Home' Hotel Management : HM April 2017 Contents A
s he crosses the threshold of 10 years as CEO of Mantra Group, Bob East is
just getting started.
In recent years, the company has adopted a strategic growth strategy with
a firm goal of becoming Australia’s leading hotel and resort operator... and it’s
When East joined Mantra Group (then Stella Hospitality Group), the Group had 35
properties within its stable. Today, the portfolio has more than trebled to 127 properties
across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii today.
East credits much of the success to the company ’s highly experienced management
team, supported by 5,500-plus team members of whom 1,100-plus are property
management and maintenance staff looking after 10,000-plus owners, 21,000-plus
rooms, providing more than 2.3 million guest nights every year.
Mantra Group’s Executive Committee reflect on some of the progressions and the
future of the company:
Cherie McGill, Executive Director Human Resources (joined Mantra Group
in September 2004): Of the many programs implemented at Mantra Group, I’m
most proud of the Women in Mantra program, which focuses on flexible working
arrangements and the career development of female team members.
Michael Moret-Lalli, Executive Director Acquisitions (joined Mantra Group in
April 2005): Mantra Group’s strong pipeline growth continues to be fuelled by our
focus on aligning stakeholder interest and delivering flexible business models including
hotel management agreements, leases, management letting rights, marketing services
agreements and freehold ownership.
Michelle Lalli, Executive Director Asset Management (joined Mantra Group in August
2005): Part of Mantra Group’s success can be attributed to the way in which we leverage our
core operating model. We own strategic real estate within our hotels along with management
rights that anchor us as a business and structures us like an owner-operator.
Garry Rich, Executive Director Information Technology (joined Mantra Group in
August 2005): One of the things that distinguishes Mantra Group from other hotel
and resort operators is our unique approach to systems and procedures. Over the past 10
years, we have promoted efficiencies across all levels of the business.
Kevan Funnell, Executive Director Finance (joined Mantra Group in March 2006):
A key to Mantra Group’s success lies in our ability to drive strong cost efficiencies
through centralised services. Functions such as payroll, sales and marketing and HR are
implemented centrally and supplied to each hotel.
Mark Hodge, Executive Director Operations (joined Mantra Group in October 2006):
It’s been a great journey of growth and looking to the future, Mantra Group will continue to
focus on strategic pipeline growth. We have strategic plans for growth, not only in Australia,
but to other offshore destinations including key Asia Pacific and the USA.
Tomas Johnsson, Chief Operating Officer (joined
Mantra Group in July 2007): Mantra Group is now
perceived as the best strata manager in the country, offering
partners and our third party owners excellent returns. Our
average 50%+ gross operating profit margins at hotel level
is best in class, which is what investors are looking for.
Fiona Van Wyk, Company Secretary (joined Mantra
Group in September 2007): I joined Mantra Group
at the start of its growth phase. One of the biggest
accomplishments was the successful listing on the
Australian Securities Exchange in June 2014 and the
subsequent inclusion in the ASX 200 list in the same year.
Luke Moran, Executive Director Sales, Revenue and
Distribution (joined Mantra Group in July 2009):
Mantra Group has always been agile and responsive to the
market. The company deploys its own capital to secure hotel
operating rights, or works with third party owners under a
management agreement, depending on the opportunity.
Matt Granfield, Executive Director Marketing and
Digital (joined Mantra Group in November 2015):
One of the most significant moments for me was Mantra
Group’s expansion into new international markets. A
recent standout acquisition is the 1,176 room Mantra-
branded Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu Hawaii last July.
The hotel has recorded solid opening results to perform
above the industry-average in Hawaii.
St John Lord, General Counsel (joined Mantra
Group in January 2016): I’ve watched the growth and
success of Mantra Group from afar for many years and
now am excited to be a part of this dynamic team as it
drives growth and development opportunities, explores
diversified distribution channels and capitalises on the
forecasted tourism sector growth.
Stephen Hobson, Chief Financial Officer (joined
Mantra Group in February 2017): Mantra Group has
achieved considerable success in the Australian market and
while the company is growing its international presence, its
core market will remain domestic and this is where we will
see most of the growth in the next year or two. n
A Mantra Group Promotion
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