Empower Yourself: Insights from Wall Street

with Trica Jean-Baptiste, Founder and CEO of Morgensheer Hospitality

Together with

Good morning. If you care about hospitality, why should you care about finance and Wall Street? To answer that question, I went to Wall Street in New York and met with Trica Jean-Baptiste, Founder and CEO of Morgensheer Hospitality, who has a fascinating career that started in hospitality PR and media and has evolved into her current work as a capital connector - someone at the heart of the investment world in hospitality today.

Today you'll learn about how Trica built and evolved her career in hospitality, and then about the world of finance in hospitality - and why all of us should learn about it.

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Empower Yourself: Insights from Wall Street

Trica Jean-Baptiste

Trica Jean-Baptiste is the Founder and CEO of Morgensheer Hospitality, and has a fascinating career journey from hospitality PR to becoming a capital connector in the investment world of hospitality. Today she shares the valuable lessons she learned along the way and highlights the importance of understanding finance and how Wall Street works to succeed in hospitality.

Biggest learning from working in PR: Operational knowledge matters a lot

I was curious about what it takes to be effective working in media and PR, and for Trica, it was operational knowledge of the hospitality business.

You really have to understand the business of hospitality, how a hotel works, operates, and the programming the property could sustain. You cannot represent or promote a business you don’t understand.

Trica Jean-Baptiste

Working in New York and around the globe led to a fascination in one aspect of the business…

“I love Wall Street”

It's the power. Wall Street dictates everything, basically. It's exciting to me seeing emerging markets and sectors. Wall Street touches on every piece of American business.

Trica Jean-Baptiste

Learning and transitioning into the world of finance

Trica shared how she leveraged her knowledge and expertise in hospitality to make a career change she wanted to make into the world of investment.

I had to educate myself, and to do that, needed to build a network in this world. I asked myself, what do I have to contribute to them? Why would they allow time to sit and have a conversation with me?

I knew I knew hospitality. I could go sit with UBS and Goldman Sachs and have a conversation about the business of hospitality. And that's what I did.

Many [investment firms] have hotel divisions, so were interested in what was happening in the market. What was I hearing? They're always looking for the next opportunity. They're all very opportunistic, and so to connect with someone who was inside the industry really was of interest to them.

Trica Jean-Baptiste

Billionaire moves

Trica shared a number of trends she’s tracking in the world of investments, and one of them was billionaires moving into the world of hospitality.

I'm seeing a trend of hotel ownership and acquisition and investment among billionaries. There are a number of billionaires who had no connection to hospitality or hospitality investment who are now acquiring five-star luxury boutique properties.

Why? Mostly because they have stayed [at these properties] a lot and because they want access to them. They want to be able to come and have groups there and do off-sites. I'm seeing a lot of that. There are a couple right now in the works and it's very interesting to me.

Trica Jean-Baptiste

Think bigger: There are always investors somewhere

Regardless of where we are in the economic cycle in the country you’re based, Trica encourages us to think bigger and more expansively.

There is always capital offshore. That has never changed. I think strategically what I tried to do was to not focus strictly on the domestic market, but globally.

Earlier in my career in PR, having been exposed to the Middle East and Europe, different sources of capital, I understand that you need to always be mindful of where those opportunities are.

Trica Jean-Baptiste

Hospitality can open more career options than you think

Trica encourages all of us - regardless of our career interests - to look at hospitality as a way to open up career options. Her own example moving into the world of finance and investment is a testament to that.

I learned how valuable hospitality is to the capital markets. And the other thing I realized how skillful hospitality professionals are. People who are hospitality professionals, it's in their blood. It's who they are as a human beings. They’re rooted in service. They do it for the love of it. And because of that, they excel.

Trica Jean-Baptiste

What would it take to get more people participating as owners and investors?

The lack of knowledge, lack of understanding [is holding people back]. On the investment side, there are conferences that anyone can attend. I think just really being exposed to that world.

On the capital side, if they want to reach more investors, they need to do a better job of meeting potential investors where they are.

Trica Jean-Baptiste

Educate yourself

A thread throughout our conversation was the need to educate yourself and learn and grow. Her closing advice?

Get some experience on Wall Street. It's important.

Trica Jean-Baptiste

 Listen to our full conversation here now to hear Trica talk about all this and much more:

  • More trends in investment to watch

  • How to get outside your bubble and understand opportunities

  • How to identify good long-term partners

  • …and much more

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