Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman & CEO | Starwood Capital Group

Barry Sternlicht is Chairman & CEO of Starwood Capital Group, the private alternative investment firm he formed in 1991 focused on global real estate, hotel management, oil and gas, and energy infrastructure. Mr. Sternlicht also serves as Chairman of Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), the largest commercial mortgage REIT in the U.S.; and French crystal maker Baccarat S.A.; as well as member of the Board of Directors of Invitation Homes (NYSE: INVH) the largest publicly traded investor, owner and operator of single-family homes in the U.S.

For the past 26 years, Mr. Sternlicht has structured investments with an asset value of approximately $92 billion. Starwood Capital’s funds have invested in approximately 172,500 multifamily/condo units, 2,900 hotels, 74 million square feet of office properties, 54 million square feet of retail and 52,000 lots of land in residential subdivisions. The Firm currently manages approximately $56 billion of assets on behalf of its high net worth and institutional partners. Starwood Capital, its affiliates and externally managed public companies employ more than 3,800 professionals, while approximately 9,000 additional employees are involved with a dozen portfolio operating companies. The Firm maintains offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Greenwich, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and affiliated offices in London, Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

From 1995 through early 2005, Mr. Sternlicht was Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, a company he founded in 1995. During his tenure, he built Starwood Hotels into one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world, employing more than 120,000 people with 895 properties in 100 countries. Mr. Sternlicht created W Hotels, perhaps the world’s most successful “boutique” brand, and built the St. Regis Hotels brand from a single hotel to a global brand.

In 2008, Mr. Sternlicht founded SH Group, his new hotel management company. SH Group is the owner and manager of Baccarat Hotels & Resorts and 1 Hotels brands.

In 2016, Mr. Sternlicht was the recipient of PERE’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, he was named the Global Industry Figure of the Year by PERE, received the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Hotel Investment Forum. In 2013, Mr. Sternlicht was named the Most Important Person in Commercial Real Estate Finance by The Mortgage Observer. In 2010, Mr. Sternlicht was named Executive of the Year and Investor of the Year by Commercial Property Executive. Mr. Sternlicht was also named America’s Best Lodging CEO by Institutional Investor Magazine. He is a member of the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame. He has received the Preston Robert Tisch Distinguished Industry Leadership Award from New York University, the CEO Diversity Award from Diversity Best Practices/Business Women’s Network, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Travel Marketing Executives, the Hospitality Heritage Award from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the Marketer of the Year Award from Brandweek. Mr. Sternlicht’s humanitarian efforts have garnered prestigious national honors such as JDRF’s Man of the Year, JDRF’s Living and Giving Award and JDRF’s Chairman’s Award.

Mr. Sternlicht serves on the Board of Directors of The Estée Lauder Companies and the Real Estate Roundtable. Additionally, he formerly served as Chairman of the Board and is currently a Board member of The Robin Hood Foundation, and also serves on the Boards of the Dreamland Film & Performing Arts Center, and the Executive Advisory Board of Americans for the Arts. He is a member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation Trustee Council, the World Presidents Organization and the Urban Land Institute.

Barry Sternlicht received his BA, magna cum laude, with honors from Brown University. He later earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.


Jerome C. Silvey

Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer
Starwood Capital Group

Jerome Silvey is Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer at Starwood Capital Group. In this role, Mr. Silvey oversees all of the Firm’s investor relations, debt financing, equity fundraising, treasury operations, investor reporting, and tax planning and compliance. He is also a member of the Firm’s Executive, Investment and Disposition Committees. Mr. Silvey joined Starwood Capital in 1993 after 13 years with Price Waterhouse.

Mr. Silvey received a B.A. degree in mathematical economics from Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, and an MBA from Rutgers Graduate School of Management. He is a member of the NCREIF/PREA Reporting Standards Board, as well as a member of the Institutional Real Estate Investors Editorial Board, the P&I Research Advisory Panel and the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate.


Ellis F. Rinaldi

Executive Vice President and Co-General Counsel
Starwood Capital Group

Ellis Rinaldi is an Executive Vice President and Co-General Counsel at Starwood Capital Group. Mr. Rinaldi has represented Starwood Capital’s legal interests since 1991, and is actively involved in all the legal aspects of the Firm’s business, including acquisitions, financing, asset management and strategic planning. Mr. Rinaldi became an officer of Starwood Capital and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee in 1999.

Mr. Rinaldi was an associate at the law firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts and then Pircher, Nichols & Meeks, prior to forming Rinaldi, Finkelstein & Franklin, L.L.C., Starwood Capital’s lead outside counsel. Mr. Rinaldi is the managing member of RFF and is on the Board of Directors of Baccarat, S.A.

