Founder & Chairman
Founder, Chairman, and CEO Starwood Capital Group
Mr. Sternlicht, our Chairman, is a well-known entrepreneur and operator with an extensive deal-making history. He founded Starwood Capital in 1991, serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Starwood Capital is a private alternative investment firm focused on global real estate, hotel management, oil and gas and energy infrastructure with over $60 billion of assets under management... as of March 31, 2020. Through Starwood Capital, Mr. Sternlicht has created several multi-billion dollar public market companies, ranging from traditional real estate to branded hospitality.
Throughout Mr. Sternlicht’s career, he has focused on capitalizing on emerging consumer trends; either directly via core operating assets or indirectly through Starwood Capital’s real estate portfolio. He has also executed several marquee public market transactions to enhance the scale of his core platform—including the creation and expansion of Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), the consolidation of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (formerly NYSE: HOT), the spin-off and growth of Invitation Homes (NYSE: INVH) and the formation of Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR). Similarly, he has been involved in numerous private market consumer businesses as an early investor.
Mr. Sternlicht currently serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of STWD, a leading, diversified real estate finance company with over $3 billion in market capitalization; and one of the first mortgage REITs launched post-crisis. Since inception in 2009, Mr. Sternlicht guided STWD through a steady evolution with over $61 billion in deployed capital, evolving from a pure-play commercial lender to a diversified commercial REIT with residential lending, commercial mortgage servicing, property ownership and infrastructure lending.
Mr. Sternlicht also has deep operating expertise, serving as the Chairman, from January 1995 through May 2005, and as the Chief Executive Officer, from January 1995 through September 2004, of HOT; a period in which the share price appreciated at a compound annual growth rate of 16%. Over his tenure as Chief Executive Officer, he grew the total market capitalization of HOT to approximately $10 billion. As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sternlicht executed several key acquisitions, including Westin Hotels, Patriot American and ITT Corp., and led the development of the W Hotel concept.
Outside of his public market experience, Mr. Sternlicht has made a variety of investments in the consumer sector. Most notably, he has acquired or founded a number of independent hotel chains, including Baccarat Hotels, 1 Hotels and Treehouse Hotels, which are operated by SH Hotels & Resorts, a hotel brand management company and an affiliate of Starwood Capital. In addition to these investments, Mr. Sternlicht has invested in various consumer facing companies, including ThirdLove, a women’s clothing brand, Lytro, a developer of light-field cameras, and Lyric, a hospitality platform for business travelers.
Mr. Sternlicht’s other public market experience includes:
- Serving as a Director of INVH, the largest publicly-traded investor, owner and operator of single-family homes in the U.S. INVH was formed via the spin-off of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust from STWD in 2014; and the subsequent mergers with Colony American Homes and Invitation Homes;
- Serving as a Director of The Estée Lauder Companies, a multinational manufacturer and marketer of prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, since 2004;
- Serving as a Director of A.S. Roma, the professional Italian football club based in Rome, since 2014;
- Serving as the Chairman of the Board of Baccarat, S.A., a French manufacturer of fine crystal glassware located in Baccarat, France, from 2005 to 2018;
- Serving as Chairman of TRI Pointe Group (NYSE: TPH), a leading builder of new homes, from the initial public offering, or IPO, until 2017, including through its $2.8 billion merger with Weyerhaeuser Company in 2014;
- Serving as a Director for Restoration Hardware (NYSE: RH), a luxury brand in home furnishings, from IPO in 2012 through 2014;
- Serving as Chairman of iStar (NYSE: STAR; formerly Starwood Financial), the manager and largest owner of Safehold (NYSE: SAFE), which specializes in ground leases. Mr. Sternlicht served as Chairman until 2001; subsequently serving as a Director until 2003;
- Serving as a Director of Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR) from 1993 through 1998 after contributing a portfolio of apartment buildings in return for a 20% stake.
Founder & CEO
Chief Executive Officer Brown University’s Endowment
Joseph L. Dowling, our Chief Executive Officer, is the Chief Executive Officer of Jaws Acquisition Corp. Mr. Dowling also currently serves as the Global Co-Head of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management (BAAM), a unit of Blackstone Group Inc. He is primarily responsible for overseeing BAAM’s investment activities going forward. BAAM invests in primarily liquid and semi-liquid investment strategies... for institutional and retail investors seeking attractive risk-adjusted returns. BAAM manages $78 billion of assets under management and is the global market leader in allocating to hedge funds. Prior to joining BAAM in January 2021, Mr. Dowling served as the Chief Executive Officer of Brown University’s endowment from 2018 to 2021 after serving as Chief Investment Officer from 2013 to 2018. In this role, he was responsible for the University’s endowment. Mr. Dowling also served as the interim Chief Financial Officer of Brown University, overseeing the University’s $1.2 billion budget from June 2019 until January 2020 in addition to holding his endowment position. Pending approval by Brown’s governing body, Mr. Dowling will serve on a volunteer basis as a member of the Brown University’s Investment Committee going forward.
