Sarmad Zok is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) headquartered in Dubai, UAE and a non-executive director on the boards of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, AccorHotels, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Management, BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust plc and Kingdom Holding Company. Mr. Zok is an active member of the boards of the hotel management companies he sits on, being directly engaged on strategy, product, operations/guest experience, growth and value creation.
In 2006, Mr. Zok led KHI on its Initial Public Offering on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (the predecessor to NASDAQ Dubai) and the London Stock Exchange. Since a successful take-private in 2010 he has headed KHI’s accomplished hotel investment management team in Dubai in managing an integrated luxury hospitality investment portfolio across the US, Europe and growth/developing markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2016, he successfully led the KHI team on the sale and merger of Fairmont Raffles with AccorHotels, one of the largest recent transactions in the luxury hospitality sector.
In his early career, Mr. Zok worked at HVS International and Hilton International. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management from the University of Surrey and a Masters of Arts in Property Valuation and Law from City University Business School in London.
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Keith Robertson joined Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) in October 2011 as Vice President – Group Finance. He was appointed Senior Vice President – Group Finance in July 2015, a role he held for 18 months before being promoted to Executive Vice President, Co-Chief Financial Officer in January 2017, a title he shares with Lourens Kruger.
Today, Mr. Robertson is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s corporate financial affairs. Mr. Robertson’s scope of responsibility extends to asset-level financial reporting and control, the Kingdom Group’s worldwide taxation affairs in addition to being actively involved in all aspects of the financial implications of its M&A activity. Mr. Robertson played a key role in the financial structuring of the sale and merger of FRHI to AccorHotels in July 2016, the deal value of which was excess of US$3bn.
Prior to joining KHI, Mr. Robertson was Senior Vice President of Global Finance at Kempinski Hotels based in Switzerland with direct responsibility for worldwide financial reporting, corporate finance, international tax planning as well as oversight of all the regional finance functions with some 64 hotel assets under management.
Mr. Robertson started his career with Ernst & Young and is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales. He holds a B.Sc. Hons in Economics and Accounting from the University of Leicester and is a British Citizen.
Lourens Kruger joined Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) in March 2009 as a Vice President – Treasury and was responsible for managing all aspects of KHI’s treasury including capital structure and liquidity and management, debt raising and project financing. During this period Mr. Kruger successfully deployed project financing on development projects in excess of US$1bn, as well as leading the company’s financing and restructuring efforts of approximately US$2bn.
Following the company’s take private in 2010 by Kingdom Holding Company and in addition to his corporate treasury role, Mr Kruger took on broader responsibilities in the M&A and Corporate Finance functions of KHI, playing a key part in executing the company’s monetisation strategy, successfully executing contracts to the value of US$1bn EV.
In July 2015, Mr Kruger ‘s title was elevated to Senior Vice President, Treasury and M&A and following recent changes within the organisational structure, effective 1st January 2017, he was promoted to Co-Chief Financial Officer, a title he shares with Keith Robertson. Today, Mr Kruger is responsible for overseeing all the corporate finance activities of the company, including the M&A initiatives, treasury and capital structure programmes.
Mr Kruger has over 15 years banking, real estate and hospitality experience across 35 countries ranging from Asia and the Middle East to Africa and Europe. Prior to joining KHI, he built a career with Standard Bank in South Africa where he was co-founder of the African Real Estate team, a unit responsible for all the banks’ activities across Africa (excl. South Africa) in the commercial property arena.
Mr Kruger holds various professional qualifications as well as degrees in Computer Science, Monetary Economics and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the London Business School. He is also a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. Mr Kruger is a South African national.
Sean P. Harrison joined Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) as General Counsel in July 2014. Prior to this role, he had acted as lead external corporate counsel to the company for many years.
Mr. Harrison is responsible for managing all aspects of KHI’s global legal affairs including mergers, acquisitions and disposals; joint venture and partner relationships; financing arrangements; corporate governance; resolution of third party disputes; risk management; company secretarial; and general corporate and commercial advice. His team also oversees insurance placement for Kingdom Hotels’ hospitality assets globally. In 2015 and 2016, Mr. Harrison was part of the leadership team negotiating and implementing the sale and merger of FRHI with AccorHotels which completed in July 2016, the deal value of which was in excess of US$ 3 billion.
Prior to joining KHI, Mr. Harrison was a corporate partner at the global law firm Hogan Lovells headquartered in Washington DC and London. Following elevation from Associate to Partner in 2004, he was based in London for several years before moving to Abu Dhabi where he also held senior management responsibility between 2008 and 2012.
Throughout Mr. Harrison’s career, his practice has focused on advising highly sophisticated investors across the growth markets of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia with a particular expertise in hospitality.
Mr. Harrison holds an Honors Degree in English Law (LLB) from The University of Exeter and has been admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales since 1996. He is a British citizen.
Benjamin Cadwell joined the Kingdom organization in January 2006 and was initially based in New York City with Hotel Capital Advisers, Inc. (HCA) a company which previously oversaw Kingdom’s hospitality sector investments in North America and Europe. In November 2014 Mr. Cadwell transferred to Dubai to join Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) as a Vice President in the Asset Management Department as part of the integration of HCA and KHI. In January 2017, he was appointed as Executive Vice President – Head of Asset Management.
Today, Mr. Cadwell is responsible for the asset management activity for KHI’s global hospitality platform of 14 luxury, upper-upscale and upscale properties, overseeing a seasoned team of asset management professionals based in Dubai. He also assists in managing KHI’s investments in two leading hospitality management companies, AccorHotels and Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and is a member of the Board of Directors of Movenpick.
During his tenure with Kingdom, Mr. Cadwell has been involved in transactional and asset management assignments for more than 20 luxury and upper-upscale hotel investments in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as Kingdom’s hotel management company holdings. He played a key role in the sale and merger of FRHI to AccorHotels in July 2016, the deal value of which was in excess of US$3bn.
Prior to joining the Kingdom organization, Mr. Cadwell was an associate with Ernst & Young LLP’s Transaction Real Estate practice in New York City, where he performed advisory services relating to hospitality real estate assets including operational analyses, financial due diligence, market and feasibility studies, and valuation reviews. Previously, Mr. Cadwell held various positions in hotel operations.
Mr. Cadwell received a bachelor of science with Distinction in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and serves as co-chairman of the Dean’s Council for Young Alumni at the Cornell Hotel School. He is a member of the Hotel Asset Managers Association. Mr. Cadwell is an American citizen.