room2 appoints investment manager from Cheyne Capital
Hometel specialist room2 has appointed Aymen Souihli from Cheyne Capital as the company's Investment Manager, effective immediately.
In this newly created role and working alongside founders Robert and Stuart Godwin, Souihli will be primarily responsible for sourcing new investment deals and opportunities for the business. This will be both on a site by site basis and as part of larger fundraising ambitions.
This announcement follows the appointment of Mark Harris, former Head of UK Real Estate for the Carlyle Group, as Strategic Investment Partner in November 2019 and forms part of room2’s strategy to scale up its hometels business. Hometels are the brainchild of brothers Robert and Stuart Godwin, former members of the British Olympic Development Sailing team, and combine the best elements from Airbnb, serviced apartments and boutique hotels in an offering designed to appeal equally to corporate and leisure guests and those seeking alternative forms of residential accommodation.
During his three years at Cheyne Capital in London, Souihli worked across both French and UK markets, and was responsible for closing over GBP1 billion worth of transactions. These included the three largest loans ever provided by the company in these two countries. He was also responsible for the management of 15 other equity and debt transactions valued over GBP500 million, including Cheyne Capital’s investment into The Collective’s Canary Wharf development (the world's biggest co-living scheme) and the sale and leaseback of the Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch.
Prior to this, Souihli worked for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield for three years in France and Central Europe. He holds a master’s degree in engineering from Centrale-Supélec in Paris (Formerly École Centrale Paris) where he was awarded the excellence scholarship from both the Tunisian and French governments.
Robert Godwin, co-founder of room2, says: “Aymen’s appointment follows that of Mark Harris as Strategic Investment Partner last year, and shows the extent of our growth ambitions as the world’s first hometel brand. Moreover, our ability to attract such high-calibre individuals across the industry is a clear endorsement of our vision and product in the newly created hometels sector that we are pioneering. We look forward to working with Aymen as we work to raise up to GBP250 million to invest in our pipeline of hometel developments across the UK. We believe his deep-rooted industry expertise will play a critical part in achieving this goal.”
Aymen Souihli, room2’s Investment Manager, adds: “Alternative real estate asset classes, which offer space as a service, are becoming an increasingly sought-after sector for institutional investment. The unique room2 hometel offering has the potential to change the way in which consumers think about and experience travel accommodation across markets. I look forward to working with a team of dynamic, creative and ambitious individuals, alongside industry veterans such as Mark Harris, and am excited to contribute to room2’s growth going forwards.”