Global hospitality consulting leader PKF hotelexperts establishes US headquarters
17 Sep 2019
Press release, New York, NY - September 17, 2019
The PKF hotelexperts group, a leading global hospitality consulting company, today announced the establishment of its US headquarters in New York under the management of two of the industry’s most dedicated professionals: Baron Ah Moo and Channing Henry. The announcement was made by the firm’s Global CEO Michael Widmann.
The PKF hotelexperts group, the first fully integrated global advisory firm to serve the hospitality, tourism & leisure and serviced living sectors, traces its roots back to New York in 1927, when William .J. Forster (of Pannell Kerr Forster) created the global standard for accounting and benchmarking – the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry or USALI – which is still in use today. Currently, the PKF hotelexperts group has 14 offices worldwide, with more than 100 consultants providing advisory services including feasibilities studies, valuations and appraisals, operator selection, project development, asset management, financing and investment, and strategic advice.
In addition, the PKF hotelexperts group includes PKF tourismexperts, focusing on master plans for regional tourism infrastructure, and PKF livingexperts, which advises on serviced living concepts (membership clubs, student and senior living, and serviced residential). PKF hotelexperts cooperates closely with the New York-based accounting firm PKF O’Connor Davies, which adds tax, accounting and corporate finance solutions to its real estate & hospitality expertise, creating a holistic suite of service offerings for clients unlike anything else in the market.
“We are eager to re-engage the market with an office in New York, fortified with exceptional new US leadership working in collaboration with our extraordinary talent around the world,” Mr. Widmann said. “Baron Ah Moo and Channing Henry are a seasoned and dynamic leadership team with profound experience in hotel development, investment and consulting. They bring intense creativity to their work, challenging status quo advice with innovative ideas and practical solutions.”
Mr. Ah Moo, whose experience includes managing a $500 million private portfolio of leisure real estate in Vietnam as CEO of Indochina Hotels and Resorts, and Ms. Henry, who recently developed a Proper hotel in Los Angeles and the master plans for numerous projects in the Southern US, Baja California and Costa Rica, will serve as co-leaders of the New York office of PKF hotelexperts (full CVs below). They bring significant transactional and hands-on experience in the boutique and resort development field as well as extensive consulting success to PKF’s US practice. Their combined experience on projects in the US, Mexico, Central America and Asia provide them with keen insight into the full development cycle, from market analysis to deal structure and execution.
“Our growing team will carry on the traditions of PKF’s advisory and deep-rooted market research with further insights for our clients into the development and investment process as a whole,” said Mr. Ah Moo. Ms. Henry said, “PKF created the standard for benchmarking, accounting and consulting in the hospitality realm. Today, we carry our tradition forward, and with headquarters in New York and longtime presence of our team members in Southern California and Florida, the new PKF US operations re-enters the North American market with a meaningful ramp-up strategy and an inventive approach.”
PKF has grown to become one of the largest global networks of accounting and consulting firms, with more than 200 member firms in 400 locations in over 100 countries. The US office of PKF hotelexperts opens in partnership with PKF O’Connor Davies, a major accounting firm headquartered in New York.
about Baron Ah Moo, Managing Director, Head of US
Baron Ah Moo has over 30 years of experience in investment, hospitality finance and operations. Having lived and worked in four different countries, Mr. Ah Moo is a recognized expert in emerging markets and cross border transactions, and his capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and portfolio asset management engagements are global in nature. His list of clients includes private equity funds, major hotel operators and private wealth and family offices. In addition to advising US clients, Mr. Ah Moo is responsible for business development and will co-manage the PKF hotelexperts operations in North America and the Caribbean.
Prior to joining PKF hotelexperts, Mr. Ah Moo was the founder and Managing Director of BLI Capital Group, a leisure real estate advisory and consulting firm. His previous roles include serving as the Head of Hotels-Capital Markets for Colliers International based in Hong Kong, COO for the Hotels Division of Lewis Fund Holdings, one of the largest family offices in the UK and as the CEO of Indochina Hotels and Resorts, which managed the largest private portfolio of leisure real estate in Vietnam. Mr. Ah Moo holds a Bachelor Degree in International Management from the University of San Francisco, and a Masters in Professional Studies from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, NY. He is a contributing author to “Strategic Hospitality Leadership - The Asian Initiative” and was nominated by Cornell’s President to serve as a member of the University’s Alumni Council.
about Channing Henry, Managing Director, Head of US
With more than 15 years in hospitality development and consulting, Channing Henry brings a development perspective to PKF hotelexperts’ extensive advisory work. Her focus is advising hotel developers and owners on highest and best land use analysis, capital strategies and fundraising services, brand positioning and negotiation, and planning and development services. Ms. Henry is responsible for business development and will co-manage the PKF hotelexperts operations in North America and the Caribbean.
Prior to joining PKF hotelexperts, Ms. Henry co-developed the 148-key Downtown LA Proper Hotel, a historic rehabilitation project, in partnership with the Kor Group. She also partnered with BV Resorts on a 1,500-acre luxury resort master plan in Baja California, Mexico and a New York consortium on a 400-acre sustainable master plan in Costa Rica. She led the pre-development and performed extensive advisory work for urban hotels in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Fort Worth, and Todos Santos, Mexico, for brands ranging from Aman Resorts to Bunkhouse and Soho House. Ms. Henry previously worked as a development manager for the Kor Group, where she helped expand the Viceroy and Tides brands in Latin America and Miami. She began her career in real estate as a consultant with Robert Charles Lesser (RCLCo) in Los Angeles, where she performed market and feasibility studies for public and private sector developments across all land uses. Ms. Henry is on the Leadership Committee for ULI’s Recreational Development Council and an Executive Committee member of the South Park Business Improvement District (BID) Board in Downtown Los Angeles. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Argentina and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University and an MBA from Yale’s School of Management.
about PKF hotelexperts
The PKF hotelexperts group is a fully integrated global firm of investment-related consulting services focused on the hospitality, tourism & leisure plus serviced living sectors. Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, the PKF hotexperts group with 14 offices in 12 countries is managed by Michael Widmann and Christian Walter.