Goldman Sachs is a name synonymous with deal-making and global financial markets. Now the US bank is aiming to make a similarly big splash within the hospitality industry.

In an article published in the Financial Times in May 20th 2019, Goldman Sachs announced that its merchant banking division had entered into exclusive negotiations to buy European budget hotel chain B&B Hotels from private equity group PAI Partners for €1.9 billion.

The scale of this transaction underlines the strong valuation that can be attached to a successful hospitality brand (almost three times what PAI paid for the chain in 2016). Plus, it demonstrates a clear and growing appetite among major institutional players for private equity investments.

These factors explain why a specialized Private Equity course has been included within the academic curriculum of Glion’s new MSc in Finance, Real Estate and Hotel Development, which welcomes its first intake of students to the London campus in September 2019.

Bringing private equity to life in the classroom

The Private Equity course is delivered by Cyril Demaria, Head of Private Markets at Wellershoff & Partners. It will give an overview of how to deploy private equity ‘tools’ to finance the creation, development, growth, transmission and eventually restructuring of a company. Classes will also encompass the role of private equity in asset allocation as well as the process of fund management.

It forms one element of what will be 360 hours of teaching incorporated within the new MSc in Finance, Real Estate and Hotel Development. Core modules will focus on the principles of planning and developing an operational real estate asset, using the hotel as an illustration. Students will also be given the know-how to devise a real estate investment strategy, including insight into how decisions are formulated on which sectors, countries and even regions or cities to target. The ‘Finance’ module, meanwhile, will work through options for raising the required debt capital to fund the purchase of a real estate asset.

“Exploring the latest advances in private equity can inform the future of investing in hospitality assets,” explains Dr. Emmanuel Jurczenko, Director of Graduate Studies and co-author of the new MSc program.

“Though a challenging area of the market, private investments are becoming increasingly popular among institutional investors, due to the low-yield environment and the diversification benefits of adding private assets to the portfolio.”

Glion brings the world of private capital together

As well as sharing cutting edge thinking with MSc students, Glion has also created a forum for academics and practitioners to debate the latest research advances in private markets (including private equity, venture capital, private debt, and real estate).

The Annual Private Capital Conference takes place at the Glion campus, in Montreux, on 27th and 28th June 2019. It will bring together a unique mix of academics and practitioners to offer insight into private market strategies.

The first day of the conference will focus on the practitioners. It will include:

  • a masterclass on asset allocation in private markets;
  • a panel discussion on private markets investing from leading experts; and
  • an investment solutions session from key industry players (Unigestion, eFront, MJ Hudson, Capital Dynamics).

The keynote address will be delivered by Prof. Morten Sørensen, Professor of Finance at Copenhagen Business School, who will speak on ‘Optimal Allocation to Private Equity’.

The second day will focus on academics, with four sessions on private markets investing, private equity, private real estate and infrastructure and venture capital investing respectively.

Our objective is to mix these two populations – practitioners and academics – because they offer complimentary perspectives. This, we believe, will give attendees a much more complete picture of this market,” says Emmanuel.


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Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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