JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group Appoints New CEO

Meet finance veteran Philip Ward, JLL's most recent EMEA addition.
Philip Ward, JLL

Philip Ward, JLL

London—JLL has brought in some fresh talent to its hotels unit. The commercial real estate services firm recently tapped Philip Ward, formerly managing partner and founder of Brookfield Financial’s European operation, to serve as the new CEO of its Hotels & Hospitality Group in EMEA.

Ward replaces Christoph Härle, who was promoted to director of Global Investor Client Services in the firm’s Global Capital Markets division earlier this month.

A financing hotshot, Ward brings quite a bit to the table. He’s been in the finance business for more than three decades, and for the last 25 years, his work has centered on providing investment banking advisory services in the hotel, leisure and tourism arenas. “Current and future clients will benefit from Philip’s wealth of experience in the sector, including sourcing, securing and arranging debt and equity capital, and structuring complex transactions through a range of market cycles,” Mark Wynne-Smith, Global CEO of JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group, said in a prepared statement.

Ward will have his hands full. EMEA hotel investment volumes are forecasted to reach $25 billion in 2016, JLL notes in a report, adding that the region is expected to hold its position as the largest destination for offshore capital. And he’ll play a big role in the bigger picture for JLL.

“JLL has a leading market position, an excellent worldwide reputation and an outstanding continued growth opportunity within the hotels and hospitality real estate sector.  However, this is also a sector experiencing unprecedented change,” a JLL spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. The firm sees new market dynamics being created by innovative digital business models, new platforms and strategies for using data and technology and the rise of the sharing economy. “It is essential that JLL continues to provide our clients with unrivalled and comprehensive strategic advice in the context of these new market dynamics,” the spokesperson added. “In this light, working closely with all of our business leaders across the Hotels & Hospitality group in EMEA and as part of our global leadership team, Philip will look to refine our strategy and enhance our capabilities in EMEA while retaining and enhancing our traditional strengths and leadership position across EMEA and beyond.”

JLL regularly makes moves to keep HHG at the top of its game.  In 2015, the group expanded its footprint into Africa, and added IT consulting capability with the acquisition of Avenue9, a start-up IT consulting services provider to the hospitality industry.