OCTOBER 15, 2012 1PM CST

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Ruthless Asset Management

Cutting-edge hotel owners who have been through some rough times the past five years have become even more serious about reengineering the traditional operating model to find even more ways to save on food, labor and even marketing costs. The bottom line is that significant savings are there for just about every hotelier to harvest if they understand the opportunities, believe in the processes and enforce the cultural change required to succeed.

This hour-long panel discussion features Laurence Geller, CEO of Strategic Hotels & Resorts; Jon Bortz, CEO of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust; and Bob Morse, COO of the Americas for IHG. Geller and Bortz are well known for their aggressive asset management styles, and Morse is an operator who understands the bottom line opportunities. Listen to them describe their successes, learn specifics about their strategies, and understand the realities – both good and bad – of what is required to become fair but ruthlessly richer asset managers.


Jon Bortz


Pebblebrook, a multi-tenant, multi-operator real estate investment trust (REIT) was formed and went public in late 2009. Prior to forming Pebblebrook, Bortz served as chairman and chief executive officer of LaSalle Hotel Properties, a company he founded in 1998. Previously, Bortz was chairman of the board and CEO of LaSalle Hotel Advisors, a division of Jones Lang LaSalle and founded LaSalle’s Hotel Group in 1993, and as president, oversaw all of LaSalle’s hotel investment and development activities. From January 1995, as managing director of LaSalle’s Investment Advisory division, Bortz was also responsible for certain East Coast development projects, including the redevelopment of the historic Grand Central train terminal in New York City. From 1990 to 1995, he served as senior vice president of LaSalle’s Investment division, with responsibility for East Coast development projects and workouts.

Laurence Geller


Prior to founding Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Geller was chairman and CEO of Geller & Co., a gaming, tourism and lodging advisory company he founded in 1989. Geller & Co. specialized in domestic and international hotel, corporate and real estate development, financing and structuring. Previously, Geller held positions as EVP and COO of Hyatt Development Corp., SVP of Holiday Inn and director of London’s Grand Metropolitan Hotels. Geller has over 45 years of experience in the lodging industry and has authored over 50 published professional articles. He is a frequent lecturer at Universities such as Cornell, NYU, Michigan State, Denver, De Paul, Roosevelt, Johnson and Wales, and Ecole Hoteliere, Lausanne.

Robert (Bob) Morse


Morse is responsible for leading Americas operations for franchised and managed hotels, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. He is also responsible for cultivating franchisee relationships and facilitating system growth. Morse is a 35-year veteran of hospitality, touching almost every area of industry during his career. He joined IHG from Noble Investment Group, where he most recently served as managing principal and chief operating officer. For the past seven years, he was responsible for Noble's hotel management group, which prior to its November 2011 merger with Interstate Hotels & Resorts, operated more than 60 properties including full- and select-service hotels with annual management revenues of approximately US$350 million. His responsibilities at Noble included hotel operations, sales and marketing, human resources, information technology and hotel accounting.