Learning from those who have been excelling at it for years
Nick van Marken Managing Director – van Marken Limited
Nick van Marken
Managing Director – van Marken Limited
Following a career in professional services spanning nearly 30 years, Nick is currently acting as senior adviser to several hospitality investors. Until recently he was Global Head of Hospitality Advisory Services with Deloitte, where he served as a partner for 20 years and was based in London and the Gulf. In this role, he served a wide spectrum of clients, including private family/HNWI’s; PE, SWF, institutional, RE; and corporates, and encompassing owners, investors, lenders and operators. The range of services provided included commercial strategy and development advice; M&A/transaction services; operational/profit improvement reviews; capital-raising/IPOs; assurance; tax advice and restructuring.
Nick spent the early part of his career in hotel operations in Africa and Europe, working with Holiday Inn, Sun International, Gleneagles and Meridien. He has subsequently consulted in over 80 countries and 250 markets. He is a sought-after speaker and was the organiser and chairman of the highly-regarded European Hotel Investment Conference (EHIC), in London. Nick served on the board of global industry data provider STR from 2011 to 2017, and is a member of the advisory board of Bench Events.
Jerome Briet Chief Development Officer, Middle East & Africa – Marriott International
Chief Development Officer, Middle East & Africa – Marriott International
Jerome Briet is the Chief Development Officer for Marriott International in the Middle East and Africa. In his role, Briet oversees and drives development efforts across the region by growing and diversifying the company’s brand portfolio in both, new and established markets.
Briet first joined Marriott International in 2012 as Director of Development with a focus on hotel developments within the United Arab Emirates and Oman. In 2016, Jerome was promoted to Regional Vice President, Middle East & Africa, overseeing the growth of the branded residences business and mixed-use developments under Marriott’s portfolio of brands.
With over 12 years of experience in the development arena in the region, Briet has a solid history of outhandling performance in the development field having held successful roles at Jones Lang LaSalle and Millennium Copthorne prior to joining Marriott International. During his time with Marriott, Briet has been responsible for introducing some of the company’s most iconic brands to the region, including Edition and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, as well as expanding its midscale and full-service brands in underprovided submarkets.
A French national, Briet holds a BSc in Finance from INSEEC Paris and an MBA from ESSEC Paris in Hospitality Management.
Patrick Fitzgibbon Senior Vice President Development EMEA – Hilton
Senior Vice President Development EMEA – Hilton
Based in London, Patrick has led the rapid expansion of Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio of brands throughout Europe and Africa, achieving the company’s largest development pipeline for the region to date. In 2016, his remit expanded to include the Middle East, where Hilton’s presence consists of more than 131 hotels either trading or under development.
With the EMEA wide portfolio now exceeding 674 hotels (trading/pipeline), Patrick leads a team of 25 hotel and property development experts, based across 11 international offices - strategic development markets include U.K., Germany, Turkey, Sub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E.
During his eleven years in his position he has led key achievements including:
His first position with Hilton was in 1997 as development manager for Hilton International’s stand-alone health club business, LivingWell. Following this he moved to Miami for three years to head up the company’s hotel development activities in Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada. In 2004, he returned to London as Managing Director of LivingWell before taking on his current position.
Dimitris Manikis President & Managing Director - Europe, Middle East, Eurasia, Africa – Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
President & Managing Director - Europe, Middle East, Eurasia, Africa – Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Dimitris Manikis was appointed President and Managing Director for EMEA in April 2018. In his role, he is responsible for the development of all of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ brands in the EMEA region as well as maximising the performance of all new and existing franchise and managed hotels. He focuses on driving the strategic objectives of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts including quality and technology solutions as well as loyalty, sales and marketing.
Dimitris Manikis has a long-standing career and deep knowledge of the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, he spent over 27 years with RCI, the worldwide leader in vacation exchange, across a number of senior roles, and most recently served as Vice President of Business Development for EMEA. Earlier in his career, he also held a number key positions in the region as Managing Director of RCI Greece and RCI South Africa.
A Greek national, Dimitris was born in Athens and holds a Bachelor degree in Tourism and Administration from the University of Patras in Greece, and an MSc Postgraduate degree in Tourism Marketing from the University of Surrey. His passion for people and work ethic comes from his father, who built up a grocery retail business in Athens where Dimitris learned the value of high customer service, positive outlook and hard work as being the foundations of success in both business and life.
He is based in Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ London office.
Elie Younes Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer – Radisson Hotel Group
Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer – Radisson Hotel Group
Elie leads Radisson Hotel Group’s expansions across Europe, the Middle East & Africa with an international team of 25 executives based in Brussels, Moscow, Barcelona, Milan, London, Oslo, Dubai, Frankfurt and Cape Town. Under his leadership, the group has launched and delivered an active asset light strategy with a solid pipeline of 120 hotels and opened over 110 hotels across EMEA.
He is focused on driving organic growth but also helps drive the company’s expansion related acquisitions, as well as the growth into new business concepts on alternative lodging.
He has recently re-engineered Radisson Hotel Group’s development strategy to focus on an asset right growth and accordingly adjusted the organization and its corresponding capabilities for execution. He has a clear vision on delivering a compelling value proposition to investment stakeholders and is on a mission to have this executed, globally. Elie’s cultural background and lifestyle accelerates his stamina and ability to be nimble, anticipate and act fast – decisively.
A Lebanese national and English citizen, Elie began his career in managerial roles in his home country, before joining HVS in London in 2001. He progressed quickly to the position of Director (and a Designate MD) with HVS within 5 years. He also authored a number of publications on hotel performance assessments and investments. In 2007, he joined Starwood in London as Senior Director of Acquisitions and Development. His next move took him to Hilton Hotels Worldwide as Vice President Development, based in Dubai, before joining Rezidor in 2010, as Vice President of Business Development for the Middle East and Africa. In January 2013, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Business Development EMEA, and then to Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer two years later.
Elie is fluent in English, French and Arabic and loves exploring new cultures around the world. He is educated in Beirut, Paris, New York and London, at universities like Notre Dame, IMHI/Essec, Insead, Cornell University, Johnson Graduate Business School and City University.