Rakesh Chauhan

Rakesh Chauhan

Rakesh is Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Banyan Investment Group. He is responsible for setting the overall strategy of the company and has demonstrated a keen eye for future trends and identifying new opportunities.

Early on, Rakesh developed a sharp understanding of the company’s day-to-day and bigger-picture operations, from acquisition and development to implementation of management and processes, which helped set the foundation for Banyan. Under his direction, the company has exponentially grown its revenue, which has earned Banyan a spot on the Inc. 5000 list for six consecutive years as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies. Rakesh has built many deep capital relationships, both domestically and internationally, and facilitated over $200M in investments since the founding of the firm 10 years ago. The Banyan team has expanded to nearly 750 employees across 13 states, and the company anticipates exponential growth in the coming years with more acquisitions in the pipeline.

Rakesh is a recognized leader in the professional community and was nominated by his peers for Leadership Atlanta in 2017 to tackle complex issues in the state of Georgia. He plays an advisory role with a number of nonprofit and commercial organizations.  Rakesh is actively involved with the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), a global network of young chief executives. He has also served on the local board of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides school lunches to nearly 1.3 million underprivileged children in India. Rakesh’s social and civic involvement has allowed him to work alongside Prince Charles and former President Bill Clinton on philanthropy efforts.

Rakesh graduated from Birmingham Southern College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology.

Andy Chopra

Andy Chopra

Andy is Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Banyan Investment Group. Though involved in many aspects of the investment and management company, Andy primarily leads sourcing and dispositions of hotel assets. This includes originations, dispositions, negotiations, capital and deal structuring.

Andy was raised in the hotel industry and brings extensive professional training and an intimate knowledge of hotel management and development to Banyan.  His knowledge of hotel operations further sharpened his underwriting and deal origination expertise. His hands-on experience with the development of hotel properties ranges from feasibility to brand selection, design and value engineering. He has also led hotel investment analysis for potential acquisitions and development for co-investments in select service hotels with many institutional capital partners, totaling over $225M in volume over the last real estate cycle.

Andy enjoys giving back through both servant leadership and philanthropy. He is a co-founder of Kehlo, a non-profit with a mission of providing playgrounds to economically disadvantaged schools throughout the world. Andy also serves on the boards of the Atlanta chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization and the Georgia State University Real Estate Alumni.

Andy graduated from the University of Kentucky and earned his MBA at Oglethorpe University.  Andy also holds a Master of Science Degree in Real Estate from Georgia State University as well as a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investment and Asset Management from Cornell University.

Manoj Chauhan

Manoj Chauhan

Manoj is a Partner and Chief Development Officer at Banyan Investment Group.  He oversees all development functions at the company. Manoj has more than thirty years of experience in the hotel industry encompassing a broad variety of expertise.

Over the last seven years at Banyan, Manoj has led the renovations and repositioning of a number of assets with a focus on building and renovating more sustainably and economically.  His efforts to consistently deliver on time and on budget have placed Banyan Investment Group at the forefront of the industry.

Manoj is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), an organization that brings together leaders in the real estate industry to exchange best practices and serve the community. Before Banyan Investment Group, Manoj held various leadership positions as a franchisee for IHG, Wyndham, and Hilton Worldwide.

Manoj holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance from the University of West Florida.

Vick Chauhan

Vick Chauhan

Vick Chauhan is a Partner and Chief Real Estate Counsel for Banyan Investment Group.

Vick has worked at both boutique and large law firms, specializing in corporate transactions, structuring, finance, and asset succession. With a background rooted in hospitality operations and legal, Vick has a uniquely comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of deal structuring, property operations, PIP implementations, and lender and franchise obligations.

Vick holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Marketing from Georgia State University and a Juris Doctorate from Touro Law School in New York.

Robert Varghese

Robert Varghese

Robert is a Principal and serves as Executive Vice President of Portfolio Strategy & Management for Banyan Investment Group. In this role, he is involved in all aspects of the business with a focus on managing the life cycle of each of the assets in the Portfolio from acquisition to disposition. In addition, he is responsible for developing and executing capital strategy for growth and serves as head of Investor Relations and Marketing.

