A discussion around Operators’ strategies for the African continent. Where are they focusing their development efforts?
Hala Matar Choufany President-Middle East, Africa and South Asia – HVS
Hala Matar Choufany
President-Middle East, Africa and South Asia – HVS
Hala Matar Choufany is the President for HVS Middle East, Africa & South Asia and Managing Partner of HVS Dubai.
Hala is an experienced Managing Partner and Hospitality Advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. Skilled in Contract Negotiation, Feasibility Studies, Development Recommendation, Valuation, Asset Management, and Strategic Advisory; she has advised on more than 2,500 hospitality and mixed-use projects in the last 15 years across Europe, MEA and Asia. Hala has in-depth expertise in regional hotel markets and a broad exposure to international markets and maintains excellent contacts with developers, owners, operators, investment institutions and government entities. Hala speaks frequently at investment coneferences on a range of topics including asset valuation, management issues and women leadership.
Hala completed Executive Education at Harvard Business School. She also holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from IMHI (Essec- Cornell) University, Paris, France and a BA in Hospitality Management from Notre Dame University, Lebanon. Hala is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Hala is a board member of Harvard Business School club of the GCC and is a mum of three. Born in Beirut, Hala lived and worked in a number of cities across Europe, Asia and Middle East.
Karim Cheltout Regional Vice President - Development, Africa – Marriott International
Regional Vice President - Development, Africa – Marriott International
Karim Cheltout is the Regional Vice President Lodging Development for Marriott International in Africa. He oversees all developments of new hotels and conversions across Marriott’s portfolio of brands throughout the African continent.
Cheltout has over 18 years of experience in hotel real estate development, finance and investments. In his current role, Cheltout is focusing on growing Marriott International's footprint across the African continent, with emphasis on the region's fastest-growing hotel and travel markets. Cheltout joined Marriott International in 2010 as Vice president of Development for Africa.
Prior to joining Marriott International, Cheltout was a Director at Istithmar. In his role he was responsible for origination and acquisitions of hotel and leisure opportunities globally. Prior to that, Cheltout was with Ernst & Young Transactions Real Estate Advisory in the MENA office. Cheltout started his career in hotel operations and consulting. He has advised many hospitality companies, investors and lenders on M&A transactions, strategy and development opportunities within Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Cheltout holds a Masters in Hospitality Administration from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, in Switzerland.
Alexis Janoray Vice President, Head of Development Africa – Accor
Vice President, Head of Development Africa – Accor
Alexis Janoray is heading development for AccorHotels in Africa since June 2018. He was previously the VP responsible for Sub Saharan Africa since 2016.
Before joining AccorHotels, Alexis was a banker for more than ten years specializing in structured and acquisition financing.
His last position was with Proparco, the French private sector development bank, where he originated, structured and closed numerous transactions in Africa and in the hospitality sector in particular.
Alexis is a graduate from Paris Dauphine University and holds a master in corporate finance from EM Lyon business School.
Ramsay Rankoussi Senior Director Business Development, Middle East & Africa – Radisson Hotel Group
Senior Director Business Development, Middle East & Africa – Radisson Hotel Group
Based in Dubai, Ramsay looks after the Group’s strategic growth across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey and reports directly to the Chief Development Officer.
Tasked with increasing the Group’s regional hotel portfolio and footprint, Ramsay is an expert deal-maker, leading transactions from sourcing through to execution.
He is proficient in legal contract negotiations, due diligence and financial analysis. He oversees the underwriting, strategic planning, investment analysis and asset management activities for all type of deal structuring, including conversions and take overs, financial commitments, franchise and straight management agreements.
Ramsay previously led the investment arm of Millennium Hotels & Resorts, one of the Middle East’s fastest-growing hotel groups. During this time, he helped take the company into the top 10 ranks in the region.
A Belgian national, Ramsay is fluent in multiple languages and with a multi-cultural background. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an MBA specialized in Hotel Real Estate Finance and Asset Management from the ESSEC Business School (IMHI) in Paris.