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Acorn winners 2016: Nick Hamdy, 29

01 July 2016
Acorn winners 2016: Nick Hamdy, 29

General manager, Charlotte Street hotel, London

Nominated by Anna Jackson, group operations director, Firmdale Hotels

Proudest moment "Being part of the Ham Yard Hotel opening team. I remember seeing a scale model of the hotel in 2010 and thinking how great it would be to work there."

Greatest inspiration "The team at Firmdale, who show such passion for what they do."

Ambition "To develop my skills as a leader and, in the long-term, to manage a group of boutique hotels."

A brilliant start at the Firmdale Hotels Graduate Programme in 2008 set Nick Hamdy on the road to success, giving him front-office experience at several of the company's London hotels.

But his big break came in 2014 when he was transferred to the pre-opening team for Ham Yard Hotel as operations duty manager. Within 10 months he was promoted to deputy general manager, handling occupancy forecasts, and recruitment and training.

In the first full year to January 2015, Hamdy helped Ham Yard achieve 86% employee retention, exceed its budgeted gross operating profit by £1.2m, notch up 35% return guests and win the Mr and Mrs Smith Award for Best New Hotel as well as generate mystery guest report averages of more than 90%.

His revenue management skills were recognised, and in January 2016 he was made general manager of Charlotte Street Hotel, leading a team of 130 and managing annual revenue of £12m. He has a strong legacy of training others, not least grooming a successor to the deputy general manager role at Ham Yard. He also champions internships for students.

One of Hamdy's main loves is food and beverage, so he delivers WSET Level 1-2 to the whole Firmdale group external clients, with a current pass rate of 99%. This helps him to build relationships with team members and guests.

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