Meet the Team



Andrea Zucchini

Acquisitions Associate - YOO Capital

Mr. Zucchini is a third generation real estate development professional with over 5 year experience in residential and development appraisals and projects, as well as with professional involvement in hotel feasibility and appraisals. Prior to joining YOO Capital, he worked on behalf of a major Italian family office investing into London residential projects, acting as principal where he was responsible for underwriting the investments and overseeing the projects works.

Additionally, Mr. Zucchini worked as Real Estate Analyst for C.E.Z. S.p.A., a significant development company based in Bologna Italy. At C.E.Z., he was responsible for the appraisals of several development schemes and site acquisitions totalling more than 300 residential units.


Andrew Pang

Managing Director Asia Pacific

Andrew, who is based in Hong Kong, is responsible for creating business opportunities within the Asia Pacific region as well as the day-to-day running of the office. He has over 17 years of property experience in the Asia markets: he was a founding Director for Cushman & Wakefield in Hong Kong and, prior to joining YOO, the Executive Director for International Investments at Knight Frank Hong Kong overlooking all the cross-border transactions between their international offices, including residential developments and marketing, hotel investments and resorts developments.

Out of the office, Andrew is a “green” origami artist using environmental friendly or recycled papers. He has created a series of large sized origami lanterns for a well known Spanish restaurant in Hong Kong and published a book in 2000 for Paramount Movies – Star Trek Paper Universe (Simon & Schuster).


Andrew Thorpe

YOO Capital

Andrew has been involved in real estate for over 20 years at all stages of the development process as a Quantity Surveyor, Contractor, Project Manager and Developer. He has worked with John Hitchcox for over 14 years both at Manhattan Loft and at YOO since inception.

Andrew heads up the development and investment side of the business and has been instrumental in delivering many of YOO 's more profitable developments - carrying out much of the due diligence and risk assessment work required prior to any YOO investment. With his extensive knowledge of the development process he is ideally placed to evaluate new project partners and ventures.


Anja Revenda

Senior FF&E Designer

Anja joined the YOO design team in November 2012 to work on concept design, FF&E selection and styling. She works across the brands but in particular for YOO Inspired by Starck, Jade Jagger for YOO and the YOO Studio projects. She was heavily involved in the concept creation & design of the first yoo2 hotel in Rio which launched to great acclaim in 2016 just in time for the Olympics.

Of German origin, Anja moved to London to follow a creative career after an international upbringing in South East Asia and Turkey. Working for YOO allows her to combine her passion for exciting, cutting-edge design and travel. Prior to joining us, Anja worked at United Designers and Lee Broom as well as freelancing for a number of years. This allowed her to carry out projects from concept through to installation, whilst honing her specialist FF&E skills along the way.


Anthony Patel

Finance Manager


Claire Rizzi


Claire, an internationally experienced interior designer, graduated from the prestigious Parisian school Nissime de Camondo.

After her studies, she decided to work outside Europe. She spent time working in China for renowned architectural offices (Architecture Studio / Standardarchitecture) and São Paulo, where enjoyed the freedom of working as an independent designer.

Claire credits her international experience and trips as a key inspiration in her design approach. During her career, Claire has worked on a wide and varied range of projects; including a resort project on the Tibetan's mountains; which became a cultural centre including 2 theatres, commercial spaces, offices and residential areas.


Daniel Nolan

Junior Designer

Daniel graduated with a first class honours in Interior & Furniture Design at the Dublin Institute of Technology. His thesis project won numerous awards internally in DIT and also by the Institute of Designers Ireland. Daniel then went on to work on numerous commercial office interiors for multinational companies including Google, MasterCard, Dropbox & Sony Music in Dublin and in the UK.

Stylistically, Daniel is influenced by Japanese design and elements of Postmodernism. He cites Oki Sato and Ettore Sottsass among his biggest influences.


Diana Nehrych

Accounts Assistant


Giovanna Gallo

Junior Designer

Giovanna joined YOO in November 2012 as part of the Furnishings team to work on the logistics for the Mira Moon Hotel and Great Northern Hotel projects. She became part of the YOO design team in April 2013 with a strong focus on FF&E selection and styling. Giovanna has worked on many YOO project across the globe bringing to life the vision of many YOO Inspired by Starck and Jade Jagger for YOO projects.