Robert brings over 25 years of successful investing and management experience to Banyan.  Having started his career in Investment Banking with Morgan Stanley, he worked in FinTech for 5 years before moving into Investment Management.  He has managed a Morningstar 5-star rated Mutual Fund in Boston and ran a Hedge Fund for the Bass Brothers in Texas.  More recently, he served as Chief Investment Officer for Arcus Capital Partners in Atlanta before co-founding and serving as Chief Operating Officer for a social impact start-up.

Robert attended Pace University in New York where he attained a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Economics as well as a Certification in Finance and earned his MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.  He also holds the designation of Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and is a licensed Investment Advisor Representative (Series 65).

Lloyd Crabtree

Lloyd Crabtree

Lloyd is a Principal and serves as Executive Vice President of Asset Management at Banyan Investment Group.  He has more than 30 years of increasing hospitality industry experience. He specializes in finance, operations, and value creation with a long successful track record with many hotels, brands and projects.

Prior to rejoining Banyan, Lloyd served as Head of Finance for US & Canada Franchise for IHG. He previously held roles such as Controller, Director of Finance, Head of Finance, Head of Renovation Investment, and Director of Asset Management. His professional experience includes positions associated with small, medium, and large companies including Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Westmont Hotels Group.

Lloyd has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting from Georgia State University and a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University. Lloyd is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Samir Yajnik

Samir is a Principal and serves as Executive Vice President of Investments for Banyan Investment Group.  In this role, he plays an integral part in conducting research, analysis, fieldwork, forecasting and other assessments to ensure financially sound acquisitions and investments.

Prior to joining Banyan, Samir served as Senior Vice President of Encore Capital Management and Falcone Group for the 6.5 years overseeing all capital markets activities and leading the deal structuring and capitalization, project level underwriting, and fund level asset management across the portfolio.  During his tenure, he led the acquisition, development, and capitalization of over $1B in real estate assets including hospitality, lifestyle resort, single/multi-family, condo, and retail properties.

Prior to Encore, Samir served as Managing Director for DeBartolo Development where he led the acquisition process from deal sourcing through closing, directed the coordination and completion of project due diligence, and managed the origination of debt and equity across $400 million worth of hospitality, multifamily, and retail value-add and distressed investment opportunities.   He has also worked for SetPoint Partners, a private investment group and a direct affiliate of The Swerdlow Group, and NewStar Financial, a publicly traded commercial finance company.  Samir began his career with General Electric Capital Services in the Financial Management Program where he held domestic and international positions in areas of corporate finance, structured finance, risk management and operations analysis.

Samir completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky with a BBA in Finance and a minor in Computer Science Engineering.  He completed his graduate studies at the University of Florida with an MS in Real Estate and from Harvard School of Design with the completion of the Advanced Management Development Program, a one-year executive management program in real estate.

Mike Wells

Mike Wells

Mike serves as Executive Vice President of Accounting for Banyan Investment Group and its affiliate, Banyan Tree Management.  He has more than 30 years of hospitality industry experience. He specializes in finance, accounting, operations, and management, bringing an impressive depth of capabilities to the firm in addition to financial oversight.

Mike has previously held roles such as Controller, Director of Accounting, VP of Finance, CFO, and many others with various organizations. His professional experience includes positions associated with world-class resorts and branded full-service and limited-service properties with Intrawest, ResortQuest, and the Rank Organization.

Mike has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management with a focus in Accounting from East Stroudsburg University and a Master of Science Degree in Executive Management from Florida State University.

Leanne Lloyd

Leanne Lloyd serves as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Banyan Investment Group and its affiliate, Banyan Tree Management. She is responsible for employee relations and corporate policy. She focuses on regulatory compliance and labor issues and plays an integral role in ensuring a healthy and productive work environment.

Leanne began her management and HR career in the retail sector. Prior to joining Banyan in 2015, she worked in the healthcare industry for nine years as Director of Human Resources at a nonprofit behavioral healthcare facility.  Leanne is a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), as well as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).  She facilitates training sessions for management teams and other HR professionals and speaks at events on topics such as compliance with labor law, leadership training, recruitment and retention, and many other human resource related issues.

Leanne graduated from Northwest Florida State College with a degree in Business Administration and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with a focus in Human Resource Management from Western Governor’s University.