Costas Panayiotou – biography

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Costas Panayiotou
Head of Asset Management
The Ability Group

Committed to ensuring that the Ability Group continues to exceed expectations, Costas’ vision has quickly re-established the Group as leaders in the hotel industry. With the Group’s current portfolio of luxury hotels, carefully managed to ensure the highest standards of service at all times, Costas has ensured that the Ability Group continues to assert itself as a game changer in the U.K. hotel industry.

A visionary with an eye for detail and precision, Costas’ exacting requirements began early when he left school at sixteen, to join the Ability Group’s residential lettings department in 2007.

As an apprentice, his exacting requirements proved invaluable as he quickly learnt the business of managing the Group’s 6,000 flats in East London. Keen to learn his profession thoroughly, from the ground up like his father, Andreas Panayiotou, Costas was soon learning how to service and maintain the Group’s East London lettings portfolio, ensuring consistently high standards of practice and tenant satisfaction, across the properties.

With a solid understanding of the Lettings sector, Costas turned his attention to the East Weald, The Bishops Avenue development, in 2009. Remaining the Group’s most luxurious residential development, the restoration of the Grade Two listed house to its’ former glory, involved the re-development of over 40,000 square feet of space and private gardens. As a result, the Ability Group were able to put the property on the market for £100,000,000.

Working alongside the project manager, Costas flair for planning and problem-solving was on full display, as he ensured the huge team of architects, interior designers and building contractors completed the project to the Group’s high standards. Reporting directly to the Group’s chairman, Costas quickly established his talent for property development, overseeing all aspects of the development including the: design, build, budget planning regulations and planning consent. Despite the ambitious nature of the project, Costas’ efficiency ensured that the project remained within budget and was delivered on time.

Working History

Within a year, Costas was promoted to the Ability Group’s Hotel division, at the Group’s headquarters in Portland Place, W1. Working alongside colleagues in asset management, Costas, soon took over the management of the day-to-day running of the Ability Group’s hotels. With a particular focus on the Group’s seven Hilton hotels, Costas worked directly with each hotel operator to ensure his exacting standards were met. From management contracts, to F& B, housekeeping and reception, Costas secured the highest standards across every aspect of the Ability Group’s hotel portfolio.

Current Role

In 2015, Costas took up his current position as Head of Asset Management, at the Ability Group. Focussed on maximising the total return for every hotel, as well as, the Group’s former portfolio of five shopping centres in Germany, Costas’ proficiency was clear. Reporting directly to the Group’s Chairman, Costas manages the day-to-day business for each of the Ability Group’s hotels. Working directly with every general manager, from each hotel operator, Costas ensures that the ROI for each asset, is carefully monitored, daily.
Responsible for negotiating the contracts for the Ability Group’s hotel portfolio, as well as, finalising major agreements, Costas makes sure that the technical infrastructure of the Ability Group’s hotel portfolio, meets his high standards and exacting requirements, across every aspect of the business. As a result, Costas has already made huge savings across the Group’s hotel division. Focusing on three key internal departments: the Revenue, Financial and Asset Maintenance teams, Costas has enabled the Group to make significant reductions in expenditure and has increased ROI for outsourced services.

As the driving force behind innovative developments such as: the Marco Pierre White restaurant partnership at The Doubletree, Cambridge and Syon Park, Hilton London, as well as, the exclusive development at Syon Park for the NFL and the England Rugby Team and the U.K.’s first hotel sushi and shisha bar concept, Costas is always seeking new opportunities to maximise every properties NOI. With his passion for development and innovation, Costas continues to secure the Ability Group’s position as a leader across the U.K. hotel industry.

At the Doubletree by Hilton Cambridge and at the Hilton London Syon Park, Costas was a driving force behind the Marco Pierre White restaurant partnership. With this, Costas was responsible for ensuring a cohesive brand identity across both partners to ensure the joint venture flourished. As well as this it was important to establish a consistently high-level of expectation with refined standards across the board.