Five former executives from Cendant and one
from Starwood have formed a travel consultancy in partnership with
based in New York, stated that it would use its expertise in
mergers and acquisitions, asset utilization, sales and marketing,
product development and technology to advise start-ups. It will
also counsel existing travel businesses on course corrections,
turnarounds and optimizing performance.
And it will do so,
the company said, leveraging the research of PhoCusWright, which
has formed a long-term partnership with Hudson Crossing.
The firm's managing
partner is Mike McCormick, who served as executive vice president
of Cendant's Hospitality and Leisure Group.
The chairman is Tom
Christopoul, president of Somerset Shore Associates and the former
chairman and CEO of Cendant's Financial Services unit.
Rounding out the
partners with Cendant ties are Andy Hermo, formerly group vice
president of global efficiencies for Cendant's Travel Distribution
Services; George Roukas, formerly vice president of product
management for Cendant's TDS; and Ed Silver, previously vice
president of technology and operations for Cendant's Hospitality
and Leisure Group.
Tom Botts, most
recently vice president of global travel industry sales and
strategy for Starwood, also is a partner in the self-funded Hudson
president and CEO of PhoCusWright, said industry trends made the
moment ripe for consulting. He cited new investors, corporations
reassessing their strategies and smaller players taking on larger
companies as factors accentuating the "growing need for good
strategy work in the marketplace."
Wolf sees the
partnership with Hudson Crossing as a matter of "scope and
He said the new
firm would take on larger and deeper consulting projects than
PhoCusWright had been able to do on its own because Hudson Crossing
would be able to "dedicate an entire team to advisory
He added that most
of the new advisory services that PhoCusWright would offer would be
done through Hudson Crossing, although PhoCusWright might continue
with some smaller advisory projects of its own.
"Going forward, our
intention is to work with these guys," Wolf said.
McCormick said he
saw an opportunity for an advisory firm that knows the travel and
tourism business "and can give a company a needed shot in the arm,"
adding that businesses would typically contract with Hudson
Crossing for six to 18 months.
"There is a lot of
capital coming into various businesses, and there are higher
expectations about performance than ever before," McCormick
He said that Hudson
Crossing, which launched with a few unidentified clients in the
fold, would leverage PhoCusWright's research prowess.
"We see that as one
of the building blocks when we go into clients," McCormick
would detail the nature of their new partnership.
"We have struck a
mutually beneficial, long-term relationship," said McCormick.
contact reporter Dennis Schaal, send e-mail to [email protected].