Who is Laurence Geller?
Laurence Geller CBE is an accomplished businessman and entrepreneur who has successfully led multinational corporations in hospitality, leisure, healthcare, medicinal research and care. A philanthropist, Laurence has personally donated more than $20 million cumulatively to a variety of humanitarian, cultural and civic causes over the years. In recognition for his services to hospitality and care, Geller was awarded a CBE on New Year’s Eve, 2011, by the late Queen Elizabeth II in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List.
Among other roles, Laurence Geller serves as the Chancellor of the University of West London, which houses the London Geller School of Hospitality and Tourism, and he also serves as Chairman of the International Churchill Society. Geller is also the Chairman and Founder of Geller Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private real estate investment platform founded in 2013 which focuses on placing capital in the hospitality and leisure industries.
Laurence Geller is also the author of two thrillers set in the hotelier industry, and has written over 100 published articles.
Throughout his sixty-year career, Laurence Geller CBE has proven to be a successful business leader and philanthropist. From his humble beginnings in North London, Geller worked his way up through the ranks of the hospitality industry, eventually becoming the CEO of a prominent international hotel company. Geller has received numerous accolades for his contributions to the industry, including being named Lodging Industry Leader Of The Year – by New York University
Laurence grew up in a Jewish community where doors were always open, and neighbours took care of each other. The atmosphere was one of resilience, as people were rebuilding their lives after the trauma of World War Two and the Holocaust. Laurence’s childhood was spent playing on bomb sites and among the ruins of war-torn London, always on the lookout for unexploded shells.
As a child, Laurence was independent and often got into trouble for being the loudest in the family. At school, he excelled at athletics and rugby. He played for Middlesex and even made it to the England team at age 14. In addition to his success on the rugby field, Laurence also won several track and field championships.
Despite his athleticism, Laurence struggled academically and left school immediately after taking his GCSE’s. He worked a series of odd jobs before finding his calling in the hospitality industry. He worked his way up through the ranks starting as a kitchen porter, becoming a chef and eventually the leadership of Holiday Inns and Hyatt and serving on the boards of several publicly quoted hotel companies.
Laurence would go on to own and operate multiple successful hotels before founding Strategic Hotels and Resorts, an American REIT that owns a wide portfolio of luxury hotels across America and Germany. Under his driving leadership, the REIT was publicly traded on the NYC stock exchange in 2004.
He has received numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to the industry. Laurence was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011 for his services to Tourism, International Philanthropy and his work with the International Churchill Society. Between 1999 and 2009, Laurence was a Board Member of the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Throughout in his life, Laurence has put down roots in the UK, Israel, Switzerland and the United States. Whilst living in Chicago, Geller successfully campaigned to pass a Bipartisan Act of Congress which rehomed the world-famous bust of the wartime leader when it was relocated from the Oval Office in 2008 and, by his efforts, it is now located in the Capitol Building in Washington DC.