Prior to joining YOO Giovanna worked for a London-based property investment fund and was responsible for all aspects related to the set-up of their luxury residences around the world.


Guillaume Cotrel


Guillaume joined the YOO team in 2014 as a designer and enjoys immersing himself in the rich creativity he is constantly surrounded by. He attended ESAD, an Art and Design school just outside Paris and graduated with a 1st class Masters in product and furniture design

Following his studies Guillaume moved to London in 2008 to begin his career freelancing in design, he worked on projects including retail design for Topshop, restaurant Dishoom with Afroditi Krassa and in high-end furniture design at Ochre. He then focussed on developing his passion for architectural design at Amalgam Studios and Forster Inc.

Guillaume has been attracted by art since a young age and draws inspiration from design icons he loves to discover in books, galleries and museums. When he is not working, he enjoys photography and cooking meal inspired from his childhood and travels.


Jagdish Johal


Jag has extensive experience of working with individuals at all different levels of the real estate sector, from property consultants and investment managers to developers and financiers. Prior to working with YOO he was UK controller of the Dutch financial institution ING Real Estate.

With an auditing and commercial background Jag has excelled in combining finance, legal, management and commercial expertise in various industries, from small start-ups to large multi-nationals.

Jag has comprehensive experience in dealing with international tax, legal, cultural and management issues and plays a key role in negotiating, advising and managing YOO's

partners globally.


James Snelgar

Business Development Director

James has worked with YOO Chairman John Hitchcox since 1994 when he joined the Manhattan Loft Corporation as Sales and Marketing Manager. He was involved in the marketing of every Manhattan Loft project, and has long and extensive experience of working closely with design and construction teams. Earlier real estate experience included ten years in the residential sales sector, where he was director at a west London based real estate agency.

With YOO from conception, James played a key role in developing the brand and its presence as an international development partner. He now heads the company’s international roll-out programme and is responsible for all aspects of business development at YOO.


John Hitchcox

Founder / CEO

John Hitchcox’s rare combination of entrepreneurship and design savvy has had an unparalleled effect on property development worldwide. In 1991 he co-founded the Manhattan Loft Company, bringing to market incredible domestic living spaces, carved out of generous post-industrial buildings, the like of which had not been offered in London before.

In 1998, with his great friend, design giant Philippe Starck, Hitchcox set up YOO, a ground breaking property design and development company. YOO is now the largest residential design and development brand in the world. YOO homes have been designed and developed in large scale projects with partners across 27 countries. Designers Jade Jagger, Marcel Wanders, Kelly Hoppen, Anouska Hempel and Steve Leung have all joined the YOO family, creating a portfolio that offers luxury design in many different forms, from the cutting-edge to the most enduringly classic. YOO has won many industry awards for design, development, community building, hotels and residences.

John was born into a family of creatives; his father was the highly respected architect, Brian Hitchcox OBE. John entered the world of property development aged only 19, starting on his own with a house in South London. John lives in London with his family.


Lloyd Lee

YOO Capital

Mr. Lee has over 20 years’ experience in real estate principal investing and advisory. He has been involved in real estate acquisitions and asset management across the US, UK, Europe as well as India and Latin America. Mr. Lee has been active in the European markets since 2001.

Most recently, Mr. Lee oversaw European real estate private equity at Marathon Asset Management, a multi-billion global investment fund. In addition to managing a number of Marathon’s real estate investments across Europe, India and Latin America, Mr. Lee was responsible for Marathon’s European real estate strategy and relationships.

Prior to Marathon, Mr. Lee worked at Starwood Capital for 9 years, where he served as Managing Director of Starwood Capital Europe in London and where he opened the firm’s office. Previously, Mr. Lee worked in the Real Estate Advisory Group at Ernst & Young in New York and worked on numerous transactions advising opportunity funds, mezzanine lenders and distressed debt buyers.


