JLL has promoted the CEO of its hospitality business in Asia to the top role regionally, adding Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island markets to the senior executive’s territory.
Mike Batchelor, a 27-year employee of the US-based commercial real estate agency, will now lead a team of 80 people across seven countries and territories as JLL Hotels and Hospitality’s new CEO for Asia Pacific.
“As we enter one of the most challenging periods the hotel sector has ever experienced, being there for our clients and being able to provide them with timely and accurate advice across every market in Asia Pacific has never been more important,” said Batchelor. “I’m delighted to lead this world-class team as we build on our success across Asia Pacific and navigate this environment with our clients.”
Centre of Gravity Shifts to SG
Batchelor will remain in Singapore as he takes on the supersized role while picking up the territory formerly overseen by the company’s outgoing CEO of Australasia, Craig Collins, who is leaving the company. Collins had held the top position with JLL’s hospitality division in the region for 12 years and had been with the company for 28 years.
Batchelor became the consulting firm’s CEO for Asia in February 2018, after having spent 11 years as as JLL Hotels and Hospitality’s managing director of investment sales for Asia starting from January 2007. That Singapore-base role came after the veteran broker had spent a dozen years with JLL in Australia, where he worked his way up to head of investment sales for Australasia after first joining the firm in Queensland in 1995.
Batchelor’s appointment comes at a crossroads for hospitality in Asia Pacific as tallies for occupancy, average daily rate and revenue per available room fell to record lows in April, according to US hotel data firm STR.
The data provider’s most recent numbers showed that occupancy in the region averaged just 28 percent in April — down 60.3 percent from April 2019. Over the same interval, ADR tumbled 44.8 percent to $54.97 and RevPAR slid 78.1 percent to $15.38. The absolute levels for each statistic were the lowest for any month on record in the region, STR said.
At the same time that Batchelor has taken a step up, JLL has also expanded the roles of a pair of the new APAC chief’s lieutenants Singapore-based lieutenants. Nihat Ercan, currently head of investments sales in Asia for the hospitality advisory, will also have his role expanded to cover all of Asia Pacific, as will the agency’s head of advisory and asset management for Asia, Xander Nijnens.
New Leadership After a Record Year
Stuart Crow, JLL’s CEO of capital markets Asia Pacific, said that the leadership changes will help JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group build off of a record 2019 performance. The firm last year was crowned the region’s leading Hospitality advisor by Real Capital Analytics (RCA) for the ninth consecutive year.
“Our Hotels and Hospitality business is coming off a record year of investment volumes and despite global economic uncertainty, it has never been in a stronger position,” Crow said. “In making these leadership announcements, we will be exceptionally placed to build off our previous success and solidify our platform further to better serve this dynamic market.”