New certification program for asset managers

The Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) on Wednesday announced the formation of the Certified Hotel Asset Manager (CHAM) designation to establish industry-wide standards of excellence within the profession while further solidifying the institutional/fiduciary role and expectations of a senior asset manager.

“Hotels are one of the most labor-intensive and complex forms of real estate,” said Rich Musgrove, executive vice president of Hotel Asset Value Enhancement and chair of the CHAM Advisory Panel. “Just as a patient relies on the fact that his or her doctor is a licensed MD, hotel owners need to know that their fiduciary representative is qualified and possesses the comprehensive skill set required to successfully implement a hotel investment strategy from start to finish.”

HAMA members are involved in asset management, acquisition, financing and disposition of hotels and resorts and are directly responsible for making decisions concerning capital investments, renovations, asset repositioning, operational policies and brand and management selection. HAMA consists of more than 200 members across the United States and through international affiliate chapters. Its membership represents more than 3,500 hotels and resorts across every major brand, accounting for more than 775,000 hotel rooms, 250,000 employees, US$40 billion in annual revenue and US$3 billion in capital expenditures.

“CHAM certification acknowledges the leading professionals in the field of hotel asset management and instills confidence in owners and stakeholders, who have millions–if not billions–of dollars at stake, that their assets are in the hands of a highly-qualified professional,” said Cody Bradshaw, senior vice president of Starwood Capital Group and member of the HAMA Board of Directors.

To qualify for CHAM certification, asset managers must have a minimum seven years of lead asset management experience, two letters of recommendation, accept the CHAM Code of Ethics, participate in continuing education (CHAM recertification process every five years) and achieve a passing score on the CHAM exam, which consists of six sections covering all facets of hotel asset management.

“The roles and responsibilities of hospitality asset managers have dramatically evolved over the past several decades and interest in the profession is at an all-time high,” said Rob Kline, CEO and co-founder of Chartres Lodging Group, LLC and chair of the CHAM Endorsement Committee. “Asset management is now widely-considered to be a core part of any hotel investment strategy. Thus, it was time to clearly define the spectrum of skills and duties of a senior hotel asset manager.”