Mara Unsoeld

Group Marketing & PR Manager

Mara oversees the sales, marketing and distribution for YOO Hotels and Resorts. This includes Branding, Collateral, Communication, Digital Marketing, Pricing and Owner Relations.


Marie Andreas

Junior Designer

Marie has developed herself as a successful Interior Designer for retail, commercial and hospitality firms around London.

Inspired by her Greek Cypriot origins, Marie graduated at Middlesex University, faculty of Interior Architecture and Design.

She loves Photography which explains her A Levels achievement in Graphics and Photography as she always had an interest in art based subjects.


Mark Blick

COO, YOO Hotels

Mark’s career within the global hotel industry spans 25 years in all key global markets. His experience has been developed across hotel branding, operations, real estate investment and capital markets. Mark understands the requirements of global hotel brands, operating companies and investors to work in partnerships with investment structures in multiple markets around the world. His investment skills in hotel real estate have resulted in more than 3 billion of hotel transactions and has given him an enviable reputation as one of the industry’s leading experts in this field.

His previous positions include 10 years as Managing Director for Choice Hotels International for the Europe, Middle East and Africa Division. Here he directed their growth throughout all markets, growing the portfolio to over 550 hotels. Mark then led the investment portfolio for MK Hotels and Soric International.

He started his career holding executive level operations positions with the Doyle Hotels and the Savoy Hotel Group and was also a Professor for Hotel Consult in Switzerland for a number of years. Mark has also been a guest speaker at the Hotel Investment conference in Berlin as well as at the Essec Hospitality business school for MBA Students in Paris. Mark has a BSc Hons from North London University in Hotel and Institutional Management and an MSc from Oxford Brookes University in Business and Hotel Management.

Away from work, Mark enjoys time with his family on the ski slopes of Europe and surfing in Cornwall.


Mark Davison

Head of Design

Mark completed both parts of his studies (parts 1 and 2) at the highly respected architecture school at the University of Canterbury. He started working with John Hitchcox as soon as he had graduated, helping to set up the Manhattan Loft Corporation. Within five years, he was Creative Director, responsible for every design issue from building development to corporate design.

After a few independent years running his own highly successful and profitable practice, Mark once again joined John Hitchcox to assist him in setting up YOO with Philippe Starck. Mark’s architectural background and hands-on experience in the area of cutting-edge development has given him an unusual and valuable insight into the commercial machinery of the property industry, as well as the expectations of the clients. Mark, who lives between London and Sussex, oversees the quality of the output from the YOO Design Studio all over the world.


Michael Delaney

Design Director

As Design Director at YOO Michael Delaney oversees and mentors the YOO Studio team, guiding and steering on all conceptual and creative fronts. Michael grew up in London and studied architecture at the universities of Portsmouth and Glasgow. He has worked for some of the profession’s most inspiring names, including Rick Mather, Nigel Coates and David Connor, and the leading London design agency Imagination. Guinness, Ford, Vivienne Westwood and the University of East Anglia have numbered among his clients. Projects have ranged from complex housing proposals to bespoke furniture, and he has proved his skills time and again in both domestic interiors and commercial (retail and restaurant) projects. Michael joined YOO in 2006 and has worked on some of the company’s most prestigious projects. He is currently leading concept proposals on projects in St Petersburg, Miami and Lima.


Michele Sims

Senior Designer


Michelle Montefusco

Senior Designer

Michelle joined YOO in September 2016 and is currently leading proposals for projects in Bali, Jade Jagger for Yoo, and in Istanbul, Yoo inspired by Starck.

Of Canadian origin she moved to Italy where she studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, graduating with honours. During her 20 year career, Michelle has worked in the USA for NBBJ, as well as in Italy, for leading designers such as Piero Lissoni and Matteo Thun, amongst others. She has worked on a large number of high end interior projects, and her experience in Italy has given her a strong knowledge of the product design industry.

Michelle has also worked on many residential projects from conception to finish, as well as developed concepts and FF&E for several hotels, ranging from boutique hotels in Japan, to wellness hotels in the European alps, to global budget hotel roll outs.


Monika Piatkowski

Studio Manager

In her role as Studio Manager Monika works across many varying projects simultaneously, co-coordinating the design team and ensuring the highest quality output at all times.

