Joseph G. Gillespie
Founder & Managing Partner
Prior to founding Inner Circle, Mr. Gillespie co-owned and operated a portfolio of 25 ocean front hotels and resorts under name of Ocean Waters Investments. In less than 12 years Mr. Gillespie took an initial $1 million investment and parlayed it into a portfolio of hotels and development sites that was valued by several major investment banks and public real estate companies at more than a billion dollars.
Mr. Gillespie was also a partner and co-founder of Bray and Gillespie Inc., a full-service real estate company primarily focused on hospitality investments. While at Bray & Gillespie and affiliated companies, Mr. Gillespie was responsible for the acquisition of more than 135 hotels with more than 70 as a major Principal and the financing of over $3.5 billion in real estate with over $1.4 billion in value. His duties included overseeing the asset management function of all principal real estate investments, and serving as the chief executive officer of over 100 real estate partnerships.
Before co-founding Bray & Gillespie and Ocean Waters, Mr. Gillespie served in various capacities at a succession of various institutional commercial real estate concerns including Trammel Crow, Consolidated Capital, and Johnstown America. Mr. Gillespie began his real estate career as a staff appraiser at Upton Associates an Atlanta, GA-based real estate appraisal firm.
Mr. Gillespie has substantial experience in all phases of hospitality-related real estate investment throughout the United States and the Caribbean. He takes much pride in the hands-on involvement in all crucial aspects of the investment cycle, including sourcing attractive investments, were he can rely on his substantial transactional experience, and extensive industry contacts. His real estate experience includes all other phases of the acquisition process including deal structuring, contract negotiations, due diligence, and underwriting, as well as raising and closing on the debt/ equity capital structure.
After the purchase, Mr. Gillespie maintains a direct involvement all asset management functions of the investment, up to, and including, the ultimate sale or debt restructure (if necessary). Mr. Gillespie has extensive experience in the acquisition of assets through the purchase of defaulted debt and specializes in structuring creative debt and equity solutions. He has been directly responsible for approximately $2 billion in asset sales and debt/equity placements and has had a direct equity interest in over $800 million of hotel assets.
Mr. Gillespie earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Management from the University of South Carolina and a MBA from Georgia State University.