Mr. Rinaldi received his J.D. from George Washington University, where he was a member of the GW Law Review, and his BBA degree, summa cum laude, in accounting from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Honors Program.


Madison F. Grose

Senior Managing Director and Co-General Counsel
Starwood Capital Group

Madison Grose is a Senior Managing Director and Co-General Counsel of Starwood Capital Group. Mr. Grose is also a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. In addition, he serves as Vice Chairman, General Counsel and a Senior Managing Director of Starwood Energy Group, an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group that specializes in energy infrastructure investments, where he is currently focusing most of his time. Mr. Grose served as a Trustee or Director of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (formerly NYSE: HOT, since merged with Marriott Hotels) from 1994 until 2001, and as a Director of iStar Financial (NYSE: STAR), from 1999 until 2003.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 1992, Mr. Grose was a Senior and Founding Partner with Pircher, Nichols & Meeks, a law firm specializing in complex real estate-related transactions.

Mr. Grose holds a B.A. degree with distinction and highest departmental honors from Stanford University, and a J.D. from UCLA School of Law, where he served as the Chief Comment Editor of the UCLA Law Review.


Jeffrey G. Dishner

Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate Acquisitions
Starwood Capital Group

Jeffrey G. Dishner is a Senior Managing Director at Starwood Capital Group, where he is responsible for overseeing the Firm’s acquisition efforts on a worldwide basis. In this role, Mr. Dishner assists the team in originating, structuring, underwriting and closing investments in all property types. He has also helped drive Starwood Capital’s ongoing expansion of operations in Europe, as compelling investment opportunities in the region continue to increase. Reflecting the success of this effort, Starwood Capital in 2013 was named European Firm of the Year by leading industry publication PERE. Mr. Dishner is a member of the Firm’s Executive and Investment Committees, and also serves on the Investment Committee and board of trustees of Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), an affiliate of Starwood Capital that is the largest commercial mortgage REIT in the U.S.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 1994, Mr. Dishner worked in the commercial mortgage finance group at J.P. Morgan & Co., where he focused on whole-loan dispositions and securitizations for various thrift institutions. Before that, Mr. Dishner was a member of the acquisitions group at JMB Realty.

Mr. Dishner received a B.S. degree in economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School, where he serves on the Advisory Board.


Christopher D. Graham

Senior Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Acquisitions for the Americas
Starwood Capital Group

Christopher Graham is a Senior Managing Director at Starwood Capital Group, where he supervises the Firm’s investments in the Americas. In this role, Mr. Graham is responsible for originating, structuring, underwriting and closing investments in all property types. He is also a member of the Firm’s Investment Committee.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 2002, Mr. Graham worked at CB Richard Ellis in Washington, D.C., where he was Director of the financial consulting group for the Eastern Region of the U.S. Mr. Graham was previously Associate Director, Eastern Region, of CB Richard Ellis’ investment properties group.

Mr. Graham received a BBA degree in finance from James Madison University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Mark Deason

Managing Director and Head of U.S. Asset Management
Starwood Capital Group

Mark Deason is a Managing Director and Head of U.S. Asset Management at Starwood Capital Group. In this role, Mr. Deason is responsible for overseeing the asset management of all non-hotel assets, as well as the Firm’s development function in the U.S. While at Starwood Capital, Mr. Deason has participated in investments throughout the capital structure, including commercial, hospitality and residential acquisitions and developments.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 2003, Mr. Deason worked for Merrill Lynch in the firm’s real estate investment banking group, assisting West Coast real estate, hospitality and gaming companies with a range of capital origination and M&A activities.

Mr. Deason received a B.A. degree in business economics with a minor in accounting from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a policy board member at the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, and is a member of the Milken Institute and the Urban Land Institute.


Duncan MacPherson

Managing Director and Head of Debt for Europe
Starwood Capital Group

Duncan MacPherson is a Managing Director and Head of Debt for Europe for Starwood Capital Group. In this role, Mr. MacPherson is responsible for all debt capital markets activities for Starwood Capital in Europe, including financing, foreign exchange and interest rate hedging for the Firm’s European investments. He is also responsible for originating, executing and managing debt investments for Starwood Property Trust and Starwood European Real Estate Finance.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 2012, Mr. MacPherson spent six years at Citigroup, where he served as a Director on the commercial real estate finance team in London. Before that, he held a number of roles at Barclays Capital, including trading bond options on the exotic interest rate derivatives desk, and developing real-timing pricing and risk systems for the firm’s electronic trading platform.

