Areas of Expertise
- Asset Management
- Borrower & Lender Advisory
- Capital Markets
- Due Diligence
- Fairness Opinions
- Fiduciary Services
- Financial Advisor
- Real Estate Brokerage
- Hotel & Resorts
- Multi-family and Affordable Housing
- Real Estate
- Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach - Manager of Owner Entity
- Ritz-Carlton at Reynolds Plantation - Financial Advisor to Trustee
- LakePoint Sports – Financial Adviser to Secured Lender
- BA Brandeis University
- JD Emory University
- MBA Emory University
- 13 Years with Firm
- 27 Years of Relevant Experience
For the past 25 years, Dan Berman has led and/or provided advisory services to developers, lenders, investors, hotel chains and franchise companies. Mr. Berman combines strong practical experience with objective critical analysis to arrive at prudent courses of action for borrowers, lenders and investors.
Mr. Berman has significant, practical hotel industry experience, having held senior leadership positions at two national hotel chains, Suburban Lodges of America, Inc. and US Franchise Systems, Inc. During his career, Mr. Berman has been involved in the development of numerous hotels, the underwriting, sourcing and structuring of hotel debt and equity, and in the acquisition and disposition of hotel assets. Mr. Berman is very familiar with the inherent complexities in valuing a hotel given its combination of real estate and operating components.
Mr. Berman is responsible for leading the firm's service offerings to the hotel industry and is also active in the firm's restructuring and real estate capital market practice groups. The following are a sampling of matters Mr. Berman has led or participated in:
- Retained as an expert witness in a litigation between partners involving the SLS South Beach, a boutique hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. At issue was the basis for calculating distributions per a waterfall. The proceeds for the distributions were generated from the $120 million sale of the hotel.
- Retained in a litigation support role on behalf of an insurance broker which placed insurance on a 300+ room hotel (former Hyatt Regency). During the renovation of the hotel, an off-site warehouse in which the owner was storing furniture and soft goods flooded for an alleged loss. The insurance claim was denied. Owner brought suit against broker claiming denial of the claim was the cause of a subsequent hotel foreclosure.
- Retained in a litigation support role in a matter involving the financing of a resort hotel and a large scale residential development (the Sea Island Resort). Scope of work included assessing historical valuations and real estate appraisals that were used to support the project financings.
- Financial Advisor to a secured lender which made a development loan to a premier youth travels sports destination within a 1,300 acre mixed use master planned community. Advised the lender on restructuring the loan and recapitalizing the company through a pre arranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Advised the newly reorganized company on all real estate matters including the development of new hotels, acquisition and disposition of real estate, and design and construction related activities. Served as Director on company board.
- Manager to an owner entity composed of a special opportunity fund and several banks in connection with the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach in coastal Florida. Responsibilities include overseeing the asset manager and hotel management company, monitoring the build out and sale of residential condominium units and hotel, serving as a Director on several condominium association boards, and performing accounting and reporting functions for the owner entity.
- Financial Advisor to the developer of a large mixed use project on a premier parcel of land in midtown Atlanta. Assisted the developer in structuring and obtaining senior and mezzanine debt to acquire the land.
- Financial Advisor to the Trustee of a liquidating trust with a bank syndicate as its beneficiary. Trust assets include a luxury hotel within a resort residential and golf course community (the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation). Monitored the hotel operator, managed cash flow, coordinated a soft goods renovation, and performed accounting and reporting functions. Supported the marketing and disposition of the hotel asset, including engaging a broker, responding to buyer due diligence requests and preparing closing pro-rations.
- Represented a developer consultant to the owner of two golf courses (PGA / TPC Sawgrass) and residual land involving the potential acquisition of a resort hotel adjacent to the development.
- Represented a land owner in the positioning and marketing of a land parcel for hotel use to multiple candidate hotel developers.
- Retained as an asset manager by a national finance company on a foreclosed, partially completed select service hotel. Services include securing and maintaining the asset, obtaining costs to complete construction and FF&E procurement and selecting a broker to market and sell the hotel.
- Performed financial underwriting and due diligence in connection with the preparation of a loan commitment on behalf of a capital source to fund the purchase of two hotels from a lender.
- Assisted a private real estate developer perform financial due diligence during the acquisition of a 300+ unit resort condominium and club operations.
- Advised land owner on the value of its land for hotel use relative to the reset of the rental rate under a long-term land lease;
- On behalf of a national lender, analyzed the financial and physical condition of a hotel, including preparing pro forma monthly cash flow budgets, to assist the lender in evaluating whether to take title to the hotel through a deed in lieu of foreclosure;
- Assisted in the preparation of a financing request in connection with the refinancing of a mixed used development, including a hotel, retail, and parking garage;
- Financial Advisor to sponsor / Investor for the redevelopment of a historic building into an upscale hotel. Assisted sponsor develop and optimal capital structure and identify capital partners;
- Under a hotel receivership, prepared a report for the Court reviewing the performance of the hotel operator, including benchmarking key operating metrics, the hotel's financial statements, and the maintenance and preservation of the hotel;
- During role as a hotel receiver and manager, provided sales and marketing guidance to improve hotel operating performance. In the months prior to the sale of the hotel, the hotel doubled its year-over-year occupancy enabling a transaction to occur at an acceptable recovery rate for the lender;
- On behalf of a lender, assisted in the forensic audit of a select service hotel which opened new depository accounts without the lender's approval and in contravention of a lockbox requirement;
- Advised a private real estate developer while it was seeking to acquire a resort boutique hotel from a finance company, including identifying strategic operational and financial partners.
In 1993, Mr. Berman joined Suburban Lodges to lead its financing and franchising activities. As an officer and director of the Company, and President of the franchising subsidiary, Suburban Franchise Systems, Mr. Berman was instrumental in growing the Company from a single brand of six hotels in three states to a multi-brand national hotel company of 200 hotels in 25 states. The Company operated 80 of these hotels, including hotels for third parties.
In 1996, Mr. Berman actively participated in Suburban Lodges' IPO and follow-on offerings raising close to $200 million, including selecting investment bankers, evaluating C Corp and REIT entity structures, drafting prospectuses, and making "road show" presentations. Mr. Berman was involved in the purchase and sale of Suburban Lodge hotels, the acquisition and integration of the Company's second brand GuestHouse International, and the ultimate sale of the Company in 2002. While at Suburban Lodges, Mr. Berman was recognized as a hotel brand leader by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and was selected as a speaker and panelist for multiple hotel industry conferences.
In 2004, Mr. Berman was hired by Mike Leven CEO of US Franchise Systems to expedite the growth of the Company's hotel brands, Microtel Inns & Suites and Hawthorn Suites. As Senior Vice President, Real Estate Development, Mr. Berman devised and implemented an innovative strategy and plan resulting in the construction of more than 40 Microtel hotels in just a two and one half year period. This represented a 20% annual growth rate in new hotels and an increase of approximately $140 million in aggregate asset value. Mr. Berman led and supported Microtel hotel owners with project planning, site and market analysis, project feasibility, land acquisition, due diligence, and project funding.
In 1990, Mr. Berman began his career practicing law in New York City with a boutique law firm specializing in complex litigation. Mr. Berman received MBA and JD degrees from Emory University Business and Law Schools in 1990 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Brandeis University in 1986. Mr. Berman is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey (law licenses are currently placed on "retired status") and holds a real estate license in Georgia.