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.

Alexi Khajavi

Senior Vice President, Questex Hospitality Group

Alexi Khajavi is Senior Vice President of Questex Hospitality + Travel and Managing Director of Destination Develop Investment Services. He is responsible for the overall management and development of the company’s global hospitality and destination communications properties and events including the Hotel Management Group, the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) Summit Series, Hotel ROI Series, Annual Hotel Conference and Destination Development Investment Services, HOTEC Operations & Technology and other destination and hotel investment events in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Alister McCutchion

Executive Vice President , JLL

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.

Aly Thompson

Industry Manager, Hotel Relations, trivago

Aly Thompson leads a team of Industry Managers for Europe and English-speaking markets at trivago, a leading hotel metasearch that receives 1.4 billion visits per year, resulting in 487 million qualified referrals to booking sites and hotels, for more than 1.8 million hotels in over 190 countries.

Amy Clarke

Director of Digital & Distribution, EMEA, Wyndham Hotel Group

Amy Clarke joined Wyndham Hotel Group in 2014 as Director of eCommerce for Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa (EMEA). Her remit was expanded in 2016 with the role of Senior Director, Digital and Distribution, responsible for the hotel group’s online presence and integration with OTA channels across the EMEA region.

Andrew Boshoff

Director, Otus & Co

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

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.

Bob Silk

Relationship Director, Hospitality & Leisure Team, Barclays

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.

Brenda Collin

Managing Director, UK, Ireland, Nordics, The Netherlands, Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Based in the London office, Brenda Collin manages a portfolio of 40 properties within the UK, Ireland, Nordics & The Netherlands, including properties such as The Stafford and The Beaumont in London, The Pulitzer in Amsterdam and The Thief in Oslo to name a few. Her role focus on driving value to the member properties and she is also responsible for development opportunities and expanding the company profile across these regions.

Brian Garvan

Regional Director, Northern Europe, Wanup

Brian Garvan is the Regional Director for Northern Europe at Wanup, Europe’s leading hotel loyalty club for independent hotels, overseeing the rollout of its services in the region. Prior to Wanup, Brian worked for over nine years at Choice Hotels International, latterly leading their corporate sales team across Europe. Brian has a wealth of experience in the hotel and travel distribution space in the UK and Europe having also worked for Eviivo, Amadeus, Pegasus Solutions and Active Hotels, amongst others. Brian is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and ESCP Business School in Paris.

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.

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.

David Taylor

Chief Operating Officer, Principal

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.

David Gabriele

CEO, Swayy

David is CEO of Swayy Media Group, the world’s leading booking site for digital influencers. Swayy helps hotels increase direct bookings, loyalty and brand awareness through targeted scalable influencer marketing. Hotels can find, evaluate, book, pay for and review the most influential people on social media to promote their venues through Swayy.

David Ledger

Partner, Development Services, Arc Consulting Partners

David is a founder of Arc Consulting Partners and co-founded Box Associates, based in Southwark,Arc’s development services partner in 2007. Qualified ACIOB and MSc in Construction Management, David studied at South Bank University. He has worked and managed projects across a broad range of development types and sectors, including projects in the UK, Spain, France, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and the Caribbean.

David Taylor

Chief Commercial Officer, Glh Hotels

A proven commercial leader with a career embracing national and international markets, from start up to global matrix brands, working successfully with clients and hotels in the UK, Europe, USA, Middle East and Japan. A track record of consistently delivering strong results particularly in turbulent markets. I have a proven capacity to shape and lead all elements of commercial performance in all market segments to create outstanding results. I embrace and help to build a culture which is results driven, inspires performance and creates excellence through high engagement.

Dawn Redman

Non Executive Director, Hospitality Jobs UK

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 Scott

Senior Hotel Consultant, Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP

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.

Dr Cris Tarrant


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

Director of Business Development, Waterfall Security Solutions

Dr. Jesus Molina is Director of Business Development for Waterfall Security Solutions and 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

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.

Emily Newman

Communications Manager, The AHC

Emily is a communication specialist working within the exciting, stimulating and ever-changing hospitality industry. With experience in-house and client side combined with a passion for travel, tourism, people and hotels and the belief that words are more valuable than gold, her consultancy practise continues to grow and develop.

