Big news from Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts today: Allen Smith, currently CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors, will become President and CEO of the luxury hotel company in late September. The announcement follows an extensive global search overseen by the private company’s long-term shareholders, Kingdom Holding Company, Cascade Investment and Triples Holdings. Kathleen Taylor, who had served as CEO since 2010, stepped down from the role earlier this year.
Smith has served as CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI), one of the world’s largest real estate investment managers, since 2008. Under his leadership, PREI expanded its global presence, which today consists of 23 offices worldwide and $53 billion in real estate assets under management, including many hotels. Smith joined Prudential in 1987 as a member of its hotel investment group after earning his master’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. Over the course of his career with Prudential, his responsibilities expanded beyond hotel investing to include all commercial property types and all facets of the real estate investment business including strategic planning, organizational development, capital partner relations, portfolio management, corporate finance and business operations.
Michael Larson, Chief Investment Officer of Cascade Investment, said that the new leadership would help further expand the Four Seasons brand worldwide. "Allen is a proven global growth leader and investor who fits well with our strong company culture and understands the value of preserving the quality of the existing brand,” he said.
Four Seasons founder Isadore Sharp also praised Smith as a leader. “He shares the vision and values of our organization," Sharp said in a statement.
Smith himself commented, “Having led a global real estate investment business, I am convinced there is no greater hotel brand and the market demand for Four Seasons around the world is enormous...The chance to work with this group of owners, management and employees created what is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.”