Assistant director of finance, JW Marriott Grosvenor House London
Nominator Stuart Bowery, multi-property general manager, JW Marriott Grosvenor House London
Clémence Vermes' job is not for the fainthearted. Since March 2019, she has been managing the financial goals of the five-AA-star, 496-bedroom hotel, which has 23 banquet rooms – one with capacity for 2,000 guests - and 800-plus employees, five subtenants and revenue of £87m (2019).
Her 20-strong team includes IT and purchasing. Under her leadership and through effective cost-control and payroll management, the team increased gross operating profit by £1.2m versus the 2019 budget.
Many of the hotel's game-changing new systems have been piloted by Vermes. She has just led the development and implementation of an online income audit tool, which has led to a reduction in working hours as well as a timelier and more in-depth analysis of hotel transactions, promptly highlighting potential fraud or control issues. She also implemented an automated cash and credit card reconciliation system, removing repetitive non-value-adding tasks.
Vermes joined the Grosvenor from the St Pancras Renaissance London where she spent a year in a similar role. Many of the lessons she has learned in financial reporting and benchmarking were honed during her time as operations analyst at Marriott Hotel Holding in Frankfurt in 2017.
As well as mentoring two finance graduates, she recently supported a recruitment drive for the Marriott graduate programme, inspiring 13 graduates to accept positions with Marriott.
What is the most positive people change you see for your sector post-restrictions?
"For many people there has been a long break from work, so associates, managers and directors are more open to doing things differently. Post-restrictions, people have been generally less resistant to change."
Photography: Hospitality Media/Adrian Franklin