Property Forum

Now in its 8th year, our very popular Property Forum (previously known as the Technical Seminar) will run on Day One of the conference.

Where: Cordis, Auckland

When:  Wednesday 04 July 2018

Time:    3pm - 5:30pm

Registration from 2:45pm.

Drinks from 5.30pm.

New Zealand Hotel Key Performance & Investment Update
    presented by Stephen Hamilton and Dean Humphries

*  Challenges facing the Development of New Hotels in NZ
    Chaired by Dean Humphries
    Michael Herman, Executive Development Manager, TFE Hotels
    Lindsay Leeser, Vice President Development Pacific, AccorHotels
    Brett Russell, Managing Director, Russell Group
    Abhijay Sandilya, Senior Director Development Australasia,
    InterContinental Hotel Group

*  How to successfully build new hotels in New Zealand
    Walk the Talk, a success story by Rob Neil of Safari Group

2018 Property Forum Presentations

Stephen Hamilton

Managing Director, Horwath HTL

Stephen jointly established the specialist tourism and leisure consulting practice, Horwath HTL (formerly Horwath Asia Pacific Limited) in 2002. With more than thirty-five years consulting experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Stephen has also undertaken engagements in Australia, Fiji and the Cook Islands.

Stephen’s enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge of the New Zealand tourism industry adds value for clients, by providing a well-balanced and sound approach to their specific needs and assisting clients to progress their business with quality information for decisions and strategies.

Stephen assists lenders, investors, funding sponsors, and purchasers/developers in both the public and private sectors, with the ability to quickly ascertain what financial and market analysis or research will be of most benefit.

Stephen’s service lines include market demand analysis, financial feasibility analysis, market research, economic impact analysis and strategy development.

Michael Herman

Executive Development Manager, TFE Hotels

Michael joined the Toga Group in 1997 as the group’s Hospitality Financial Controller and Head of IT.

Since then, Michael has been involved in many aspects of the group’s growth from 8 Medina serviced apartments to its current 70 plus properties across the 5 brands of Adina, Rendezvous, Travelodge, Quincy and Vibe hotels.

Today, the majority of Michael’s time is taken up in evaluating new hotel opportunities, either by way of acquisition, development or operating agreements for all of the brands in Australia & New Zealand.

Michael is an Australian Chartered Accountant and holds degrees in commerce and accounting.

Dean Humphries

National Director, Hotels, New Zealand / South Pacific, Colliers International

Dean is recognised as New Zealand's leading hotel investment advisor specialising in the disposal, acquisition and valuation of hotel and tourism assets.

Dean is responsible for running the Colliers New Zealand National Hotel Division, the largest team of hotel consultants in the country. Since 2015, Dean has been responsible for the sale of over $430m in hotel assets and was awarded the New Zealand Commercial & Industrial Salesperson of the Year by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand in 2016.

Dean also provides advice to many institutional and private entities including; CDL, Heritage Hotels, CP Group, Colwall Investments, Distinction Hotels Group, Reddy Group, Scenic Hotel Group, AccorHotels, Auckland International Airport, Infratil, Russell Group of Companies and M&L Investments.

With one of the most notable recent assignments being the co-author of the New Zealand Regional Hotel Market Analysis and Forecasting Study (Project Palace) for New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Tourism New Zealand, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

Lindsay Leeser

Vice President Development Pacific, AccorHotels

Lindsay Leeser is currently employed as Vice President Development Pacific & Vice President Franchise Operations for Accor based in Sydney, Australia. In this role, Lindsay is responsible for the development and growth of the Accor network within Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Lindsay Is also responsible for the operations of the AccorHotels Franchise network which includes some 85 hotels across the region.

Lindsay’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce, Tourism & Hospitality Management, and Marketing.

Lindsay joined Accor in 1998 and became a Business Development Analyst at Accor Sydney office in 2001. He was appointed to the position of Corporate Asset Manager followed by Development Manager North Asia & Pacific. In 2006, Lindsay undertook the position of General Manager Development Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific. In January 2008, he was promoted to the role of Director Development Pacific, and promoted to Vice President Development Pacific in March 2014.

In this role, Lindsay is responsible for the development and growth of the Accor network including Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, So Sofitel, Swissotel, Pullman, MGallery by Sofitel, Grand Mercure, 25 Hours, Mama Shelter, The Sebel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, Ibis Styles, Ibis Budget and Jo & Joe across Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.

During Lindsay’s time in the development team, Accor has seen unprecedented growth to become the market leader in Australia and New Zealand with more than 240 hotels and over 32,000 rooms across the region with a further 3,500 hotel rooms currently under development.

Outside of Accor, Lindsay is a Board Member of the Garvan Research Foundation and Chairman of the Young Garvan Committee in Sydney.

