Quest appoints senior executives as global plans ramp up

By Sarah Stowe | 17 May 2021 View comments

Quest appoints senior executives in a restructure designed to galvanise the business ahead of ongoing innovation, aggressive global expansion, and a heightened commitment to franchisee success.

New to Quest Apartment Hotels executive suite are Kamal Atal, chief financial and commercial officer, and Dennis Tuan-Mu, general counsel.

Tuan-Mu has more than 20 years of legal expertise including the most recent tenure, 11 years at hospitality and food service management firm, Delaware North. During this period he headed up legal and compliance for APAC and was awarded the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Lawyer of the Year.

Dennis Tuan-Mu joins Quest as general counsel | Inside Franchise Business Executive

Dennis Tuan-Mu joins Quest as general counsel | Inside Franchise Business Executive

He said “I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a distinguished legal career with many years focused on the tourism, hospitality, and accommodation sectors. I’m incredibly passionate about this industry and confident I can help Quest navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead”.

In his general counsel role Tuan-Mu will provide strategic direction to support the growth and financial health of the company in line with commercial imperatives.

Kamal Atal replaces Jason Vanderzam in the top finance role, bringing with him more than two decades in finance. Atal held senior positions for Hyatt in India, Vietnam and Dubai before joining Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours in 2018 as general manager of finance for APAC.

Kamal Atal heads up finance at Quest | Inside Franchise Business Executive

Kamal Atal heads up finance at Quest | Inside Franchise Business Executive

He said “My career has given me a diverse geographical exposure, whilst exposing me to various projects around acquiring, expanding, and maintaining high-performing hotels and luxury travel businesses. I look forward to applying this knowledge at Quest under the realm of Ascott, as we work towards the common goal of business growth and value creation for franchisees”.

Quest is a subsidiary of The Ascott Limited. Ascott Australia’s managing director, David Mansfield, said the new leaders bring a global perspective that will enable the company to assert itself both nationally and on the global stage.

“It’s fair to say that Quest Apartment Hotels is tracking a path of transformation; we are evolving, growing, and advancing at a rapid pace. To get us to where we need to be, in what remains a complex landscape, we must have the best operators at the helm. There is not a doubt in my mind we have found that in Dennis and Kamal.”

Quest has recently announced it will open seven new hotels in New Zealand between June 2021 and July 2022. In addition, the company has a further nine agreements for lease signed in Australia, with construction due to commence in the next 12 months, totalling 715 rooms.

Mansfield said Quest will reveal plans for new sites throughout the United Kingdom across the 2021 calendar year.

“Serviced apartment style accommodation comprises a significantly lower proportion of the overall accommodation market in the UK, and our maiden project in the UK, Quest Liverpool City Centre, highlights that the product has strong appeal.

“Working closely with the The Ascott Limited, which of course has an established footprint across Europe, Kamal and Dennis will create the legal and financial frameworks to incrementally put the Quest brand on the map.”