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FIRST INVESTORS

Turnkey Hospitality Investment

For 40 years First Investors has offered differentiated hospitality investment strategies to sophisticated investors & institutions.

Current investors can access our portal
First Investors

Our Platform

40 Years
Track Record of Success
  • Opportunity Sourcing 
  • Underwriting & Value-add Analysis 
45 Hospitality
Transactions
  • Transaction Management
  • Franchise Sourcing & Management
$750MM
AUM in Active Investments
  • LP & GP Equity Placement 
  • Financing Placement 
  • Asset Management
0
Foreclosures in Platform History
  • Incentives & Tax Credit Management
  • CapEx Planning & Oversight

Our Edge

Award-Winning Management Affiliate

First Investors benefits from the expertise, relationships, and market insight of its affiliated leading hospitality manager, First Hospitality

Proprietary Deal Flow

First Investors' deep industry relationships and market insight from existing and historical investments lead to consistent off-market investment opportunities.

Hotel Market Expertise

First Investors principals have directed $3B+ of hospitality transactions, including significant investments in value-add, new construction, and distressed strategies.

Principled Partner

First Investors emphasizes long-term relationships, community engagement, and has zero foreclosures in platform history.

Platform Strategies

Ground-Up New Construction

Ground-Up New Construction

Opportunistic development of unique lodging product in underserved markets. First Investors was the hospitality partner on the first ever "tri-branded" Hilton, located in Chicago, IL. Which won the ALIS Select Service Development of the year award.
Repositioning & Major Renovations

Repositioning & Major Renovations

Value-add renovation to reposition or refresh an existing lodging asset to durably enhance NOI. First Investors completed an award-winning conversion of an underperforming independent hotel into a Renaissance by Marriott in Toledo, OH.
Historic & Adaptive Reuse

Historic & Adaptive Reuse

Opportunistic conversion of existing structures into lodging assets, often leveraging public incentives. First Investors converted the 1886-vintage Loyalty Building into a one-of-a-kind Hilton Garden Inn in Milwaukee, WI. Which won Hilton Select Service Development of the Year award.
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First Investors Leadership Team

David Duncan as Ceo
David Duncan
President & CEO
David Duncan as Ceo
David Duncan
President & CEO

As CEO of First Hospitality, David has over 25 years of global operating experience in managing high performing teams and in executive roles in both private and publicly held organizations. He coordinated over $10 billion of real estate and capital market transactions across multiple geographies and currencies. His experience ranges from fee-simple equity transactions to mortgage and mezzanine lending and complex joint venture and structured transactions.

David began his career in public accounting, consulting, and financial institutions before he found his true passion in the hotel and travel space. He has been immersed in the lodging investment and operating space for more than 20 years now. He especially enjoys harmonizing the right capital structure with the right real estate, branding, and operational solutions to optimize investor returns in lodging, and related investments.

His formative institutional experience was with GE Capital Real Estate, Guggenheim Partners, and Ernst & Young, LLC [in Los Angeles, Boston, Stamford CT, and New York]. Before joining First Hospitality, David served in executive roles at JC Resorts in La Jolla, CA and Denihan Hospitality in New York City. David received his B.A. from Western Michigan University, located in his hometown of Kalamazoo, MI. He was an adjunct professor in the Carroll School of Management, Boston College.

David is sought after for comment in leading publications such as Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, Lodging Magazine, and other industry publications. Additionally, he has made appearances on numerous television news programs. He is a frequent speaker at various real estate and lodging industry panels. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute Hotel Development Council.

David lives in Chicago with his wife Susan and their two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, mountain bike, ride motorcycles, and catch up with his three children. He is passionate about improving the lives of underprivileged youth and supporting research to cure Multiple Myeloma with the MMRF.

Stephen Schwartz as Chairman
Stephen Schwartz
Chairman
Stephen Schwartz as Chairman
Stephen Schwartz
Chairman

As Chairman, Stephen provides strategic guidance to the company and works with First Hospitality's partners to unlock the value of their hotels.

Stephen has more than 50 years of hospitality experience and currently serves on the Advisory Boards of Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt hotels. He founded First Hospitality in 1984 and has grown the company portfolio to 50+ hotels nationwide with revenues exceeding $250 Million. Throughout his career, he has successfully developed and financed more than $1 billion in hotel real estate. Also, he is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with Hilton Hotel Corporation and was inducted into the Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2007. The firm has received numerous awards reflective of his innovative and creative approach to development and hospitality.

