in traffic and revenue for Avvio partners.
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.
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.
Craig's career began as a kitchen porter in London’s Kensington Close Hotel, He then went on to join the Trusthouse Forte International Management training programme, where he spent six months as chef of Grosvenor House Hotel, followed by another six months in the two Michelin-star Plaza Athénée in Paris. Deciding he wanted to be on the managerial side of things, he continued to work at renowned hotels like The Westbury and The Strand Palace, in London before landing the position of General Manager at Northcote in 1983, making him the youngest general manager of a hotel at just 23-years-old. As winner of The Caterer and Hotelkeeper Acorn Award in 1987, Craig worked tirelessly to transform Northcote into the prestigious property it is today. It was at Northcote that Craig developed his passion for pairing interesting wines with Nigel’s, seasonal British cuisine. The duo were awarded a Michelin star in 1996, making them the only manager and chef to collect the award together. Parallel to the success of Northcote, Craig entered The Academy of Food and Wine Hall of Fame in 2010.
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 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.
David is the Chief operating Officer of Principal; a collection of city-centre hotels based in landmark buildings in exceptional locations across the United Kingdom owned by Starwood Capital. Prior to taking on this role in April 2015, he was General Manager of The London EDITION where under his leadership the hotel won numerous awards including the prestigious Catey Hotel of the Year award. Associated with other high profile openings and re-positioning projects such as the Hoxton Hotel – Shoreditch, the Great Eastern Hotel – London and the Sofitel St James – London, he is dedicated to promoting best practise within the hotel industry.
With over 25 years of Recruitment In-house and Agency experience within the Retail & Hospitality sectors, Dawn is a leading expert and “the go to" person for any recruitment requirements. Continually looking for innovative ideas to attract NEW talent into the Hospitality sector, Dawn saw a gap in the market and launched a bespoke Hospitality On line Advertising platform creating thousands of jobs opportunities for candidates.
Diane joined Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in January 2017 after retiring from Lloyds Bank where she had been a career Banker for 40 plus years. Over her last 13 years with Lloyds Bank Diane held the position of Director - Business Development Hotels where she built up a niche specialisation within the hospitality sector and was pivotal to growing their client book and sector reputation.
Cris is the founder of BDRC Group, the UK’s largest independent market research consultancy group. With 180 staff and offices in London, Singapore, Beijing, Jakarta, Sydney, Cape Town and Washington DC the firm has a global reach, working in 90+ countries.
Dr. Jesus Molina is a security consultant for the industrial IoT, augmented reality and hotels. He co-leads the Security Working Group at the Industrial Internet Consortium, and co-organizes the IoT Sandbox at the RSA conference. His recent work includes the first security framework for augmented reality devices, in collaboration with Brainwaive, and securing industrial IoT projects in different verticals for Fujitsu Ltd. Jesus has presented on offensive and defensive security technologies at the top security conferences, including RSA, Blackhat, DEFCON, Usenix Security, and IEEE Security, and his research has been featured in Wired and The Register. He authored several patents covering a wide range of security technologies. Jesus holds a M.S. and a Ph.D from the University of Maryland.
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.
Greg Dyke was educated at Hayes Grammar School and later at York University where he read Politics and has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in journalism and broadcasting, most notably rising to become Director General of the BBC, where he launched a number of digital television and radio channels and also helped create Freeview. He has also served as Chairman of The Football Association, the British Film Institute (where he received the BFI Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to television and film), the Ambassador Theatre Group as well a former Chancellor of the University of York. Greg is currently a BAFTA Vice President for Television and he runs several businesses of his own including golf clubs and hotels. He is the chairman of Vine Hotels, a hotel owner and operator with a portfolio of branded and independent hotels. In March, the group acquired its first hotel in Manchester, the 148-room Best Western Cresta Court.
Grisha is Founder and Managing Partner of Kaizen Hotel Investment Partners, a London-based investment company specialising in the acquisition and asset management of hotels across the UK and Europe. The Kaizen business philosophy revolves around identifying under-valued and under-performing hotels with strong value upside potential. The Kaizen approach to asset management is focused on maximizing returns through enhanced space utilization and improved profitability, combining detailed financial analysis with extensive operational knowledge.
Hashi came to the UK as an unaccompanied child refugee from Kenya in the summer of 1993. When he arrived he spoke basic English, attended failing schools and was raised exclusively on state benefits in a deprived area of North West London. Today, at 33, as a barrister and broadcaster, Hashi has attended both Oxford University and Bar school on a full scholarship. He is also a presenter on BBC Radio 4 and commentator across leading newspapers. Drawing on his own experiences he wants to dispel the myth that upward mobility is possible through sheer hard work alone and speaks out against empty tokenism.
James is a highly experienced marketeer who has worked across a wide array of industries: from technology, to retail, financial services, hospitality and wellbeing. He learnt the ropes as brand manager at Unilever and went on to co-found a global marketing strategy consultancy, Clear, which sold to M&C Saatchi just five years later. James now leads Triptease’s HQ in London, where he leads the company from strength to strength.
