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SAN FRANCISCO-Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group LLC, a locally based international lodging investment and asset management company with a multibillion-dollar portfolio, is changing its name to Chartres Lodging Group and giving its head of East Coast operations an ownership stake.

The company was founded in 2002 by Rob Kline and Maki Bara. Shortly after it opened shop, the company took on the asset management assignment for a 2,000-room portfolio owned by Oxford Capital Group LLC, a company Kline and Maki had partnered with on other transactions, and changed its name to Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group.

“It made sense at the time,” Kline tells GlobeSt.com. “[We and Oxford] had acquired properties with large opportunity funds and didn’t want them to think this split we were going through would [have any negative effect] on the investments, so sharing the Oxford name made sense.”

Six years later, the company has grown into one of the industry’s largest investors, with a 15,600-room portfolio of luxury and upscale hotels, conference centers and resorts in the US and Japan. Kline and Bara have an interest in 65% of the estimated $5-billion portfolio. The rest of the portfolio is comprised of assets that its investor partners have asked the company to manage on a fee basis. Kline and Bara also control Kokua Hospitality LLC, which manages the independent hotels in the company’s portfolio.

Kline tells GlobeSt.com that the new name is intended not only to differentiate the company from lots of similarly named businesses but also to better position it for the future. “Incorporating the Oxford name was an accommodation to our previous ventures with Oxford Capital,” Kline says. “This intentional duplication and the simple fact that so many other companies and products also share the Oxford common name led to considerable market confusion.”

Additionally, Blum says the Oxford Lodging name focused too strongly on the company’s advisory capacity rather than on its now primary role as a lodging investment specialist. Going forward, the company will maintain its staff and its headquarters at 50 California St., as well as its regional offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo. In addition, Bruce Blum, the one-time CEO of Doral Hotels & Resorts who heads up the company’s East Coast operations, now owns a stake in the company along with Kline and Bara.

Under the Lodging Advisory & Investment Group name, the company is known for its acquisition and announced renovation of a number of high-profile properties, including New York’s Jumeriah Essex House and Chicago’s Allerton and Chicago City Centre properties. In San Francisco, its work has included the renovation, repositioning and re-launching of the Sir Francis Drake and Pan Pacific hotels in the tony Union Square area.

Kline says the company capitalizes every property it acquires independently, and that a big motivator for his staff is that every employee has the right to invest in every property it acquires. The company has no set hold period for its assets. It still owns the first asset Kline made a direct investment in, which was nine years ago, but sold the Pan Pacific San Francisco in 2006 after a three-year hold. It reportedly acquired the property for less than $50 million in partnership with Whitehall Street Global Real Estate Limited Partnership 2001, put several million into a renovation and sold it for $95 million.

“We’re always looking to align our interests with the fate of the capital markets; at our core we are trying to create value and monetize it whenever the capital markets allow for it,” Kline says. “When capital markets are active and dynamic, we are in there refinancing or recapitalizing or outright selling; we’ve done all of those things over this last bubble period.”

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