Mr. MacPherson received a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Edinburgh and an M.S. in information technology systems from the University of Strathclyde.


Austin Nowlin

Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets for the Americas
Starwood Capital Group

Austin Nowlin is a Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets for the Americas at Starwood Capital Group. In this role, he is responsible for all debt capital market activities for the Firm’s investments in the Americas, including, the origination, structuring, and execution of asset-level and fund/corporate-level financing activity. Since joining the Firm in 2011, Mr. Nowlin has completed financings across all asset and product types, including revolving credit facilities, domestic and foreign balance sheet loans, construction financing, fixed and floating rate commercial mortgage-backed securities, preferred and mezzanine financing. He is a member of the Investment Committees at Starwood Capital and Starwood Property Trust.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital, Mr. Nowlin worked at Wells Fargo and its predecessor, Wachovia Securities, in leveraged finance. He began his career at Raymond James, where he focused on making equity investments in multifamily assets.

Mr. Nowlin received a B.A. degree in economics from Florida State University.


Laura M. Rubin

Managing Director and Head of Portfolio Management
Starwood Capital Group

Laura Mestel Rubin is a Managing Director and Head of Portfolio Management at Starwood Capital Group, with responsibility for overseeing and reporting on the Firm’s real estate opportunity funds. She is a member of the Firm’s Investment and Disposition Committees.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 2002, Ms. Rubin was a Vice President in Goldman Sachs & Co.’s real estate investment banking division, where she worked on both principal and brokerage transactions. She also worked at JMB Realty and Urban Development Corp. in Chicago in the mid-1980s.

Ms. Rubin holds a B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


Suril Shah

Managing Director, Head of U.S. Hotels
Starwood Capital Group

Suril Shah is a Managing Director and Head of U.S. Hotels at Starwood Capital Group. In this role, Mr. Shah oversees the Firm’s hospitality acquisition and asset management activities across the United States. Since June 2011, he has led Starwood Capital’s U.S. Hotel Acquisitions team. Since October 2014, he has also led the Firm’s Select-Service Hotel Asset Management team.

After joining Starwood Capital in 2005, Mr. Shah spent three years in Paris as a member of the management team of Groupe du Louvre, which owns, manages and franchises more than 1,000 hotels throughout Europe, in addition to over a dozen luxury hotels. Mr. Shah was previously with Gleacher Partners, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions across all industries.

Mr. Shah received a B.S. degree in management science & engineering from Stanford University. He currently serves on the boards of Hersha Hospitality Management, InTown Suites and Catchafire, Inc.


Carl Tash

Managing Director 
Starwood Capital Group

Carl Tash is a Managing Director at Starwood Capital Group. In this role, he is a member of the Investment Committees for both Starwood Capital and Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), an affiliate of Starwood Capital that is the largest commercial mortgage REIT in the United States. Mr. Tash also serves as Chief Strategist of Starwood Retail Partners, a Starwood Capital affiliate that is one of the largest mall operators in the United States. In this role, he works with senior management to review the strategic direction of the retail portfolio, as well as monitors and supervises the acquisition and asset manage­ment of mall and lifestyle center investments.

Mr. Tash has held several senior positions at Starwood Capital and its affiliates, including Chief Credit Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Starwood Capital, chief credit officer of Starwood Property Trust, and Managing Director of a num­ber of Luxembourg and other non-U.S. entities of Starwood Capital funds. Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 2011, he founded Cliffwood Partners LLC, a real estate securities investment firm, and served as CEO and Chief Investment Officer for 15 years. Before that, Mr. Tash spent 12 years with JMB and its affiliates. At the time of his departure in 1991, he was President of JMB’s investment subsidiary, JMB Institutional Realty Corp., and had a strategic, senior role with JMB’s retail development subsidiary. While at JMB, Mr. Tash was also responsible for the acquisition and structuring of more than $5 billion in corporate real estate transactions.

Mr. Tash received a B.S. degree in economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Wharton Real Estate Center, and is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Urban Land Institute.


Daniel Yih

Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer – Europe
Starwood Capital Group

Starwood Capital Funds Luxembourg

Daniel Yih is Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer – Europe for Starwood Capital Group and Starwood Capital Funds Luxembourg. In this role, Mr. Yih is responsible for reviewing all acquisition and disposition decisions relating to European investments in Starwood Capital’s funds. He is a member of the Firm’s Investment Committee.