Stephen has been an active board member for several not-for-profit organizations, including The Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago, Midwest Board of the Weizmann Institute, a key sponsor of the Holocaust Education Program at Elmhurst College, as well as a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Board (CYSO). He is married to his wife Terry and is the father of three children.

Sam Schwartz as President Of First Investors
Sam Schwartz
Principal
Sam Schwartz as President Of First Investors
Sam Schwartz
Principal
First Investors is the real instate investment management affiliate of First Hospitality, and has a 35+ year track record of delivering industry-leading returns on opportunistic investments in premium select- and full-service hospitality assets across the country. Sam has led and supported over $500M of hotel investment & development in his time at First Investors. Prior to his time in investments, Sam served as one of the opening General Managers of Hilton’s first-ever tri-branded property at McCormick Place, and before then served as Development Director over several award winning projects including the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel and the Hotel LeVeque Autograph Columbus. In addition to leading First Investors Sam is a member of First Hospitality’s Board of Advisors where his portfolio includes strategic growth efforts and key corporate infrastructure improvements. He holds two engineering degrees from Northwestern University and brings a designer’s mindset to the daily challenges of building and running hotels. Sam is a member of the Hilton Garden Inn Owner Advisory Council and has been recognized as an Up and Coming professional by Hotel Business Magazine, a Thirty under 30 by Hotel Management Magazine, and a CRE Future Leader by REJournals. Outside of hospitality, Sam is passionate about promoting broad access to STEM education. He and his wife are happily raising a family and two dogs in Chicago.
Kim Gauthier
Kim Gauthier
Senior Vice President Of Asset Management
Kim Gauthier
Kim Gauthier
Senior Vice President Of Asset Management
With over 25 years of experience in driving hotel performance and asset value, Kim Gauthier is a seasoned leader in the hotel industry, committed to achieving superior returns across multiple investment cycles. As Senior Vice President at First Investors, she collaborates closely with her team to develop and implement asset management plans that unlock value creation opportunities. Kim works proactively with property management teams to surpass performance objectives, including RevPAR penetration targets and operating budget goals.
Before joining First Investors, Kim served as Senior Vice President of Asset Management at Hotel Asset Value Enhancement, a firm specializing in hotel asset management. There, she delivered outstanding results for high-net-worth individuals, lenders, and private equity firms owning a diverse portfolio of hotels, from select service to luxury properties. Her responsibilities included negotiating loan modifications, managing purchase and sale agreements, overseeing diligence processes, finalizing closing statements, and transitioning management and ownership of numerous properties. Additionally, she completed consulting projects focused on operational reviews and closing prorations.
From 1995 to 2007, Kim held various key positions at Thayer Lodging, Brookfield Hotel Properties, including Vice President of Asset Management, Vice President of Acquisitions, and Corporate Controller. During her 19-year tenure, she earned a reputation for expertly handling the firm's most challenging assets.
Kim holds several prestigious certifications: Certified Hotel Asset Manager (CHAM), Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), and formerly, Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She is a long-standing member of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) and has served on its board for ten years in roles including President, Vice President, and Education Chair. Kim also contributes to the Global Finance Committee, supported by the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), helping to develop the 11th and 12th editions of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Indus
Roger Baker as Chief Investment Officer & Advisor
Roger Baker
Chief Investment Officer & Advisor
Roger Baker as Chief Investment Officer & Advisor
Roger Baker
Chief Investment Officer & Advisor

Roger is a proven executive and advisor with over 35 years of experience in the real estate industry. Prior to joining First Hospitality, he served as Senior Vice President of Financial Operations for Trizec Properties Inc. and was a key member of their executive team. Roger has held positions in various real estate firms, including Prime Capital, a private commercial mortgage loan and balance sheet lender, Banyan Management Corp., a diversified group of real estate investment trusts, VMS Realty Partners, a diversified real estate investment and syndication firm, and the Equity Group where he contributed to their tax, investor relations, financial reporting, information services, acquisition, and disposition activities. Roger holds a B.A. in Finance and a B.S. in Accounting from Western Illinois University.

In his free time, Roger enjoys downhill skiing, hiking, biking, and being outdoors. Additionally, he's a father of three boys and helps support and administer various youth hockey programs in Northern Illinois.

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