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Mon, 1 July 2024

Six Key Appointments at Ascott

(01/07/24)  Ascott, the lodging business unit wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment (CLI), has made the following six key appointments: Venessa Koo as Vice President of Business Development for Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and Vietnam; Teo Junrong as Vice President, Business Development for Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia; Thomas Lamson as Vice President, Business Development and Product & Technical Services for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Joseph Wong as Managing Director for China; Steven Chan as Vice President, Global Franchise Services and Regional General Manager for Indochina; and Sophie Mougel as Vice President, Strategy and Regional General Manager for Philippines and Malaysia.

“The appointment of these industry veterans to our business development team signals our commitment to invest in top talent to build Ascott’s growth ecosystem and establish Ascott as the operator of choice for lodging property owners around the world,” said Serena Lim, Chief Growth Officer, Ascott. “With each of them focusing on a key region, Ascott is now better positioned to penetrate deeper into existing markets and make headway in new markets through targeted growth strategies. Leveraging Ascott’s diverse portfolio of brands, wide range of accommodation options and extensive global network, we are confident of offering customised solutions that deliver sustained value to owners.”

Venessa Koo. Click to enlarge.
Venessa Koo

Venessa Koo, Vice President, Business Development

Ms Koo plays a pivotal role in shaping Ascott’s business development strategies to expand its portfolio across several key markets. In her role, she is responsible for driving market-specific growth targets across Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and Vietnam.

With over two decades of industry experience in hospitality operations and consultancy, Ms Koo brings a wealth of expertise to her new role. Most recently, she worked as Chief Operating Officer at Silks Hotel Group (formerly Regent Hotels & Resorts) and prior to that was responsible for Accor Group’s development in 11 Asian markets.

Teo Junrong, Vice President, Business Development

With a focus on pursuing end-to-end business development opportunities, Mr Teo oversees the markets across Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, where he will further grow and broaden Ascott’s brand presence.

In his most recent role at Colliers Hotels & Leisure Asia as Director of Capital Markets and Advisory Asia, Mr Teo was the lead broker for cross border hospitality transactions, covering developed markets including Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea as well as numerous emerging markets.

Mr Teo also formerly worked as Vice President of Investment & Asset Management at CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS), where he managed investments and assets for the trust.

CLAS has a global portfolio of 102 properties in 16 countries. With strong expertise in international capital markets and cross-border transactions, Mr Teo has also held senior positions across Singapore and London at CBRE APAC Hotels and CBRE EMEA Hotels.

Thomas Lamson. Click to enlarge.
Thomas Lamson

Thomas Lamson, Vice President, Business Development and Product & Technical Services, EMEA

Mr Lamson is responsible for structuring the development strategy for Ascott in EMEA, as well as leading the technical development of projects including asset enhancement initiatives of the portfolio in the region.

Prior to joining Ascott, Mr Lamson was the Chief Development, Design & Real Estate Officer at Adagio (Accor and Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs Group), where he also led the asset management function.

He also previously worked with JLL Hotels & Hospitality as Director of Capital Market covering France, Belgium and Switzerland.

Joseph Wong, Managing Director, China

As Managing Director of China and a member of the Ascott Leadership Council, Mr Wong leads Ascott’s portfolio in China, with a focus on strengthening the business in-market, while driving growth.

An integral growth market, China bears Ascott’s largest footprint in a single market with over 48,000 units spanning more than 200 properties.

In his role, Mr Wong oversees the commercial performance of Ascott’s portfolio in China, managing cross-functional teams while driving efficiency and bottom-line results. With growth as a priority, Mr Wong also leads business strategies to tap on new development opportunities for continued expansion within the country.

Mr Wong has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Ascott, he worked at IHG Hotels & Resorts as Vice President, Franchise Performance at Holiday Inn Express, Greater China.

During his tenure with IHG, he led two major growth engines for IHG in Greater China including its franchise business and the Holiday Inn Express brand, covering more than 300 properties.

Steven Chan. Click to enlarge.
Steven Chan

Steven Chan, Vice President, Global Franchise Services and Regional General Manager, Indochina

Mr Chan is responsible for Ascott’s global franchise strategy and the development of its franchise operating platform, with the aim of leading Ascott and its franchisees on a path of accelerated growth.

Holding a dual role, Mr Chan also oversees the overall performance of properties in Indochina, spanning Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar Thailand, and Vietnam, supporting the in-country leadership teams to drive growth and operational excellence.

With more than two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Mr Chan has broad expertise in finance, revenue management, sales and marketing, human resources, and risk management, on top of strong capabilities in operations management.

Prior to joining Ascott, Mr Chan was Chief Operating Officer of Travelodge Asia, where he led and set up the operating platform to support portfolio growth across countries in Asia.

He has also held various leadership roles at IHG, Shangri-La and Pan Pacific.

Sophie Mougel, Vice President, Strategy and Regional General Manager, the Philippines and Malaysia

Ms Mougel spearheads the implementation of Ascott’s global strategic plans and oversees the overall performance of properties in Philippines and Malaysia, supporting in-country leadership teams to drive growth and operational excellence, in her dual role.

Leading the development of long range planning projections to support the overarching global strategy, Ms Mougel also directs alignment between operational initiatives and strategic goals, and manages the Financial Planning and Analysis function, including asset management for Southeast Asia.

With a strong background in the hospitality industry, Ms Mougel was most recently Director of Operations for Southeast Asia and Korea with IHG Hotels & Resorts, managing a portfolio of 27 properties across Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines, including full-service hotels and resorts across different chain scales.

Prior to IHG, Ms Mougel led the Asia Pacific (excluding China) team at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where she was responsible for feasibility, strategic planning and development marketing.

Ms Mougel has also worked as an hotel consultant at Cushman & Wakefield and HVS in Australia.

“Ascott has embarked on a transformative journey to become a global leader in hospitality, and we are actively looking for new opportunities to stay ahead and elevate our position in the ever-evolving industry,” said Wong Kar Ling, Chief Strategy Officer, Ascott. “The appointment of new strategy and operational leads will help us to drive Ascott’s commercial performance in key markets while pursuing strategic growth initiatives such as mergers and acquisitions, transformation and partnerships. We are committed to strengthening Ascott’s competitive edge to continue delivering on exceptional stay experiences for our guests, strong value and returns for our owners, as well as attractive career opportunities for our associates.”

Ascott has set itself a target of earning more than SG$500 million in fee revenue by 2028.

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