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RockBridge hires Hilton investment pro

Former Hilton Hotels executive, Jonathan Benowitz has joined RockBridge as managing director in charge of the firm’s investment group. Benowitz played a key role in Hilton’s sale to The Blackstone Group in 2007 and has also worked for the Marriott Corporation.

Hospitality firm RockBridge Capital has hired former Hilton Hotels executive Jonathan Benowitz as managing director in charge of its investment operations.

The Columbus, Ohio-based firm said in a statement Benowitz was previously senior vice president of Hilton Hotels responsible for project finance and investment analysis.

He played a key role in Hilton’s sale to The Blackstone Group in 2007, RockBridge president James Merkel added. Benowitz also spent seven years working for the Marriott Corporation.

RockBridge specialises in loans to US hotel developers, including first mortgage, mezzanine and equity capital.

The firm, which span off from Banc One Capital Markets about a decade ago, held a $160 million close on its fourth fund, RockBridge Hospitality Fund IV, in April 2008. The fund was targeting $200 million and had around 60 investors, according to regulatory filings.