Emma Young

Head of Hotels, Allied Irish Bank (GB)

Emma Young has over 18 years banking experience and has spent the past 10 years concentrating on the provision of hotel finance. Emma has extensive knowledge and understanding of the hotels sector with experience of managing corporate borrowers ranging in scale from medium to large multinationals. The team are proud to support and help grow hotels in Britain.

Greg Dyke

Chairman, Vine Hotels

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 Davidoff

Managing Partner, Kaizen Hotel Investment Partners

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 Mohamed

Presenter & Barrister

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.

Helen Bywater-Smith

Director, Loyalty, Ipsos MORI

Helen works within a team that specialises in inspiring and supporting clients in understanding and improving their customer (and colleague) experiences. Starting with understanding the desired behaviours that the client would like to see, Helen visualises from the stakeholder, employee and customer perspective what the drivers and barriers are to creating the ideal customer experience.

James Houlston

Managing Director, BH Group

James is the founder and managing director of BH Group, he has over 15 years experience developing a wide range of commercial projects and has worked with a number of the major funds throughout the UK. Prior to BH Group, James worked for Business Homes working up the ranks to become managing director, where he took the company from a small business in the North to a nationwide leading developer of small commercial space. Between 2000 and 2010 he developed 43 (350 buildings) projects totalling 1.3m sq ft.

James Osmond

COO, Triptease

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 Bland

Director – Hotels & Hospitality, BDRC Continental

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.

James Hacon

Group Strategy Director, Thai Leisure Group

James Hacon is a brand, growth and development strategist for restaurant and hospitality brands. His experience stretches working with more than 50 companies in 9 countries from Michelin starred restaurants to five star hotel properties and multi-national restaurant groups. He is currently Group Brand Strategy Director at Thai Leisure Group and continues to work with a select group of brands and investors to advise on growth strategy.

Jan Hazelton

Managing Director, Three Points Advisory

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 Berry

Talent Manager, The Doyle Collection

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 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.

John Brennan

CEO, Amaris Hospitality

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.

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.

Joni Smith

Director, Hospitality Property Solutions Ltd

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.

Julie Fawcett

Managing Director, Qbic Hotels

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.

Juraj Rosa

CEO, GoodAI Applied

On the crossroad between people and technology. Disrupting the way humans use technology, making the world a more habitable place. Responsible for driving the adoption of the applied artificial intelligence solutions for business applications among enterprise accounts in the region.

Karan Khanna

Vice President, Operations, UK&I, IHG

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.

Katharine Le Quesne

International Advisor, Visiting Professor, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

Katharine has spent over 20 years working in mature and emerging markets around the world, advising public and private sector investors and operators in the hospitality and leisure industries. Having worked with Deloitte, Arthur Andersen and Jones Lang LaSalle, she is now with HoCoSo, providing bespoke advice on business strategy, development feasibility, product repositioning and destination development. She specialises in investments involving hotels, resorts, theme/water parks and mixed-use schemes. Katharine is a Visiting Lecturer at international institutions, educating the next generation of hospitality leaders and innovators.

Katherine Doggrell

Editor, Hotel Analyst

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 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.

Kevin Edwards

Managing Director, Avenue9

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 Penson


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.

Lissa Engle

Director, Berkeley Capital

Lissa Engle is Director of Berkeley Capital, a boutique real estate investment and development firm. Berkeley Capital specialise in developing out hotel and mixed-use schemes, with clients ranging from international private investors to institutional funds. Lissa leads all aspects of origination, underwriting, execution and asset management of an investment. She has worked in real estate for over a decade, initially building her track record in residential developments before moving into hotel and mixed-use schemes, where she has advised clients such as Starwood Capital on their bid for a mixed-use London asset. Lissa holds a BA from Dartmouth and MBA from INSEAD and prior to real estate, she worked in the US and across Europe in Strategy Consulting and Private Equity.

Martin Fullard

Deputy Editor, 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.

Matt Walton

Head of Hospitality & Leisure, Metro Bank

Matt is Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Metro Bank Commercial Banking and looks after specialist sector business customers that own hotels, pubs, bars and restaurants. He has extensive banking and financial experience having worked in the industry for over 10 years in a variety of commercial and corporate banking roles.

