George Panayiotou – biography

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George Panayiotou
Head Of Acquisitions & Developments
The Ability Group

Responsible for finding the best new hotel investment opportunities across the U.K., George has expanded and enriched the Ability Group’s portfolio, facilitating the acquisition of new properties that have been transformed through the group’s unique branding.

Known for his scrupulous research and commitment to the brand’s vision, George began his career, in 2004 as a Junior Letting Agent. Working relentlessly to understand his portfolio of rental apartments, he quickly mastered the art of sales, ensuring that clients’ needs were exceeded and tenants were satisfied. Rapidly promoted to Lettings Manager of Angel Lettings, he headed up the fully-owned subsidiary of the Ability Group, alongside Shaq Chaudry.

Whilst managing the Ability Group’s extensive residential portfolio, George worked tirelessly to maintain the group’s 7,000 residential properties, a realisation of a childhood dream to work alongside his father and assist in the growth of the business.

Following the sale of a significant section of the Ability Group’s East London rental portfolio to the Grainger Trust in 2008, George began to work alongside Malcolm Bell, at the group’s headquarters, to develop the Ability Group’s long term investments and strategy for this new era, in the company’s history.

Seeking new investments

From a real passion of exploring deals and trading property as well as the timing of the sale of the residential portfolio, George carved out a position within the head office to head up the role as Head of New Business development.

Working alongside King Sturge, George began with the phenomenal sale of 600 units to an array of overseas investors in the landmark Ability Place development, in Canary Wharf. With the backing of the Ability Group, George quickly built a team of key agents and property dealers, and continued to attain profitable key investments for the group.

Reaching out beyond the UK and across Europe, George found numerous new properties that could be both profitable and easily integrated into the Ability Group’s portfolio. As a result of George’s vision and commitment to the brand, the Ability Group now own fourteen hotels, across the U.K., increasing the group’s reach and range in the hotel development industry.

George’s successful acquisition of the Cambridge Doubletree, was a significant investment for the company in excess of £30m. Seeing the potential that the hotel had to increase the groups’ portfolio further, George led a £10 million refurbishment, resulting in the beautifully refurbished 123 bedrooms that the Cambridge Doubletree, now offers. As well as repositioning and rebranding the hotel, George also exceeded expectations with the addition of the Marco Pierre White Restaurant on the River Cam on the ground floor of the hotel.

Soon after, George acquired the renowned Hilton Liverpool. Working with Grosvenor the Liverpool One regeneration scheme, was part of the £1 billion project by Grosvenor that saw the Ability Group establish the Liverpool’s first five-star hotel, the Hilton Liverpool. As well as a huge success for the group, the Hilton Liverpool also brought the group investment worth £65 million as well as notable assets acquired during the sale.


Liverpool Hilton

As a committed member of the Ability Group, George is involved in many projects across the group, particularly those that enable him to exercise his passion for design.  As the head of  Interior Design and Implementation for the Ability Group, George directly influences the design of all of the group’s hotels, ensuring that the group’s brand and vision is upheld across all of its’ hotels and operators, preserving the unique experience that the Ability Group offers its’ clients in all of its’ properties.

George’s involvement in the Ability Group’s Marketing and PR department involves promotion of the group’s extensive hotel portfolio, ensuring that promotional materials are  on-brand and effective. Outside of work, George enjoys pursuing his passion for design by collecting classic cars, art and vintage watches.

In recent years, George has been promoted to the role of managing all of the Ability Group’s Acquisitions and Developments. In this position, George focuses on pursuing lucrative investments using scrupulous market research, and his unique eye for potential. With a focus on properties that will enrich the company’s existing portfolio, George has identified many successful opportunities to rebrand, refurbish and reposition hotel developments.  Despite his continued success, George, ensures that every investment is a seamless integration into the brand and contributes to the core values of the Ability Group.

George is known and regarded in the industry as the first port of call for all new investments for the group.

Having built a strong team of agents, brands, operators and designers, George ensures that the Ability Group are at the forefront of all new and exciting hotel developments happening across the UK.

On a day to day basis, George is busy ensuring the group’s high standards are maintained across its’ PR, marketing, design, refurbishment, food and beverage projects, whilst always remaining on the lookout for the Ability Group’s next successful project.