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Distinguished Speaker Series: Chartres Lodging Co-Founder & CEO Robert Kline ’84

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Rob Kline '84
Rob Kline ’84

The Baker Program in Real Estate is pleased to feature Robert Kline (B.S. ’84) as part of its Distinguished Speaker Series on April 4th.  Kline is recognized as one of the foremost investors in the lodging sector, known not only for his proactive approach to the investment process but also to asset management.

Kline is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, a private equity investment firm formed in 2002 and focused on the lodging sector.  He also serves as Co-Chairman of Kokua Hospitality, LLC, which was formed in 2005 as an internal property management firm to provide additional in-house management resources, and specializes in hospitality asset turnarounds.  Over his investment career, Kline has been an early cyclical investor in conference centers, urban hotels and destination resorts.  In the property management sector, Mr. Kline is known for being among the first investors to develop and apply an institutionally recognized program of asset management systems and procedures.  He continues to provide leadership in the sector as a Founding Director of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association.

Kline graduated from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell in 1984.  He has led over $10 billion in transactional activity over the past 30 years, including while serving as Head of Acquisitions for Strategic Hotel Capital, where he oversaw their purchase of $2 billion of luxury hotels across three countries.  In 1998, he began investing directly as a principal and has successfully invested over $6 billion of capital on his own behalf and a select group of private investors and institutional funds.  Chartres Lodging has developed into one of the industry’s leading investment firms, having invested over $3.3 billion since 2002 and achieving over a 60% IRR on its monetized investments.  Based in San Francisco, Chartres currently owns hotels, resorts and conference centers located throughout the United States and Japan.

Chartres Lodging has actively recruited both graduate and undergraduate real estate students at Cornell since its formation.  Within the Baker Program, several students have enjoyed summer internships at Chartres over the past few years.  First-year Baker student Brendan Calafiore (MPS ’17) is anticipating the experience he will get this summer with Chartres in San Francisco, stating that “coming from a career in Manhattan, I am really looking forward to expanding my network in a new market and applying my comprehensive first-year education at Baker to a role evaluating hospitality investments.”

The Baker Program in Real Estate’s Distinguished Speaker Series is a weekly lecture series featuring accomplished practitioners of all areas of real estate.  The series is available to Cornell graduate students who are interested in Real Estate, and offers 0.5 credit courses per semester for those who attend.  Participating programs include the Baker Program in Real Estate, Johnson Graduate School of Management, City & Regional Planning Program, Cornell Law School, and the Graduate Hospitality Management (MMH) program.

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