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The Rocca Forte collection appoints new managing director

Naffah, 47, has acted as a consultant to the company since July 2009.

August 6, 2010 9:30 by

The Rocco Forte Collection today announced that it has appointed Karim Naffah as the company’s new managing director with immediate effect.

Naffah, 47, has acted as a consultant to the company since July 2009 during which he has assisted with the company’s successful re-financing and helped drive improvements in the performance management and corporate governance of the group of luxury hotels and resorts.

The new appointment will enable Sir Rocco Forte, founder and executive chairman of the group, to devote more time to spearheading the expansion of the business primarily via management contracts. He will also be able to focus to a greater degree on working with the hotels and the company’s sales and marketing forces to promote the on-going development of the brand.

Sir Rocco Forte said that the company had been looking to strengthen its senior team as the group continued to expand, “The growth of our portfolio requires the fortification of our management structures as well as business planning, performance and governance processes to ensure its continued success and outperformance within a highly competitive marketplace.

“Karim’s role will be primarily focused on the continuation of the company’s successful drive to advance performance and to work with me on the future strategic development of the business. In doing so he will lead a team of experienced directors, including finance director Alan Clark, brand managing director Richard Power and operations director Martin Elsner.

“We have selected Karim for his proven ability to establish robust business planning and performance disciplines, in addition to his strategic skills,” said Forte, “As we have got to know Karim over the past 12 months we have been impressed by his leadership qualities and understanding of our culture and approach. His level-headed style has gained the respect of employees and business partners and we are all very pleased that he is joining our company on a permanent basis.”

Prior to joining The Rocco Forte Collection Naffah gained more than 18 years of experience in strategy and finance roles in the leisure and hospitality industry.

His previous roles include strategy director at Bass PLC/Six Continents PLC where he played a key part in the business planning and performance management of the FTSE 100 Group. In addition he oversaw the strategic transformation of the Group culminating in the successful demerger of Six Continents hotel and pub divisions.

Following the demerger, Naffah joined Mitchells & Butlers in 2003 as its finance director to establish the pubs group as an independently listed company. He implemented new performance and reporting measures; devised a successful business securitisation model to finance the group; and oversaw the acquisition of 239 pub restaurants in 2006

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Naffah was educated at Harrow School and Lincoln College, Oxford University. He speaks English, French, Arabic and Spanish. Post university he spent seven years with management consultancy Bain & Company.

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