James is the Hotels & Hospitality Director at BDRC Continental. In addition to managing custom research consultancy assignments, his team oversees the renowned BDRC Hotel Guest Survey and VenueVerdict applications, providing leading edge brand health and customer experience benchmarking services to some of the world’s foremost hospitality companies.
Jan Hazelton is a seasoned hotel investment and development executive with broad experience across multiple markets, with the past 14 years spent based in London. Her experience includes all aspects of hotel investment including banking/lending, asset management, finance, development, feasibility and investment analysis. Currently she is Managing Director at Three Points Advisory, a boutique advisory firm that focuses on hotel development and investments.
Jessica has recently joined The Doyle Collection as Talent Manager after 3 years with Firmdale Hotels. Before moving into a recruitment role, she spent 10 years working operationally in hotels across the USA, Australia and the UK. The role of Talent Manager gives Jessica the opportunity to combine her interest in hospitality with her passion for promoting the industry as a great place to work.
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 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.
John Brennan is Chief Executive Officer of Amaris Hospitality, a leading hotel investment and hospitality management group, which owns and operates over 70 hotel properties trading under leading brands such as Jurys Inn, Mercure, MGallery, Ibis Styles, Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn. With over 13,500 rooms, 5,000 employees and three business divisions with combined sales over £400 million, Amaris Hospitality is one of the largest hotel owners and managers in the UK and Ireland.
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 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.
Joni has worked with a wide range of businesses in her 20 years’ experience, with roles in firms including KPMG and CB Richard Ellis, the property advisory company. Joni started her own business in 2007 after completing her MBA and has provided management advice and support to businesses and investors. Her experience has particularly involved strategic and operational management, business valuation and financial analysis primarily in the hotel sector.
As a digital entrepreneur with skills wrought in ‘the early days’ of ecommerce, Julie has latterly applied her knowledge in the interaction of humans, systems and data to creating value across a wide range of PE backed consumer facing businesses, each with the same simple goal in mind, how can the machine make it better for the human in a world when too often the tail is wagging the dog. With a side step away from the heart of Private Equity back out into the wild she has taken the helm at a fast growing hotel business very intent on doing things differently and using IT systems to achieve just that that.
Karan joined IHG from McKinsey & Co where he was Engagement Manager. Prior to that, Karan spent 5-years with Cadbury Schweppes in brand and innovation roles. He has an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD, a PG Diploma in Marketing from CIM and a BA (Hons) in Economics from Delhi University.
Katherine Doggrell is editor of Hotel Analyst, the intelligence source for the hotel investment community. Alongside its paid subscription news service, Hotel Analyst has a reports division and it runs three conferences each year: the Hotel Distribution Event, the Hotel Alternatives Event and the Hotel Operations Conference. With everything it does, Hotel Analyst sees its mission as providing insight and opinion.
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.
One of the founders of Avenue9, Kevin has worked within the technology sector for over 20 years, assisting clients in everything from provision of core IT infrastructure to deploying bespoke applications. Kevin recognised that many organisations within the hospitality sector faced similar challenges, such as gaining cost effective access to IT knowledge for hotels and resorts to effectively implementing systems and infrastructure that they benefit from. Kevin’s core skills are focused upon working with clients to extract their core business objectives and translate them into IT strategies.
Lee founded & continues to lead globally renowned Architecture & Interior Design studio "PENSON". He is a regular global keynote inspirational speaker covering business & workplace change & is engaged as global Programme Director to deliver business-wide culture & workplace enhancements for some of the world's largest & high-profile brands & entrepreneurs.
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 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 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.
For almost 40 years, MPS Puri has been associated with some of the finest hotels in the world, including the Peninsula Hotels (Hong Kong), Raffles Hotel, The Fullerton Hotel (Singapore), Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, Halekulani (Hawaii), Hyatt Hotels and Fairmont Hotels. His management positions include time in charge of the Raffles International portfolio, supervising development and performance in the Asia-Pacific region and roles leading operations for prestigious hotel openings, including duties as the Chief Operating Officer of the Fullerton in Singapore. Puri has also acted as Head of the Americas for GHM Hotels, where he was responsible for opening and operating The Setai, South Beach, serving as General Manager. Recently, Puri has acted as Food & Beverage consultant to Orient Express Hotels & Resorts, advising on global F&B operations. All this experience has been crucial in helping Puri develop his vision for Nira Hotels & Resorts. Working closely with his business partners and hard-working staff, he has created a distinct personality for Nira.
Nicholas Northam is Managing Director for Interstate Hotels & Resorts in the United Kingdom. He is responsible for over 70 hotels in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Germany. With more than 33 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Nicholas plays a pivotal role in the company’s growth, leading Interstate’s UK senior management and support teams to provide superior returns for hotel owners.
Nick has 20 years of digital industry experience across a wide variety of disciplines from design and build through consultancy, planning and project management. Having founded his own agency in 2001, Nick moved to Blonde (now Signal, part of Cello Group PLC) in February 2007, eventually rising to Board Director position before joining Teviot in 2016. Nick has excellent design and technical expertise and always looks to provide clients with the best and most honest advice possible.
