Expert graduated from the University of Florida, Summa Cum Laude, with a degree in Quantitative Methods for Business from the School of Finance in the College of Business and a minor in accouting. Expert participated in advanced partner programs at KPMG for valuations, quantitative management, professional practice standards and general operations management.
January 2005- Present
Chasen Capital Advisors
Los Angeles, CA
As Managing Partner, Expert leads the firms hospitality and leisure practice and oversees the western US for this boutique
investment advisory and consulting firm. A sample of some of the engagements and transactions Expert has worked on include:
Starwood Capital Group/SLS Las Vegas
Working as an “operating partner” in a tendered offer, led in the initial concept, re-branding and the re-development of the SLS Las Vegas.
Expert worked as an integral team member in negotiations with Mesa West, the senior debt holder, on acquiring the senior debt position of approximately $200 million. Expert created the
financial structure to buy out the senior debt as a way to control the entire capital stack and thereafter foreclosing on the equity holders Stockbridge Capital ($500 million) and EB-5
debt ($400 million) in the capital stack. SCG is one of two finalist in the transaction.
Apollo Global Real Estate
Working with the hospitality vertical of this major private equity firm, Expert was asked to review the company’s investment with DiNapoli Capital in the Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs. Major engagement tasks included an evaluation of the Coachella Valley marketplace, a review of the hotel’s current operations and the derivation of redevelopment strategies including the marketing and sale of a large portion of the hotel’s existing room inventory to the major Public and Private timeshare companies and the development options related to such a potential sale.
Bluegreen Corporation vs. Class Action
Expert acted as lead expert for the defense (Bluegreen Corporation) in a suit alleging that the company was taken private at less than fair consideration to the minority shareholders of this previously public company. Expert adivsed legal counsel, valuation counsel and other members of the legal team on all aspects related to the lodging and vacation ownership industry and comparative valuations. Expert also worked with legal counsel in depositions of Plaintiffs experts and rebuttal of Plaintiff’s expert opinion. Plaintiffs eventually entered into a confidential settlement.
MGM Resorts International
Expert led a multi-disciplined team of legal counsel, exchange company representatives and administrative and acccounting professionals in the assessment of overall corporate strategy and a potential Vacation Ownership Club for the MGM brand. The team looked at the MGM distribution system of hotels throughout Las Vegas and the US, its loyalty and affinity club M-Life as well as a number of other operating segments in MGM Resorts in assessing the viability of an MGM club and its related potential benefit. From the Club structure we were also retained to look at converting Vdara at City Center to vacation ownership use on a scheduled take-down basis. As the “developer’s”) of the project we would oversee all aspects of VOI sales and marketing, lead flow, financing and management would be retained by MGM.
Las Vegas Sands Corporation
As lead partner, Expert led the team in the restructure, development of the highest and best use and economic forecasts of the stalled $1 billion St. Regis Condominium tower attached to the Venetian and Palazzo Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. Major engagement components included advising the board of directors on alternative development strategies, determining market support for various uses and full development and operating projections of the subject project.
Eden Roc – Miami Beach
Expert served as lead partner for the ownership group in the assessement of the legal case from a business standpoint, and expert witness in a $250 million lawsuit against Marriott International Corporation. Major engagement tasks included analysis of the acquisition, detailed review of the new development and operations of the hotel under Marriott’s management, and determination of legal strategies, supporting documentation and expert opinion in the mediation and litigation. Expert also advised counsel on legal/business strategies, interrogatories, and depositions and mediation. The case reached settlement to Plaintiffs benefit and the contract was terminated.
Atlantis Resort, the Bahamas
As one of the senior team members, Expert and the team represented several of the mezzanine debt holders in a legal action against the senior debt holders of this multi-billion dollar resort located in the Bahamas. Expert led all aspects of determination of the assets’ current as well as long term values. The mezzanine debt holders prevailed in litigation against the senior lender in the restructuring of the capital stack.
As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Expert was the lead partner on the establisment, organization and development of the business plans (both tactical and long term strategic) of Meineke China, an automobile servicing and body repair company. The company was conceived to be established as two separate entities of a real estate and operating company. Major engagement tasks include assessing the potential real estate and funding needs required to establish Meineke service centers through out the Peoples Republic of China, a 2,000,000 squre foot distribution center, 400 room hotel and 1million squre feet of office space in Meishan and Chengdu, China.
Chicago Commercial Hotel
As part of the Arcturus Group team, Expert was actively involved in oversight of the property’s management company on behalf of a new owner who stepped into the “ownership” role from the foreclosure of a mezzanine debt position.
Along with Warnick and Company, Expert participated on the evaluation of one of the key 5 star hotels in the multi-billion dollar bankruptcy of the CNL portfolio from Morgan Stanely. Expert was lead advisor on the restructuring and change of governance of the Arizona Biltmore’s Condominium Rental Pool Operations.
Maritz Wolff & Co. / Broadreach Capital Partners
In conjunction with REH Capital Partners, Expert served as a support partner advising owner’s counsel on a variety of business issues including all aspects of operations, alleged financial mis-management and violations of its fiduciary obligations by Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts to the owners of the Four Season’s Aviara Resort located in Carlsbad, CA. Advisory assignment included review of all resort components, books, contracts and records, including, tennis, golf, vacation ownership hotel, F&B departments. Contributions led to the successful negotiated termination to Four Season’s management contract.
Tamarack Ski Resort
Working as a co-lead on this $500 million complex commercial real estate restructure/bankruptcy, with Links Realty Advisors, Expert’s team was selected by the borrower, unsecured creditors and secured lenders to assume the role of Chief Restructuring Officer(s)/ Chief Operating Officer and responsible party for the entity’s bankruptcy. Proposed tasks included coordinating all resort budgets, overseeing limited resort operations, overseeing the bankruptcy and positioning the subject property for sale. Capri Capital Partners Co-lead partner working with Links Realty Advisors advising an institutional fund manager regarding asset valuation and potential strategies for maximizing the value of it’s $40 million dollar mezzanine investment in their Four Season’s resort asset located in the Southwestern United States. Business tasks involved advising on the strategic benefits and risks of a UCC Foreclosure, designing short-term tactical take-over plans for the operation of the resort, and performing financial and operational reporting.Inter-investment Group Asia. In conjunction with REH Capital Partners, Expert served as Co- lead advisor on the planned establishment of a $165 million China Real Estate Opportunity Fund specializing in commercial real estate and hospitality assets in secondary provinces throughout China. Specific tasks included negotiating management contracts for two five-star hotels with hotel operators, solicitation and structuring of preferred equity investments, senior debt facilities and re-organization of the operations platform. Successful solicitation and negotiation of three term sheets from major hedge funds and investment banks.
May 2001 – December 2004
Los Angeles, CA
Principal and Chief Investment Officer
Interval Leisure Corporation
WorldStar Resorts, LLC Los Angeles, CA
President & Co-Chief Executive Officer
KPMG Peat Marwick, LLP
Senior Partner – Management Consulting
Articles and Speeches on the Hospitality and Vacation Ownership Industries
Available on full CV
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