Recruitment Coup for Von Essen.

There has been a major coup at senior management level in the UK hotel market. The recent rapid expansion of the Von Essen Hotel Group has reportedly left Chairman Andrew Davis allegedly looking for new investors. The Von Essen hotel group was founded in 1996 with the help of a trust fund from Mr Davis’s Austrian Aunt, the Countess Von Essen. In 2000 made it’s first foray into the hotel world with the purchases of Ston Easton & Thornbury Castle. The group has quickly expanded and currently stands at 31 properties with the late Sir Bernard Ashley’s Llangoed Hall in Wales, being the latest acquisition in late November 2010.

Although most of the recent purchases have been partially funded by Lloyds TSB Banking Group, it has been no secret that the group have been looking for external investors to fund further growth.It is rumoured that a new investor has been found and are as yet un-named but it appears that they have allegedly demanded a restructuring of the board. Whilst the control of the company will remain under control of Mr Davis, his long serving lieutenant Nick Romano will be removed from the CEO position and repositioned .

Mr Romano who has worked his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry, starting in the kitchens and working his way to senior management at Carey’s Manor, Montagu Arms and Gleneagles. He joined Von Essen in 1997 and was promoted to the CEO role in March 2008.

A source close to Von Essen revealed to The Chef Hermes Blog that his replacement is allegedly Mr Charles Prew, the former CEO of Barceló UK.

Mr Prew, during his tenure at Barceló UK oversaw the expansion of the group to 21 four star properties. He left the group in February 2011.


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