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 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.
Paul is the Head of Technology for ISGts and holds responsibility for the group's technical messaging, content, and delivery. His focus is primarily on next generation truly smart facilities and working closely with manufacturers and supply chain partners to seamlessly bring technology into the construction environment in a common platform, single solution. This approach allows technology to be an affordable enabler related directly to the client's needs and expectations of a buildings experience, its operation, management and maintenance. His experience covers a broad spectrum and multiple disciplines of design, leadership, management and systems integration on major projects and small specialised projects. From industrial electrical, to highly complex data, telecommunication, ICT and ELV systems, Data Centres, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceutical, Healthcare, hotels and traditional building services. A leader in integrated thinking in the modern digital world.
Peter Till is the Managing Director United Kingdom for Choice Hotels. Prior to joining Choice Hotels in September 2016, he was Head of Development for Carlson Rezidor in the UK. Previously he was a Vice-President of Development at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, developing hotels across EMEA. Earlier he worked as a Managing Consultant for Pannell Kerr Forster Associates, based in London and Washington D.C. Before going into consultancy and development, he held management positions in a number of hotels in the Unites States and the UK. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the Hotel School at Cornell University.
Peter Banks is a hotelier through and through. At the age of 18, he joined the team at The Savoy as a Management Trainee where he learnt the fundamental workings of a luxury London hotel before taking on the role of Duty Manager at St Andrew’s Old Course Hotel. Peter returned to London at the Hilton on Park Lane as Front of House Manager and then Acting General Manager at the Hilton London Mews before hearing of an opportunity to open a new hotel in North Yorkshire.
Richard has worked as an insurance broker for 20 years around the UK, the London Market and spent five years in Australia where for part the time he headed up the Aerospace division of an international brokerage. Since 2011 he has been specialising in “Cyber” and the risks posed by the increased use of technology in our everyday and corporate lives. Richard with two others founded UKGlobal Holdings in May 2016 and with these other investors purchased the majority shareholding in the independent broker UKGlobal Risk Solutions with offices in London and Manchester, they have since opened further offices Wakefield and Blackpool.
Robbie Bargh founded the business in 1999 Prior to setting up Gorgeous Group, Robbie ran some of the best hotel and stand-alone restaurants and bars in London, New York, and Sydney. Obsessive about guest experience and engagement, Robbie has vast knowledge on food, drink and what makes a great restaurant and bar. Clients past and present include Four Seasons, Belmond, Ritz Carlton, Fairmont, Hilton, Oberoi Hotels, Hyatt, The Dorchester Collection, Langham Hotels Whitbread, The Goring, to independent operators such as Alan Yau Restaurants, Wahaca, BrewDog, and Dishoom. In the UK Gorgeous Group are proudly working with Principal Hotel London, Principal Hotels Edinburgh and Principal Hotel Manchester.
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.
Robert retired from the Army as a Major in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and created a software design company to pursue the development of advanced Risk Management systems for the Aviation and Security industries. He has since specialised in the field of Cyber Security, acting as a Consultant for QDOS Communications, providers of next generation IT, voice and in-room technology solutions for the international Hospitality industry.
Ryan is a key member of Booking.com’s UK and Ireland management team. Since 2014, he has been responsible for the Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland markets, managing multiple partner-facing teams, as well as working closely with local business and tourism bodies to promote Booking.com’s growth in the UK.
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.
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.
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 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.
Steve is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor with over 35 years’ experience as a cost and project manager in the construction industry. He is a Director and Head of Hospitality for Gleeds, having previously been a Director of Davis Langdon/ AECOM in their London Hotels team.
Thomas Dubaere is COO of AccorHotels UK & Ireland. He has led the UK&I business since 2012 and in 2014, following the organisation of the company into two complementary operations, he took sole responsibility for hotel services’ provision and continues in this role as AccorHotels enters a new and exciting chapter in its evolution. An industry expert with over 27 years’ experience, Thomas also sits on the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Board of Directors.
Thomas Magnuson co-founded Magnuson Hotels, America’s fastest growing hotel brand as a US based business with his wife Melissa in 2003. Today, Magnuson Hotels is a top 15 global hotel chain with 1000 hotels across 3 continents. Magnuson Hotels’ newly formed distribution partnership with Chinese operator Jin Jiang Hotels and Europe’s Louvre Hotels is the world’s largest hotel alliance, forming a consortium of over 8,000 hotels and 800,000 rooms worldwide, equal to the size of a top 2 global hotel chain.
Tracey is an award-winning futurist. She works with clients such as Virgin, Diageo and Google on long term strategies for future growth. Recent work includes the future of female entrepreneurialism for the Women's Business Council, the future of work with Virgin, the future of Youth Marketing for BBC, the future of Luxury for Diageo and the future of AI and Diversity for Google. She has spoken at the UN, the Foreign Office and at The House of Commons. She is also the founder of the Female Futures Bureau that convenes and promotes female futurists globally.
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.