Jonathan Korol is leaving his role as president at SilverBirch Hotels and Resorts to take over as CEO at American Hotel Income Properties REIT when John O’Neill retires from the position in October.
O’Neill has held the CEO’s role since 2018, when he succeeded his brother Rob O’Neill upon his retirement. Both brothers were among AHIP’s founders (HOT.UN-T).
Korol has an extensive background in the industry, gathered over decades as an owner, operator and asset manager. Most recently, he was president of SilverBirch since February 2017.
At SilverBirch, Korol managed one of Canada’s largest hotel owner/operators with a portfolio of close to 5,000 guest rooms operated under internationally recognized brands.
Before becoming president, he led SilverBirch’s investment and portfolio management team as senior vice president, where he managed acquisition, disposition, development and asset management activities.
Co-founder of Amadeus Property Partners
Earlier, Korol co-founded Amadeus Property Partners, a private real estate investment fund focused on select-service hotels and retail and multi-family properties in North American gateway markets. He spent the formative part of his career at Apollo Real Estate Advisors (now Ares Management) as vice president focusing on equity and debt investing.
He started his career as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch.
Korol holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
“(Jonathan ) is a seasoned real estate professional with significant experience across North America in all aspects of hospitality properties and has an impressive track record of success on both sides of the border,” said Michael Murphy, chair of AHIP’s board of directors, in the announcement.
As CEO, Korol will lead the executive team and work with the board to refine and fulfill AHIP’s strategic plan. He will also oversee and work with AHIP’s internal asset management and corporate finance teams.
Korol will be based in Vancouver.
“I would like to thank the board for providing me with this unique opportunity,” said Korol in the announcement.”I believe that AHIP’s hotel portfolio, with its focus on premium-branded select-service hotels in secondary ‘drive-to’ markets, is among the best positioned North American hospitality platforms to withstand and quickly recover from the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
O’Neill led AHIP portfolio repositioning
O’Neill has led AHIP as the firm faced unprecedented challenges during the first seven months of the pandemic. He also led the sale of AHIP’s economy lodging portfolio for $215.5 million and the redeployment of those proceeds into 12 premium-branded hotels during 2019.
“We will miss John’s leadership and integrity, but look forward to his continued support as one of AHIP’s largest unitholders,” said Murphy in the release.
During his career spanning more than three decades, O’Neill spent 24 years as the CEO of O’Neill Hotels and Resorts, a Vancouver-based management, development and investment firm. It oversaw more than 200 properties in Canada and the U.S.
O’Neill also served as CEO of ONE Lodging Management, one of the largest hotel managers on the continent before it was bought by Aimbridge Hospitality Management in 2018.
“It was an honour to lead AHIP over the past two years,” said O’Neill in the announcement. “AHIP has indeed fared better than many hospitality companies in light of the impacts of COVID-19 and is well positioned to succeed and grow in the future.
“Since March, AHIP has restructured various of its debt facilities and received covenant waivers on most of its loans. Over the past two months, AHIP has also returned to aggregate occupancy levels above 50 per cent and is once again generating positive cash flows.”
O’Neill has also held numerous other board and community positions, including serving as a director of Pure Multi-Family REIT LP, and as a director of the Fraser Institute. He’s a member of Marriott’s Owner Advisory Counsel and chair of the Collingwood School Foundation.
Previously, he was a member of the B.C. Minister’s Council on Tourism, a director of Tourism Whistler, a member of the Sauder School of Business (UBC) Faculty Advisory Board, and a past chair of the B.C. chapter of the Young President’s Organization.
O’Neill has won numerous awards, including Canadian Hotelier of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, and Top 40 under 40. He graduated from UBC with a bachelor of commerce.
About AHIP REIT
AHIP is a limited partnership formed to invest in hotel real estate properties across the United States. Its 78 premium-branded, select-service hotels are located in secondary metropolitan markets featuring diverse and stable demand.
AHIP hotels operate under brands affiliated with Marriott, Hilton, IHG and Choice Hotels through license agreements.