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.

Moyn Uddin

Cyber Security Consultant, QDOS Communications

Moyn is a senior cyber resilience and Data Protection practitioner with hands-on experience of GDPR. Leading GDPR privacy & security architecture, ex CLAS and CESG Certified Professional (CCP) & Security and Information Risk Adviser (SIRA) Practitioner with in-depth experience of information security, risk assessment, risk management, governance and compliance with over 20 years of information assurance in the UK Government and private sector and 20+ years of infosec, analysing business requirements, aligning to and managing business risk and stakeholder management.


Chief Executive, Nira Hotels & Resorts

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

Managing Director, Interstate Hotels and Resorts

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 Cole

Marketing Director, Teviot Creative

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.

Nick O’Keeffe

Director of Business Development, Kew Green Hotels

Nick joined Kew Green in 2012 and leads all aspects of the business’ portfolio expansion across the UK and into Europe, with abundant experience in hotel investment and development advisory roles. Nick previously worked for PKF and DTZ across EMEA, acting on behalf of investors, developers, banks and operators on a range of projects from limited service through to luxury hotel real estate, including both branded and non-branded assets.

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 Cook

Head of Technology, ISG Technology Solutions

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

Managing Director UK, Choice Hotels International

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

Managing Director, Rudding Park Hotel, Spa & Golf

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 Candey

Senior Director, Investor Services EMEA, Cushman & Wakefield

Richard Candey is a Partner with over 26 years of Hotel industry experience and heads up Cushman & Wakefield’s Hospitality Investor Services across EMEA. He is responsible for promoting the business and coordinating hotel assignments across the region. Richard has in-depth knowledge of the sector and has led multiple capital markets and advisory assignments, applying his skills in numerous markets and has a particularly close understanding of the hotel development and investment arena.

Richard Hodson

Director, UKGlobal

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.

Richard Downs

Director of Franchising & Business, Casual Dining Group

Richard spearheads the ambitious roll out of CDG brands across the globe, adding franchised operations to the 300 equity sites the company currently trades. Alongside this he leads CDGs tender process for new concepts within their growing concessions business. With over 20 years of experience, both in running and directing operations, Richard understands our restaurant brands inside out, and guides our partners in preparing for their opening programmes.

Robbie Bargh

Founder and Creative Partner, Gorgeous Group

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 Ten Trinity, Belmond, Ritz Carlton, Fairmont, Hilton, Oberoi Hotels, Hyatt, Dorchester Collection, Langham Hotels, Whitbread, The Goring, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Voyages, Sofitel and British Airways, Selfridges, H&M, Harrods Estates, Canary Wharf Management to independent operators such as Alan Yau Restaurants, Dishoom, Wahaca, Kimchee and Deliciously Ella.

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.

Ryan Pearson

UK Area Manager,

Ryan is a key member of’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’s growth in the UK.

Serena von der Heyde

Owner, Georgian House Hotel

At the age of 19, Serena inherited the Georgian House, a 2-star B&B with six staff and has been developed over time into a 5-star boutique hotel with 60 rooms. An influential member of the industry, Serena is a Master Innholder, St. Julian Scholar and BHA committee member.

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.

Steve Lacey

Director - Hotels, Gleeds

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

COO, AccorHotels UK & Ireland

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

CEO & Co-Founder, Magnuson Hotels

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.

Tim Walton

Regional Vice President, Western Europe, International Development, Marriott International

Tim Walton is Regional Vice President, Western Europe, International Development for Marriott International. He is responsible for overseeing the development of Marriott’s brands across Western Europe. On behalf of Marriott, he has been involved in a number of high profile projects including the Bulgari Hotel London, the London EDITION hotel and the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa (located on a private island in the Venetian lagoon).

Tracey Follows

Futurist , Futuremade

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

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.

Yvonne L. Ambo

Investment Management: Long Income, M&G Real Estate

Yvonne is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, with close to 7 years’ experience in the commercial property industry. She joined M&G Real Estate in early 2015 as an Investment Manager focusing on the £6.5bn+ Long Income Funds. She works on investment transactions across all property sectors but is the lead hotel and leisure sector specialist for the Long Income Funds in both the UK and Europe.

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The AHC 2017 Highlights