Camil Yazbeck

Partner and Investment Director – Hospitality, Patron Capital

Camil Yazbeck is Partner and Investment Director – Hospitality 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 Callaghan

Head of Digital, Avvio

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.

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 Michau

Vice President, Global Partner Group, Expedia

Christopher is responsible for managing Expedia group’s relationships with many of the world’s leading hotel companies. In this role, he leads an experienced global team which works closely with hotel chains and key regional accounts to maximize their exposure on more than 150 travel sites available under the Expedia group.

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.

Craig Bancroft

Managing Director, Northcote

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.

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