Laurence Geller CBE is a leading expert in the fields of hospitality, specialised education and dementia care. He is a British-born, UK and US based property investor, author and philanthropist. He is Chairman of Geller Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private real estate investment firm focused on placing capital in the hospitality and leisure industries. The Waldorf Astoria Chicago is amongst the hotels the company recently acquired.
Laurence is Founder and Chairman of Innovative Aged Care (IAC), a London specialist care home company which opened its first home in Chelsea, London in 2016. He is also a leading expert in the area of dementia care and currently serves as an Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society.
He started his career as a "hotel busboy" in Switzerland at the age of 15. He emigrated to the US in 1976, where he first worked for Holiday Inns, eventually serving as its Executive Vice President – where he was also the founder of Classic Residence by Hyatt (Now Vi), the first North American branded Senior living organisation. He subsequently served as Executive Vice President the Chief Operating Officer of Hyatt Development Corporation. Laurence has served as Director of Grand Metropolitan Hotels in London. He served as the Founder and CEO of the US Strategic Hotels & Resorts from 1997 to 2012 which listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2004.
Laurence has long-held associations with the University of West London, graduating from the School of Hotel Management and Catering at the institution when it was Ealing Technical College. In his honour this has now been re-named the London Geller School of Hospitality and Tourism. In 2010 he received an honorary doctorate and he was installed as Chancellor in 2011.
He is currently leading the expansion programme in Dementia Care at the University’s College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare and in 2018 Laurence gifted £1 million to establish a new Institute for Dementia Care (IDC), enabling the University to accelerate its pioneering work in that area and developing leading dementia care training curricula and programmes. He had previously funded its Master’s degree in Dementia Care Nursing.
In addition to his extensive fundraising activities, Laurence has personally donated more than £15 million cumulatively to a variety of humanitarian, cultural and civic causes over the years and has held many charitable and business positions and roles both in the US and UK.
Laurence is Chairman of the International Churchill Society and in 2015, he donated £650,000, to Bloomsbury Publishing to make the papers of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill available to schoolchildren and providing free related teaching modules. Laurence Geller is the author of two thrillers about hotels, Do Not Disturb and The Last Resort. He was awarded a CBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List. He currently resides in London and Chicago and has three grown children and eight grandchildren.