Overall ranking: 100
Hotelier ranking: 25
Michael Purtill - Snapshot
Michael Purtill is managing director of four-star hotel group QHotels, which he co-founded in 2003 - as Quintessential - with fellow senior directors from Paramount, Ian Goulding and David Taylor, and backing from private equity firm Alchemy Partners. The two-strong group expanded to nine within three years. The major growth driver at the company was the £180m deal to buy the 12-strong luxury hotel group Marston Hotels, taking its portfolio to 21.
Michael Purtill - Career guide
Purtill trained as an accountant and worked in the finance and property management industries before stepping into the hospitality market by purchasing his first hotel in Scarborough. This became the start of his first hotel group, Principal Hotels.
Principal Hotels quickly expanded and became a group of 16, although it hit tough times and went into receivership in 1994. Following the failure of a £65m management buyout bid, Purtill founded another hotel group, Paramount, with Goulding, who is now finance director of QHotels.
In 2004 Paramount was sold to Dawnay Shore Hotels, leaving Purtill and the management team free to concentrate all their time on QHotels.
Michael Purtill - What we think
Purtill is a shrewd operator of UK hotels who pieced together the current QHotels portfolio from independent properties and Marston. Most of the hotels that were purchased have been extended or refurbished following acquisition and positioned to serve the corporate conference market, which is a particular strength of the company.
QHotels was named AA Hotel Group of the Year in 2008 when it was lauded by the organisation as “demonstrating a real understanding of the needs of their customers”. The group was also recognised for its employment practices in this year’s Best Places to Work in Hospitality awards, picking up the Excellence in Training accolade.
Purtill describes his business philosophy as simple. “Work hard, employ the right people, incentivise them, and this will get your returns,” he says. “Above all, I think it is really important to have fun while you are working. It’s where most people spend most of their waking lives, so you need to enjoy yourself.”
An accountant who wants to have fun – surely a perfect fit for the hotel industry.
Michael Purtill - Further information