Certares founder and senior managing director Greg O'Hara
was a chief investment officer at JPMorgan Chase during the global financial crisis.
Now with the gift of hindsight from that experience, O’Hara says
it is actually not surprising that in 2020 Certares has raised more money for
investment in the travel industry than in “every year we’ve done business
In a conversation with PhocusWire editor in chief Kevin May
during The Phocuswright Conference 2020, O’Hara explains why.
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“In every crisis there is an industry that is absolutely at
the dead center of the crisis. In the global financial crisis it was banks,” he
“It’s fairly easy to identify travel and hospitality as the
center of this crisis. But if we could go back in time and I could take all of
yours and my personal money and buy the banking stocks in 2008/2009 that we
thought would make it through... we would have made 10, 20 times our money.
"And so if you can identify good companies right
now that have good management teams and good plans, all we are really doing is
providing working capital, advice, investment, because I haven’t talk to one single
investor who doesn’t think intent and demand is going to return to this sector.
So it’s very easy to raise the money, they just want to give it to the people
with the steady hands.”
O’Hara also shares which sectors he thinks are the “big,
easy bets” in travel and his take on the future of business travel – and business
Watch the full discussion below.
Executive Interview: Rolling the Dice - Greg O'Hara, Certares - The Phocuswright Conference 2020