JLL Hotels Expands Operations to Brazil

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels has opened its doors in São Paulo, Brazil, completing the firms BRIC strategy of having dedicated hospitality experts in Brazil, Russia, India and China.Executive vice president Ricardo Mader Rodrigues and senior vice president Manuela Gorni, along with seven hotel specialists, have joined the new team, bringing the firm’s strategic advisory and asset management team to 80 hotel professionals globally. Previously, they were partners of Hotel Investment Advisors, an advisory and asset management consulting group in São Paulo, and were the first in Brazil to offer specialized consulting services for the hotel industry, including asset management, operations analysis, market studies for new hotel developments, valuations and strategic planning for hotel companies planning to expand or establish a presence in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and throughout South America. Brazil has many positives going for it right now, making it an attractive destination for investors and hotel companies alike. The somewhat turbulent government and inflation have stabilized, has tremendous GDP growth and has new investment grade credit ratings from Standard & Poors and Fitch Ratings, Gregory Rumpel, a JLL Hotels executive vice president based out of Miami, told CPN. “This is where aggressive growth is, and we target BRIC (nations) as our growth engine,” he said. JLL Hotels entered Russia and India in the past two years through joint venture and acquisitions, while it has had a presence in China for approximately four years. Brazil claims half of South America’s GDP and population, which also makes it appealing, Rodrigues reported. “Every international hotel company is looking to be in the gateway cities, putting in high-end projects,” he said. “They will also grow more with mid-scale and budget hotels.” The country has approximately 8,000 hotels, of which only 7 percent are American, European or Asian-branded, Rumpel added, which creates additional opportunities for international hoteliers. Rumpel said the JLL Hotels’ continuing strategy will be to stay in front of its clients’ needs. The firm likes what it sees in Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Peru, although there are no immediate plans to expand to those countries. The firm also joins 600 Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. professionals in Brazil, which has been established there since 1996 and has offices in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janerio and Curitiba.