As international arrivals in Vietnam reach unprecedented levels, Danao International Holdings has carved out a new position within its corporate structure and appointed Andrew W. Legge as chief operating officer.
Operational issues were formerly handled by the company’s chairman, Barry Israel, but the burgeoning traffic at Danao’s properties within Vietnam, including the Sofitel Dalat Palace Hotel & Golf Club and the Novotel Oceans Dunes Resort & Golf Club, have prompted the need for additional human resources.
“With Vietnam’s imminent accession to the WTO, and a burgeoning number of developmental possibilities coming to the fore as a consequence, it makes sense to deploy a COO,” said Israel.
Prior to his recent appointment, Legge was the deputy general director of Danao’s Riverside Apartments, a 152-unit complex of short-term and long-term accommodations 10km from downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Legge will retain his duties at Riverside and broaden his oversight responsibilities to maximize returns on the company’s assets in Dalat and Phan Thiet.
“We’ve invested more than $100 million in our assets here,” said Legge. “That was a matter of faith on Danao’s part, a faith that’s been justified by what we’re seeing in the way of international arrivals as well as more prosperous domestic travelers.”
At the same time that Legge focuses on the balance sheet, Danao is laying the groundwork for a suite of new vacation bungalows at the Ocean Dunes Resort in Phan Thiet, a collection of vacation club villas at the same location and a new clubhouse for the Dalat Palace Golf Club, the number-one rated tract in Vietnam according to Golf Digest.
“We feel fortunate to be the custodians of a few very special assets,” said Legge. “These are exciting times for Vietnam, and consequently for companies like ours that are committed to a five-star approach.”
Legge arrived in Vietnam in August 2005. Following university in Virginia, he worked for two years at the American International Group in New York City and for six years in insurance at Marsh & McLennan and Willis Group Holdings in San Francisco.
In July 2006, Danao bought out a joint venture partner and acquired a 100% ownership stake in the Sofitel Dalat Palace Hotel, as well as the nearby Novotel Dalat Hotel and Dalat Palace Golf Club.