October 8th 2021
The European and UK hotel investment market is “poised for growth with the expectation of compelling returns” say the experts at Pro-invest Group, as the business begins operating across the UK and Europe.
The private equity real estate and real estate asset management company is already one of the largest investment and operating platforms in Australasia, with a strong presence in the Middle East and now the UK and Europe, run from their new offices in Mayfair.
As the recovery takes hold, the Pro-invest team are actively engaging with investment partners and asset allocators as the conduit to enable successful investments throughout the region, particularly focused on Britain and Germany.
For CEO & Chairman Ronald Stephen Barrott, the launch of Pro-invest Group in the UK and Europe is akin to a “coming home” move. Ronald previously created thriving hotel, retail and commercial property investment business Stannifer Group in the European region.
Ronald explained: “We are delighted to be returning to the European region and can bring all our combined expertise to bear in acquiring and re-positioning, re-branding and managing assets going forward. We want to do this at scale, bringing our active style of management into play.
“Pro-invest have had significant success in recent years developing and operating hotels and driving significant investor returns in the Australasia market. By the end of this year, we will have 5000 rooms under our management.
“We are aiming to continue that success. I am confident that with this seasoned team in place we will replicate those accomplishments with Pro-invest UK and Europe.”
Pro-invest UK & Europe draws upon the combined experience of highly skilled professionals at its core, each with a proven record in building scalable hotel investment strategies, including industry figures from ADIA and hospitality group IHG, creating a unique powerhouse led by lauded industry veteran, CEO & Chairman Ronald Barrott.
Co-CEO and Managing Partner Dr Sabine Schaffer, Managing Director for Hospitality and Asset Management Alex Garrod, previously a portfolio manager at ADIA responsible for hospitality investments, and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Johnston bring a wealth of individual skills and industry knowledge, as the UK and Europe team currently seeks out hotel and commercial investments.
The core leadership team is completed with Head of Hotels Keith Griffiths, formerly MD of Atlas Hotels, Head of Architecture and Technical Services Norman Forsyth and Scott Wolfe as Pro-invest Group UK and Europe’s Director of Investments.
Pro-invest Group UK and Europe operates a fully integrated business, combining active asset management, property development and operational capabilities across a range of assets classes, including commercial and retail as well as hotels, where the focus is on opportunities within gateway cities and the aggregation of a UK wide select service hotel platform
Sabine Schaffer said: “We are taking the vertically integrated model that we successfully used over the past three decades and relaunching this into the UK and European marketplace.
“Our intention is to become a leading private equity real estate firm in Europe with particular specialty in the hospitality sector.
“The style of investment will be where we can run the properties operationally, where our team can use its real estate expertise to enhance the physical building and then we can leverage our three decades of experience as a franchisee of international hotel brands.”
Alex Garrod, MD Hospitality Asset Management, added: “We have conviction in early cycle hospitality investing and will be looking to develop platforms in markets expected to experience strong and prolonged GDP recovery.
“We are taking a considered and research based approach to market selection and feasibility, combining that with hard skills in hotel operations, brand selection and asset repositioning.
“Our objective is to create institutional grade exposure to the hospitality sector and outperforming returns from Pro-invest’s value adding approach. Pro-invest have over 200 years of combined experience and an extensive track record of successful investments and know intrinsically what institution investors are looking for.”
Pro-invest Group experts believe the hotel and hospitality market, which is already bouncing back from COVID, will be stronger than ever by the end of 2023.
Keith Griffiths, Head of Hotels, explained: “The fundamentals as to the reasons why people use hospitality and travel have not significantly changed. The hotel market will see a strong return to growth and a fast recovery as high levels of vaccination and strong GDP recovery combine to create an environment in which hotels will thrive.
“This recovery is already taking hold, particularly in the UK market, and will only improve as further constraints on corporate and international travel lift over the coming months.”
Pro-invest Group is deeply committed to environmental sustainability, and has strong ties with leading environmental institutions, enabling a streamlined sustainability strategy while elevating the efficiency of their hotel assets.
Impressed with the company’s award-winning ESG strategy in Australia, leading European bank Aareal has just made its first ever green loan with Pro-invest Group. The Australian Clean Energy Fund has also invested as a direct result of the company’s industry-leading track record in this field.
Chairman & CEO Ronald Barrott said: “Our commitment to sustainability increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we rallied together to advocate for climate change, and explored a host of worthwhile initiatives.
“We know Environmental Social Governance is becoming ever more important and is most effective when engrained throughout organisational culture and business operations.
“ESG is a must. The driver for our approach to ESG is primarily because we are a responsible business. The complimentary benefit of ESG is that it futureproofs the properties we are investing in, operating and building, ensuring that they remain compliant with the evolving demands of institutional stakeholders.
“The UK and Europe is just the next step in our mission to bring sustainable, profitable hotel and commercial property investment to the market.”
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About The Pro-invest Group: Pro-invest Group is an asset manager and investment firm whose team has over three decades of industry expertise. With assets under management of close to two billion, Pro-invest operates as a locally established, integrated private equity real estate business combining active asset management, development and operational capabilities, providing investors with above industry risk-adjusted returns in the hospitality, commercial and retail space. Pro-invest Group’s unique structure ensures full control of the entire value chain, allowing for effective sustainability management, risk mitigation and return optimisation.
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