Orient-Express Hotels announced that Chairman James B. Hurlock, 77, and Founder, former Chairman and Director James B. Sherwood, 77, will retire from the Board at the end of their current terms and will not stand for re-election at the 2011 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, to be held on June 9, 2011. Sherwood will become Founder & Chairman Emeritus.
The Board expects that Jesse Robert (Bob) Lovejoy, 66, a director since 2000, will become Chairman following the 2011 AGM. The Board will nominate a slate of eight directors, including two new independent nominees, for election by the shareholders at the AGM. The eight nominees will be listed in the Company’s proxy statement to be mailed in April.
“Orient-Express has successfully managed through difficult challenges over the past few years, and the Company is now well positioned for renewed growth as the economy continues to recover,” said Prudence M. Leith, Chairperson of the Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee. “Much credit for the Company’s highly respected brand and long-term track record rightly goes to both Jim Hurlock and Jim Sherwood. On behalf of the full Board, I would like to thank them for their tireless dedication and long leadership of the Company.
“The Board believes this is the right time to bring on new talent and evolve its leadership to help management take the Company to the next level during this pivotal time of sustained recovery in the travel industry. As part of this transition, the Board expects Bob Lovejoy to be named Chairman. Bob’s broad and deep experience, particularly in corporate strategy and finance, has made him a valuable contributor since he joined the Board in 2000. Combined with his deep knowledge of the Company and strong leadership skills, we are certain he will work well with CEO Paul White and his talented team to lead Orient-Express to great success in the years ahead.”
Lovejoy said, “I thank the Board for its confidence in me. I look forward to working with Vice Chairman Georg Rafael and the rest of our very capable Board to assist Paul and his team, who have performed extremely well over the last several difficult years. As a team we are eager to face the future challenges and opportunities of a rising global economy and extremely competitive travel market.”
Lovejoy added, “It is with deep appreciation that the Board salutes the accomplishments of Jim Hurlock and Jim Sherwood and thanks them for their years of service to Orient-Express. As the founder of Orient-Express Hotels and its predecessor company, and Chairman for over 30 years, Jim Sherwood’s entrepreneurship and pioneering vision is responsible for building the Company into the unique business it is today. Through the acquisition and development of iconic properties, Jim has overseen the growth of Orient-Express Hotels from small beginnings into a company with superb assets and a worldwide reputation for excellence in luxury hospitality.”
Lovejoy continued, “With more than a decade of service as a Director and Chairman, Jim Hurlock has been instrumental in guiding the continued success of the Company during some of its most challenging years. Orient-Express has never been in a stronger position than it is today and the Board expresses its deep appreciation for Jim’s stewardship and loyalty to the Company.”
Jesse Robert (Bob) Lovejoy has been a Director of Orient-Express Hotels since 2000. He is Chairman of the Board’s Audit Committee as well as a member of the Compensation and the Nominating & Governance Committees. Mr. Lovejoy is Founder and Principal of J.R. Lovejoy & Co. LLC, which provides consulting and advisory services regarding strategy and finance to corporate, investment and financial clients. Most recently, he served as Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Partner of Coatue Management, L.L.C., a global equity manager.
Mr. Lovejoy has had a distinguished career in finance and law, including four years as Managing Director at Groton Partners LLC, a boutique financial advisory firm; six years as Senior Managing Director of Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity investment firm; over 15 years as a Managing Director and Co-Head of General Banking at Lazard Freres & Co., an investment banking firm, where he was also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and an Alternate Member of Lazard Partners, the global coordinating body of the Lazard Firms in the U.S., France and the U.K.; and 13 years at Davis Polk & Wardwell, a major law firm, most recently as a Partner.
Mr. Lovejoy is a member of the Bars of New York and Washington, D.C., with extensive experience in investment and merchant banking. Throughout his career he has been involved in raising capital in private and public transactions, as well as advising on mergers and acquisitions, investment strategies, business law, accounting issues and corporate valuation.
He is also a Director of One Liberty Properties Inc. (NYSE: OLP), a real estate investment trust, and Save Venice Inc., where he served as Chairman from 2007 to 2010. He has also served on many charitable, artistic and educational boards including the New York City Opera, the Joffrey Ballet, Rye Country Day School and the YMCA of Greater New York. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. cum laude from Columbia Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the Columbia Law Review and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
James B. Hurlock has served as Chairman of the Board of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. since June 2007 and has been a Director since 2000 at the time of the Company’s IPO. He served as Interim Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group BV of Stolt-Nielsen SA from 2003 to 2004.
Mr. Hurlock was for 20 years through 2000 the managing partner of the White & Case law firm, overseeing its worldwide operations. His primary focus was international financial transactions with significant experience in debt restructuring. He counselled clients on mergers and acquisitions, the secured financing of projects, shipping and aircraft, and a wide variety of direct foreign investments in manufacturing and service businesses. For more than 30 years, Mr. Hurlock represented the governments of countries such as Turkey, Morocco, Nigeria, Bulgaria, Peru, Costa Rica, and Poland.
He serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at The Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law, a Trustee of New York Presbyterian Hospital and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and a Member of the Advisory Board of RSR Partners. He has served as Deputy Chairman and a Director of Subsea 7 SA (formerly Stolt Offshore SA), a Director of Stolt-Nielsen SA, and a Director of Northern Offshore Ltd. He holds an A.B. degree from Princeton University. A Rhodes Scholar, he holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oxford University and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.
James B. Sherwood is the Founder of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. He was Chairman from 1976 to 2007 and Co-Chief Executive Officer from 1994 to 2006, and has been a Director of the Company since its founding.
The Company was originally the leisure division of Sea Containers Ltd., an international marine container leasing and passenger transport company. Mr. Sherwood established Sea Containers Ltd. in 1965 and took the company public in 1968. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sea Containers until November 2005 and as Non-Executive Chairman until his retirement from the company in March 2006. During his tenure, Mr. Sherwood expanded Sea Containers from a supplier of leased cargo containers into a company providing passenger and freight ferry and rail transport as well as hotel and tourist trains. Prior to founding Sea Containers, he served in various positions with United States Lines in France and New York from 1959 to 1963. From 1955 to 1959, Mr. Sherwood served as an officer in the US Navy, on active duty in the Pacific.
Mr. Sherwood is a Trustee of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; a Member of the Executive Committee of the Advisory Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection; Vice President of the Transport Trust; a Member of the Advisory Committee of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, England; a Member of the Board of Save Venice, Inc.; a Member of the International Council of Yale University; a Trustee of the World Monuments Fund in Britain; and a Trustee of Oxford Philomusica.
In 1994, he was made the 15th honorary citizen of Venice since the founding of the Italian Republic in 1867. In 2004, he was awarded the Order of the Southern Cross by the government of Brazil. Mr. Sherwood owns the Capannelle vineyard and winery in Tuscany. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University. Mr. Sherwood is currently writing a book about his personal involvement in the development of the Company, entitled “Orient-Express, a personal journey”, to be published in late 2011.