Nick van Marken in conversation with Sam Nazarian founder of SBE Entertainment Group on how he created a brand based around experience from hotels to restaurants to nightclubs. Sam is joined by Gaurav Bhushan of Accorhotels to discuss why they purchased SBE and how they intend to grow the brand.
Nick van Marken Global Advisory Board Member, Bench Events
Nick van Marken
Global Advisory Board Member, Bench Events
Following a career in professional services spanning nearly 30 years, Nick is currently acting as senior adviser to several hospitality investors. Until recently he was a senior partner with Deloitte LLP and Global Head of Hospitality Advisory Services, based in London. In this role, he served a wide spectrum of clients across all six continents, including private family/HNWI’s; PE, SWF, institutional, RE; and corporates, and encompassing owners, investors, lenders and operators. The range of services provided included: commercial strategy and development advice; M&A/transaction services; operational/profit improvement reviews; capital-raising/IPOs; assurance; tax advice and restructuring.
Nick spent the early part of his career in hotel operations in Africa and Europe and has subsequently worked in over 70 countries and 250 markets. He is a sought-after speaker and was the organiser and chairman of the highly-regarded annual European Hotel Investment Conference in London (EHIC – which has been running for 29 years).
Nick served on the Board of global industry data provider STR from 2011 to 2017.
Sam Nazarian Founder & CEO, SBE
Founder & CEO, SBE
In 2002, Sam Nazarian founded sbe to revolutionize the lifestyle hospitality space.
With an uncompromising entrepreneurial instinct and personal style, Sam Nazarian has been a transformative force in changing what people expect from contemporary luxury hospitality. He has contributed to defining the future of global lifestyle hospitality, launching award-winning hotels, residences, restaurants and nightclubs. They represent some of the most sought-after lifestyle brands including: SLS Hotels and Residences, The Redbury Hotel, Katsuya, and Hyde Lounge, Hotels and Residences, to mention a few.
Built on around Sam’s concept of the full circle guest experience incorporating world-class design and exceptional cuisine, sbe evolved into the definitive name in luxury and now has an expanding global portfolio which will see 28 hotels and over 175 global world-renowned culinary, nightlife and entertainment venues across North and South America, Europe, Japan and the Middle East. sbe’s success has led to partnerships with internationally acclaimed talents such as Philippe Starck and Yabu Pushelberg and chef Katsuya Uechi.
As the founder and chief visionary, Sam leads sbe and each division in innovative and revolutionary redevelopment of real estate, asset management, partnership, entrepreneurial experience, service, standards, guest management, employee development, and superior hospitality operations, which is the embodiment of sbe. Creating a platform of unique, performance-driven models, he has adeptly positioned sbe hospitality and its diversified business as the leader in the industry. Nazarian also led the acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group, the pioneer of boutique lifestyle hotels, in December 2016, and was the driving force behind sbe and AccorHotels’ strategic partnership announced in June 2018 which saw Accor agree to acquire a 50% joint venture stake in sbe.
Sam’s career began when he co-founded a wireless company, which he later sold after leading its rapid growth and record sales. He studied at New York University and the University of Southern California.
Over the course of his career, Sam has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including 2014 Fortune’s 40 under 40 list, 2014 Make-A-Wish Foundation Man of the Year and Los Angeles Magazine’s 2006 Influentials List.
Gaurav Bhushan Global Chief Development Officer, AccorHotels
Global Chief Development Officer, AccorHotels
Gaurav Bhushan is the Global Chief Development Officer of AccorHotels, responsible for the group’s hotel M&A and development strategies worldwide.
AccorHotels has more than 4,300 hotels hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 3,000 of the finest private homes around the globe. Benefiting from dual expertise as an investor and operator through its HotelServices and HotelInvest divisions, AccorHotels operates in 104 countries. Its portfolio comprises internationally acclaimed luxury brands including Raffles, Fairmont, SO Sofitel, Sofitel, onefinestay, MGallery by Sofitel, Art Series, Pullman, Swissôtel, 25hours, Movenpick, Banyan Tree, Grand Mercure, Peppers, The Sebel and Mantra as well as the popular midscale and boutique brands of Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter and Adagio; and the in-demand economy brands including Breakfree, ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget, Hotel Formule1, and Jo&Joe. AccorHotels opened over 300 hotels in 2017 and has an active pipeline of over 900 hotels and 160,000 rooms. AccorHotels opens more than one hotel every other day somewhere in the world.
Reporting to CEO and Chairman Sebastien Bazin, Gaurav is responsible for the network growth for the group.
Gaurav began his career with AccorHotels in 1995 in Australia, Where he held various posts in operations and finance. From 2006 he headed the Asia Pacific development teams. He was promoted to Global Chief Development Officer role in July 2015.
Gaurav has an MBA from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Finance & Investments from the Securities Institute of Australia.