Topland appoints Benjamin director of hotels

Fresh off its £85 million (US$139 million) purchase of Menzies Hotels last month, Topland Group, London, has appointed Lionel Benjamin as director of hotels.

Benjamin joins from Ability Group where for three-and-a-half-years he headed its hotel and leisure division. Prior to that he was senior director of asset integration at Hilton Worldwide, where he was involved in the sale of 13 Hilton hotels including a European portfolio.

Topland’s lending business, which has a loan book in excess of £300m (US$498 million), will utilize Benjamin’s expertise and expects to see a rise in funding deals for the hotel sector.

“We have highlighted our strategy of increasing the diversification of the Topland Group. Our hotels business is a key element of that strategy. Lionel has a mandate to seek out hotels of a similar ilk in luxury and quality to Royal Crescent, which we will own outright and operate. The primary focus will be in the U.K. but we will also look at single assets or portfolios in Continental Europe or further abroad,” said Sol Zakay, Topland’s chairman and CEO.