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News for the Hospitality Executive

Svetlin Ganchev, Mark Owens and
Linda Yang Join Ackman-Ziff
Will Focus on Debt Placements and Equity Joint Ventures
within the Hospitality Group

New York, NY – June 1, 2007 – Svetlin Ganchev, Mark Owens and Linda Yang have joined Ackman-Ziff, a premier real estate advisory firm, to enhance its Hospitality Group, which will continue to focus on debt placements and equity joint ventures.  In addition the team brings their expertise in investment sales of hospitality assets. The three seasoned professionals have extensive industry experience in multiple facets including operations, consulting, and investment banking.  They collectively have executed more than $10 billion of hospitality transactions in the past five years. The three join from Sonnenblick Goldman.

“We saw an opportunity to join a fast growing and entrepreneurial organization that presented a unique foundation for building a new franchise in hospitality finance,” commented Svetlin Ganchev, who joins as a Managing Director of Ackman-Ziff.

“Our team’s strong industry connections and extensive hospitality experience, combined with the renowned execution capabilities of Ackman-Ziff create significant value-add for our hospitality clients. Furthermore, aggressively growing AZ’s sales business presents exciting opportunities for the company’s new and existing clients,” added Mark Owens, also named as a Managing Director.

“We are excited to have Svetlin, Mark and Linda join us,” added Simon Ziff, President of Ackman-Ziff, “and look forward to enhancing the firm’s coverage of hospitality clients.”

Svetlin Ganchev has closed more than $5 billion in transactions that span the entire spectrum of the hospitality real estate market: from real estate sales and financings to equity joint ventures. His extensive deal exposure involves a variety of deal sizes, from single property sales to large portfolio financings. Svetlin has extensive experience working on assets throughout the United States and has negotiated sales and financing for leading branded hotels as well as independent, boutique operations. Svetlin holds a B.S. degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University with a real estate finance concentration.

Mark Owens has closed $3 billion in transactions representing a variety of institutional and opportunistic investors as well as ownership/management companies. Mark also worked at HVS International’s New York office, where he consulted on more than $2 billion in hospitality real estate, including expert testimony, valuations, feasibility analysis, operational consulting and strategic marketing initiatives. Mark Owens is a graduate of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, is an active participant in the Cornell Hotel Society’s New York Chapter, and has been a frequent guest lecturer at New York University.

Linda Yang is joining as a Director. Linda has completed $2 billion in hotel transactions, representing a variety of institutional and opportunistic investors, in addition to owner/operators. Previously, Linda was with HVS International, where she consulted and appraised in excess of $2 billion in hospitality real estate. Her experience included feasibility analysis, market studies, acquisition due diligence, and the valuation of hotel, motel, resort, and mixed-use developments for a variety of institutional, corporate banking and individual clients. Linda has also held various management positions with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. Linda is a graduate of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and is an active participant in the Cornell Hotel Society’s New York Chapter.

The Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, based in New York City, is a national firm with offices in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Miami, specializing in debt, mezzanine and equity financing for commercial real estate.  In 2006, the firm successfully arranged $5 billion of capital for real estate transactions. 




Gerald Cohen
The Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, LLC
110 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 697-3333




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