Previously, Mr. Yih was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of Starwood Capital, as well as the interim CEO of BR Guests Restaurants, a portfolio company of Starwood Capital. Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 2007, Mr. Yih was Chief Operating Officer and a Portfolio Principal of the buyout fund GTCR Golder Rauner. Before that, Mr. Yih was a partner at Zell Chilmark, a buyout fund investing in financially distressed companies. Mr. Yih had other operating experience as Chief Financial Officer at Welbilt Corp., a portfolio company of Kohlberg & Co., where he had been an Associate. Mr. Yih began his career at Kirkland & Ellis, representing equity investors in leveraged buyout transactions and venture capital investments.

Mr. Yih earned a J.D. and MBA from the University of Chicago. He graduated with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering with distinction from Stanford University. He has served on the NYSE-listed Boards of Directors of Ann Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.


Lanhee C. Yung

Managing Director & Co-Head of Fundraising and Investor Relations
Starwood Capital Group

Lanhee Yung is a Managing Director and Global Co-Head of Starwood Capital’s Fundraising and Investor Relations Group. In this role, she is responsible for raising capital globally on behalf of the Firm’s private investment funds and co-investments, including real estate, energy infrastructure and hedge funds. She is also member of the Firm’s Investment Committee and co-portfolio manages a value add separate account with Ethan Bing.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 2010, Ms. Yung was Head of Investor Relations & Fundraising for the CIM Group, where she raised private equity real estate and infrastructure funds. Before that, Ms. Yung was an Associate Director, Real Estate Private Equity Fundraising at UBS, sourcing equity from U.S. and European investors. She was previously with GLA Hotels, where she focused on business development and strategy. She started her career at Merrill Lynch as an Analyst and Associate in the firm’s investment bank.

Ms. Yung graduated from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and earned her MBA from ESSEC/Cornell University. She has served two terms on the Board of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), including on the Executive Board as Director of Programs and was Founder of Young AFIRE. She is also a member of the Cornell University Hotel Society Board, the Advisory Board of the Cornell University Center for Real Estate Finance, the Luminaires, the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) Reporting and Valuation Committee, co-chair of PREA Rising Leaders Steering Committee and the Board of Women in Real Estate.

Jeffrey F. DiModica, President of Starwood Property Trust

Jeffrey DiModica is President of Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group that is the largest commercial mortgage REIT in the U.S. In this role, Mr. DiModica manages day-to-day operations and explores new business opportunities for the company, and serves on its Investment Committee. He previously served for five years on Starwood Property Trust’s Board of Directors. Prior to joining Starwood Property Trust in 2014, Mr. DiModica served as a Managing Director and Head of MBS/ABS/CMBS Sales and Strategy for the Americas at the Royal Bank of Scotland. In this role, he was responsible for the distribution and analysis of mortgage and asset-backed securities to institutional clients. Mr. DiModica previously headed the Boston sales office for RBS/Greenwich Capital. Before that, he sold derivative and MBS products for Merrill Lynch. He began his career in Chemical Bank’s commercial real estate department’s merchant and investment banking division. Mr. DiModica received a B.S./B.A. degree, with a concentration in finance, from Boston University, and an MBA from Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School. He has held the Chartered Financial Analyst designation since 1995.

Rina Paniry, Chief Financial Officer

Rina Paniry is Chief Financial Officer of Starwood Property Trust, an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group that is the largest commercial mortgage REIT in the U.S. In this role, she oversees all financial and accounting functions for the business. Before being promoted to this position in 2014, Ms. Paniry served as Chief Financial Officer of Starwood Property Trust subsidiary LNR Property LLC, with responsibility for all financial aspects of the business—including accounting, financial reporting, tax, treasury and planning. In this role, she led the transition and integration of Starwood Property Trust’s core finance functions to LNR’s Miami headquarters following Starwood Property Trust’s acquisition of the business in 2013. Ms. Paniry joined LNR in 2006 as Chief Accounting Officer.

Prior to joining LNR, Ms. Paniry spent 11 years at Deloitte & Touche, where she began her career. She worked in numerous roles with increasing responsibility, principally in the real estate industry and in the functional areas of audit and mergers & acquisitions.

Ms. Paniry holds a Masters of Accounting from Florida International University and is a Florida CPA.

Andrew J. Sossen, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel

Andrew J. Sossen is Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Starwood Property Trust, Inc. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Sossen served as the General Counsel of KKR Financial Holdings LLC, a publicly traded specialty finance company, and KKR Asset Management, where he was a member of senior management and was integrally involved in the policy and strategic decision-making, as well as in the day-to-day operations of the business. Mr. Sossen’s legal career began at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP where he was a member of the firm’s corporate department specializing in capital markets and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Sossen received both his Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.