At the endowment, Mr. Dowling oversaw asset allocation, manager selection and direct investments. Brown University’s endowment is allocated across a wide variety of asset classes spanning public and private equity to other alternative asset classes, including traditional absolute return strategies and real assets. The Brown endowment had outstanding results under Mr. Dowling’s stewardship. Pursuant to data compiled by Cambridge Associates, as of October 21, 2019, the Brown endowment delivered performance in the top quartile of college and university endowments and number one in the Ivy League during Mr. Dowling’s tenure. In addition, the endowment’s trailing 5-year risk-adjusted return (as measured by the Sharpe ratio) ranked in the top 5% of the data compiled by Cambridge Associates. Mr. Sternlicht also served on the university’s investment committee from 2013 to 2019.
Prior to joining Brown University’s endowment, Mr. Dowling was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Narragansett Asset Management LLC. From its formation in 1998 through 2006, Narragansett managed funds for institutions, pension funds and endowments. From 2006 to 2013, Narragansett managed Mr. Dowling’s personal capital.
Mr. Dowling is an Advisory Board Member of Jaws Estates Capital, the family office of Barry S. Sternlicht and an affiliate of our Sponsor, and the Harbor Funds, a Director of Third Point Reinsurance Ltd and Director of Integrated Electrical Services, Inc. Other prior work experience includes the First Boston Corporation, Tudor Investments and Oracle Partners, L.P.
Michael Racich is the Chief Financial Officer of Jaws Acquisition Corp. Since 2010, Mr. Racich has also served as the Chief Financial officer of Jaws Estates Capital LLC, the family office of Barry S. Sternlicht, our Chairman. Previously, Mr. Racich was a director at Frydland Stevens LLC from 2007 to 2014 and also worked for Jaws Estates Capital LLC from 2005 to 2007. While at Frydland Stevens LLC, Mr. Racich advised Jaws Estates Capital LLC on tax related issues and was responsible for preparing Jaws Estates Capital LLC’s tax filings. Mr. Racich graduated from Villanova University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy.
Douglas I. Ostrover has agreed to serve on the board of directors of Jaws Acquisition Corp.
We believe Mr. Ostrover’s depth of experience in corporate finance, capital markets and financial services make him well qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors.
He is the Co-Founder of Owl Rock Capital Partners LP (“Owl Rock Capital Partners”) and also serves as Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Owl Rock Capital Advisors LLC (the “Adviser”), Owl Rock Technology Advisors LLC (“ORTA”) and Owl Rock Capital Private Fund Advisors LLC (“OPRFA,” and together with the Adviser, ORTA and Owl Rock Capital Partners, “Owl Rock”), and is a member of the Investment Committee of each of Owl Rock Capital Corporation, Owl Rock Capital Corporation II and Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. In addition, Mr. Ostrover has served on the boards of Owl Rock Capital Corporation and Owl Rock Capital Corporation II since 2016, on the board of Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. since 2018 and on the board of Owl Rock Capital Corporation III since 2020. Prior to co-founding Owl Rock, Mr. Ostrover was one of the founders of GSO Capital Partners (“GSO”), Blackstone’s alternative credit platform, and a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone until 2015. Prior to co-founding GSO in 2005, Mr. Ostrover was a Managing Director and Chairman of the Leveraged Finance Group of Credit Suisse First Boston (“CSFB”). Prior to his role as Chairman, Mr. Ostrover was Global Co-Head of CSFB’s Leveraged Finance Group, during which time he was responsible for all of CSFB’s origination, distribution and trading activities relating to high yield securities, leveraged loans, high yield credit derivatives and distressed securities. Mr. Ostrover was a member of CSFB’s Management Council and the Fixed Income Operating Committee. Mr. Ostrover joined CSFB in November 2000 when CSFB acquired Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (“DLJ”), where he was a Managing Director in charge of High Yield and Distressed Sales, Trading and Research. Mr. Ostrover had been a member of DLJ’s high yield team since he joined the firm in 1992. Mr. Ostrover is actively involved in non-profit organizations including serving on the board of directors of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Mr. Ostrover is also a board member of the Brunswick School. Mr. Ostrover received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from New York University Stern School of Business.
Benjamin Weprin has agreed to serve as a director of Jaws Acquisition Corp. In October 2008, he founded AJ Capital Partners, a private real estate company based in Chicago, Illinois, and has served as the Chief Executive Officer since. AJ Capital Partners acquires, develops and operates hospitality assets and businesses with a focus on luxury lodging investments. Mr. Weprin also founded Adventurous Journeys LP in 2008 and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since. He is also the founder of Graduate Hotels and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since its creation in 2014. Mr. Weprin received an M.B.A from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Business Administration from University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Michael Baldock has agreed to serve as a director of Jaws Acquisition Corp. Since February 2020, he has also served as the Chief Financial Officer and a director of Abcam plc, a life science tools company. From November 2008 to February 2020, Mr. Baldock was a founding partner at Ondra Partners, an independent financial advisory firm. Prior to that, from 2004 to 2007, he was a Managing Director, Global Head of Healthcare and Head of Investment Banking, Americas for HSBC, a global universal bank. From 2000 to 2004, he was a Partner of Lazard Freres & Co LLC, a financial advisory and asset management firm. Mr. Baldock received an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard College.