Robert Neil

Director, Safari Group of Companies

Safari Group (NZ) Limited is a well-established and forward-thinking Property Development & Construction Company. The Company is a privately-owned family business and was founded by Robert Neil and Stephen Taylor in 1996. Since 2003 Robert & Stephen have integrated their construction focus and expertise into the development of their own projects. In 2012 Robert and Stephen were proud to include Damien Taylor, youngest son of Stephen, into the business. Damien along with Robert’s two younger sons will be the strength of the business in future years. With a vast knowledge base in project, site and people management across a diverse range of commercial, industrial and residential projects, Robert, Stephen and Damien ensure reliability and top performance enabling Safari Group to achieve high standards of quality workmanship to satisfy the client's need.

Safari Group is dedicated to their clients and maintains a 'hands on' role, by working closely with all the professional consultants and sub-contractors alike, thereby staying true their motto of producing Value through Quality & Efficiency. Safari Group is a small team of people yet has a professional team of project and development managers together with a financial controller who are able to adapt in these changing times to achieve the best results at all times. This small proficient team provides expertise in not only finding exciting projects but making sure that they convert effectively from the initial conception stage through to development and completion, whereby providing acceptable returns. Both Robert and Stephen are registered and are Licensed Building Practitioners.

Recent projects include “Wyndham Garden” located in Queenstown, “Ramada Federal Street” located in Auckland, “Ramada Remarkables Hotel” located in Queenstown, “Quest on Thorndon” located in Thorndon Quay, Wellington, “Quest Taupo” located in Taupo, “Ramada Suites Tuam Street” located in Christchurch, “Quest Beaumont” located in Beaumont Street, Auckland, “Quest Hamilton” located in Victoria Street, Hamilton and “Quest Tauranga” located in Durham Street, Tauranga.

Brett Russell

Managing Director, Russell Group of Companies

Brett started in the construction industry in 1981 as an apprentice bricklayer in his father’s business. After learning his trade and proving himself in people and client management, he became joint partner with his father in 1988. He and his father then developed the business further and since 1991 have acquired other complimentary companies, collectively referred to as the Russell Group of Companies. The companies, under 4 major brands, led by Brett but with different shareholders & management structures, are all family owned with aligned values. Employing just over 1000 people, they have long, successful histories and are well respected in their field.

Through Dominion Constructors in particular, Brett has been involved in the successful construction of a number of prominent Auckland buildings, structures & urban developments. This has included the construction of apartment/hotel structures, such as The Metropolis, Spencer on Byron, Pullman Auckland (previously Hyatt) and the Sky City Tower, Hotel and Convention Centre, Sudima Hotel and Sofitel Wellington. He is also co-owner and developer of the Breakfree on Cashel in Christchurch, opened in 2014, the Adina Britomart an apartment conversion opened in 2016 and the soon to open, Four Points by Sheraton in Queen Street.

Brett is an astute business owner, with practical experience as a subcontractor, contractor, developer, property & hotel owner. Brett’s strengths are wide ranging and include company & project management, all elements of construction including design and build, contract negotiations, project development and funding and company acquisitions. He is a people person who builds lasting partnerships that have assisted in the long term growth and success of his businesses.


Abhijay Sandilya

Senior Director Development Australasia, InterContinental Hotels Group

In this role, Abhijay drives IHG's strategic growth and development across the Australasia region, encompassing Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

He plays a vital part in ensuring the company's long-term growth strategy, helping to grow IHG's portfolio across its leading hotel brands including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Express, EVEN Hotels and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Before joining IHG in May 2016 Abhijay was Director of Development Planning AMEA for Whitbread PLC in Singapore, where he led asset acquisitions for the company’s Premier Inn brand. Prior to that he worked for the Jumeirah Group in Dubai, growing the group’s iconic hotels and resorts portfolio in the role of Director of Development, Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

Abhijay has worked in seven countries and holds a Master’s degree from Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management.

Udai Sarin

Chief Executive Officier, Sarin Investments

Udai Sarin is the Chief Executive Officer of Sarin Investments and oversees the Sarin Family’s New Zealand Hotel Portfolio and other Commercial Investments. Prior to joining Sarin Investments, Udai worked at Ernst and Young New Zealand and is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant.

The Sarin Hotel Portfolio consists of hotels throughout New Zealand working with global hotel brands such as Hilton, Intercontinental and Accor including boutique independent hotels. The portfolio of hotels are operated by Sarin through a mixture of owned and leased assets and represent one of the larger family owned hotel companies in New Zealand.

Udai is passionate about tourism and participates on a number of boards throughout New Zealand in various fields.

During down time, Udai spends the majority of his time on the golf course and with his young family,


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