HB Exclusive: McNeill Investment Group transitions leadership

Germantown, TN-based McNeill Investment Group (MIG), formerly McNeill Hotel Investors, has revealed that CEO Phillip H. McNeill Jr. will transition to the new position of executive chairman of the company. In that role, he will oversee the board and provide strategic direction to the company.

Concurrently, CFO Chris Ropko becomes managing director/CEO, with responsibility for the growth and strategic oversight of the company’s restructured organization.

Chris Ropko

The transition is part of a leadership realignment accompanying the company’s completion of a strategic recapitalization with Prospect Ridge, a national private equity real estate investor, and Fulcrum Hospitality, a hospitality investment operating partner, advisor and asset manager.

“Upon forming our partnership with Prospect Ridge and Fulcrum Hospitality, which establishes a critical pillar to our new platform for us to pursue both investment growth and expanded third-party management assignments, it was an excellent time for me to step back from day-to-day management of the company,” McNeill Jr. said. “I know that we have outstanding people in place for the next generation of leadership at McNeill that exemplifies our mission of ‘People Serving People.’’’

He founded McNeill Hotel Company in 2014, and was formerly EVP of Equity Inns, a publicly traded REIT involved in growing the company from eight hotels valued at $40 million to a portfolio of 138 hotels which was sold to a real estate fund of Goldman Sachs for $2.2 billion. He has also held senior executive positions in the hospitality group of Goldman Sachs and Pillar Hotel and Resorts.

“I am similarly excited about the future of McNeill Investment Group,” said Ropko. “I thank Phillip McNeill, Jr., Mark Ricketts [president/COO] and our wonderful group of investors for the trust they have placed in me and our team in helping guide the future direction of our company. We are embarking on a fundamental re-thinking of our traditional business structure and I couldn’t be more humbled to be given this opportunity.”

Ropko has been at the forefront of McNeill’s rapid growth since 2018, leading the consolidation of a large portion of its assets under management, subsequent joint venture negotiations with Almanac Realty Securities, and similarly structuring their recently announced venture with Prospect Ridge, according to the company.

Prior to joining McNeill in 2018, he served as managing director at RobertDouglas, where he focused on structuring and raising debt and equity capital for lodging and specialty leisure properties, portfolios and companies throughout the Americas in excess of $2.5 billion. Prior to RobertDouglas, he held positions with Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) and Goldman Sachs.