About Us

At the leading edge of TFG Asset Management is a team of asset managers that combine more than 50 years of experience in the global hotel, hospitality and property industry.  Together we have worked on projects across the UK, Spain, Dubai, Qatar and beyond – cultivating a high level of expertise that allows TFG Asset Management to be a leading authority in all aspects of asset management. Our team of asset managers’ extensive experience has also enabled it to establish strong relationships with key hospitality leaders around the globe. From its headquarters in the strategic hub of Dubai, TFG Asset Management is well placed in the heart of commercial activity to meet the needs of the rapidly changing regional marketplace.

For a full overview of TFG Asset Management, please download our brochure.

Danny Lubert

Co-Founder and Joint Chairman

Danny Lubert’s devotion to the global property market and aptitude for detecting emerging markets has proved extremely successful, taking the group of companies to the United Kingdom, Spain, Cyprus, South East Asia, West Africa, CIS countries, the United Arab Emirates, and the US. With a background in commerce and mathematics, Lubert specialises in financial structuring, acquisition and marketing.

Gary Shepherd

Co-Founder and Joint Chairman

British-born Gary Shepherd has been actively involved in overseas property development since the early 1980s. After working predominantly with Danny Lubert, the highly successful pair continued their powerful partnership, by co-founding and chairing The First Group. Previously Shepherd worked in Spain and South East Asia, consulting for major development companies such as Eurodisney and the Berajaya Group of Malaysia. Together with Danny Lubert, Shepherd has been pivotal in shaping The First Group in Dubai, drawing from his strong background in developing emerging markets and innovative product design. His ability to adapt to the property market’s changing demographics makes him an excellent asset to The First Group.

Rob Burns

Chief Operating Officer

Rob Burns is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University where he studied Business, Marketing, and Hotel & Resort Management. His career in property development dates back to 1986, spanning the U.S., United Kingdom, Europe, CIS, Africa and the Middle East. He has a diverse background in a wide array of disciplines including the direction of sales and marketing operations, brand advertising, database marketing, direct mail, telesales, print and public relations, as well as extensive interactive experience. Having worked with major institutions around the world, Burns began his journey with The First Group as Chief Marketing Officer prior to being promoted to Chief Operating Officer.

Mark Tolner

Chief Financial Officer

With over 30 years' experience in a variety of senior-level business operations, including shipping, asset management, venture capital and feature film production and distribution, Mark has proudly assisted in the key development of a multitude of international ventures. He draws from this extensive background as Chief Financial Officer for The First Group, helping to facilitate and manage our rapid growth.

Rashad Barajakly

Chief Investment Officer

Rashad brings a wealth of expertise to The First Group, drawing from a strong background in finance and investment banking in the US and Dubai. He held senior positions in New York and Atlanta before joining DIFC. From there he went on to assist in the launch of DIFX and later furthered his banking career by working with NBK Capital and boutique investment companies. His experience of operations and finance in both private and public companies makes him an extremely valuable asset to The First Group.

Mariano Faz

Head of Asset Management

Mariano draws on more than 12 years of expertise in global hospitality and real estate markets. As an MBA graduate in Finance from EADA in Barcelona, he has held a number of high level positions in the hospitality industry, largely in the fields of Operations and Business Development. Before joining TFG Asset Management, Mariano worked as a Senior Consultant in Dubai for one of the largest consultancy companies, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. Mariano’s varied background and vast knowledge of the industry ensures he has the experience required to successfully lead the TFG Asset Management team.

Deirdre McCarthy-Betzold

Head of Business Development & Operations

Deirdre has spent most of her 35 year working life developing a career within the property sector, at a managerial level. Her marketing background set a strong foundation for a career in business development, while her post-graduate studies in interior design and architecture led to roles fitting out serviced apartment towers and residences in the region. In 2009, realising the increasing market demand for experts in property management, Deirdre returned to her studies and achieved an internationally accredited diploma within this field. She has taken on projects and turned them into professionally managed, profitable establishments, often reaching 40% above market rates - even during the economic down turn. All the mixed-use properties managed by Deidre have also achieved 100% occupancy levels, a factor that is a real testament to her wealth of experience in business management and operations.

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