Tim Helliwell heads the Barclays Hotels Team, with responsibility for the Bank’s hotel clients within the UK and Western Europe. The hotels team is an integral part of the Barclays Hospitality & Leisure business with key relationships in the travel, restaurant, pub, gaming, health & fitness, leisure operators and sports sectors.
As Head of Hotels for Barclays, Tim focuses his time on ensuring the Bank maintains a cohesive approach to the market place.
Tim has been a hospitality lender for 15 years and is a frequent writer and speaker on the international hotel industry. The Barclays Hotels Team covers all aspects of funding from development to investment loans, equity & debt capital markets and wider banking needs.
Customer demand will drive which concepts take off and which get left behind. In this TV show Tim Helliwell discusses how consumers are looking for something different.
Customer demand for alternative accommodation
Well, I think these really are arguably the future in terms of where the sector is going. The established brands and the established offerings will always be there and there will always be a market for them, but as we've heard today, you know, people are equally looking for something different, whether that's the brand offering and everything that goes with it, or indeed, in terms of the concept that's been offering. So, whilst, as I said on my panel, that you know I, I'm focussed on hotel finance, I'm actually focussed on aparthotel finance, hostel finance, anything which has got a hospitality angle to it, because frankly that's what consumers are looking for, and that's exactly why I'm here.
Hospitality TV will continue to feature shows about customer demand and alternative accommodation. Why not take a look at who else has been featured in the Hospitality250.
I think what they are is, is offering consumers this choice. I might be willing to stay at a, a mainstream hotel whilst I'm at work, but equally at weekends I might fancy something differer. I might fancy going and staying in a hostel in a European city with my family, and I might not necessarily want to have that full service experience. I might be very comfortable to stay in a, in a hostel with my family and not necessarily need a dinner and bed and breakfast offering; I might be just happy to go and sort myself out. And I think also, the offerings in terms of some of them are a bit edgier for example; maybe that's something that I might be interested in exploring and I think this, this is the, this is what it's all about now, it's about choice, and I think then in terms of the safety from a banking perspective, if these are well managed propositions, if they've got sustainable cash flows, sustainable business models, this is exactly something which a funder would want to explore.
Owner-operators are common in the alternatives market
In terms of operating models, many of them start out as owner operators and indeed well, you know, we've been hearing about these concepts today. Many of these brands that have come through, you know, fundamentally they have got investment and they are owner operators, they're in charge of their brand name, they, they run the operations and they also own the real estate, you know. And frankly that from an investment perspective, it works because it allows you that ability to be in complete control of the operating model, and you have that flexibility. And I think as you start moving through and then looking to expand that model whether it's into a management contract or a franchise or something else, ultimately those types of models, you want to be, you want to be sharing a concept which is established.
So I think normally what you see is you'll see this type of concept, and we've heard about it today, you know, a lot of these are owner-operators; as they've grown they've grown within an owner-operator model, but then they are looking for that next level of growth, potentially via franchise or management contract.
That's what I do. Our business is all about operating risk, so, you know, we'll take owner operations, management contracts, franchises, you know, manchises, and that's what we do; we look at those operating cash flows and, and we understand the difference in them and how they can work. But fundamentally, at this stage in the market, which is still a relatively young part of the sector, a lot of the propositions that are coming out, they are still owner operators. And, and I can understand that, it makes sense for the investors, and it makes sense for the operators because they've got that flexibility.