Throughout her 20-year career in the design industry Monika has worked in various creative fields as a multidisciplinary designer including graphics for print, TV and web design, product, furniture and lighting design. She has delivered innovative design work, collaborated on projects involving design retailers and manufacturers, interior designers and architects in the UK and internationally.

As a prolific designer in her own right Monika's own work has been recognised through several national and international awards. Hailing from Norway, with a rich and varied cultural background, she is also fluent in English, Norwegian and Polish.


Penelope Ferdinand

Legal Advisor


Poppy Bennett


Poppy oversees YOO’s front of house ensuring a friendly welcome for all of YOO’s clients and guests.

An Art and Design graduate, Poppy also comes from an artistic family, her grandmother is an artist and her grandfather is a sculptor. In her spare time, Poppy indulges in her love of sewing and textiles creating bespoke cushions.

Born in London, Poppy has also lived in New Zealand. Prior to joining YOO, Poppy worked as a receptionist and administrator for a salon in Mayfair.


Rachel Burns

Senior Designer

Rachel studied at the Glasgow School of art and graduated 2010 with a First Class BA Hons Interior Design.

This young designer has already been recognised for her talents, winning Bar of the future design award and has had her work featured in idFX magazine.

Growing up she was always surrounded by design – her dad has his own interior design company.

Upon graduating, Rachel worked at United designers for 1 year and a half on projects in the UK and overseas (London and Vienna) specialising in luxury hotel and multi-million pound high end residential design. She then continued specialising in hotel design at RPW before joining YOO.


Ruta Danileviciute


Ruta joins the YOO Studio design team as a Junior Designer. She says she takes inspiration in her design work from her Baltic roots but also from her travels, from great artwork, exhibitions and events, and even everyday objects. Ruta's family was involved in the design industry for years, so it was a natural part of her life from very early days. She studied arts and has always been surrounded by architects, artists and actors. In her spare time she loves being active and even does a bit of ballet.


Sheetal Shah

Group Financial Controller

Sheetal oversees the day to day finance activities for YOO. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales over 8 years ago and has experience in the retail, hedge fund and more recently hospitality industries.

Having grown up in Kenya and worked in both the UK and Abu Dhabi, in addition to her technical skills as a Chartered Accountant, Sheetal brings to Yoo her ability to work with individuals at all levels and from different backgrounds.


Simon Kerr

Chief Marketing Officer

Simon oversees the sales, marketing and distribution for YOO Hotels and Resorts. This includes Branding, Collateral, Communication, Digital Marketing, Pricing and Owner Relations.

With over 25 year’s experience in hotels and resorts, Simon has a wealth of experience and understanding in both the promotion and generation of business into hotels in the luxury sector. Simon was previously Commercial Director of COMO Hotels and Resorts, Christina Ong’s world renowned collection of hotels, private islands, destination spas and adventure retreats. He has also worked at the iconic Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane and for international brands including InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Hilton International and Forte Hotels.

A passionate global explorer, Simon believes that Hoteliers need to be the window to destinations and that the guest experience needs to surprise and delight the ever changing moods of modern travellers.


Suzanne Livingstone

Executive Assistant to Chairman

As Facilities Manager & PA to the CFO, Suzanne is responsible for the management of services and processes that support YOO’s core business, including building & office management, utilities infrastructure, space management and ensuring health & safety standards are maintained. Previously Suzanne was EA to the team of YOO’s development and investment arm, YOO Capital, where she also supported the PR and marketing function, working closely with the directors on projects.

Suzanne brings to YOO over 10 years’ experience in the property sector. Prior to joining YOO, Suzanne worked at the Manhattan Loft Corporation as assistant to the directors.


Wassim El Bizri

IT Manager

Wassim came to YOO in 2008, after working as an assistant to IT Director in a small business. He is responsible for all YOO group Network & System Infrastructure, IT Budget, IT Projects Strategies, Planning and Implementation. Waz has an interesting string of countries to his name. He grew up in Beirut. He got his first degree in computer science from the Technical University of Riga, and attended the University of East London for his MSc in computer systems engineering.


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