Ashford Trust names new CEO

Rob Hays, the current president and CEO of Ashford Trust, will be stepping down effective June 30 after nearly 20 years. The company's current senior vice president of corporate finance and strategy, Stephen Zsigray, will succeed him at that time to become Ashford Trust's president and chief executive officer. Hays will spend the next few months working alongside Stephen on a smooth transition before pursuing plans to work with his father on a unique business opportunity in an industry outside of real estate.

"I've had the pleasure of supporting the company and our hospitality business for almost two decades and consider myself blessed to have guided this wonderful organization over the past four years," Hays said in a statement. "Were it not for this opportunity I have, I would undoubtedly be at Ashford for the rest of my career. I've had the privilege of working with Stephen for many years. He is an exceptional leader and a terrific successor, possessing great vision and a deep understanding of our business and the industry. Ashford Trust is well-positioned for long-term success."

"We are incredibly grateful to Rob for his immense dedication and commitment to our organization," said Monty Bennett, Ashford Trust's chairman of the board. "Although we're disappointed with his departure, we fully appreciate and respect his desire to pursue his personal plans and business endeavors. The Board is thrilled to have Stephen take on expanded responsibilities at Ashford Trust. He's played a major role in the Company's success over the last decade and is a perfect fit to be Rob's successor. I am confident that the transition to new leadership will be seamless."

Zsigray currently serves as Ashford Trust's SVP of corporate finance and strategy, a position he has held since May 2020. Zsigray also heads Ashford Inc.'s cash management platform and oversees corporate hedging strategy. Since 2020, Zsigray has helped the platforms raise more than $1.2 billion in common and preferred equity, secure over $1.0 billion in new corporate and property-level debt financing and negotiated maturity extensions on over $3.0 billion in mortgage debt. Additionally, Zsigray serves as CFO and treasurer of Stirling Hotels & Resorts, a position he has held since November 2023.

Zsigray joined Ashford in 2014 as a trader and portfolio manager in Ashford's investment management division, and subsequently served as president and COO of OpenKey, an Ashford-affiliated hospitality technology company that provides digital guest key and access control solutions to hotels worldwide. Prior to joining the company, Zsigray was with UBS Investment Bank in New York, where he traded and helped clients structure derivatives across equity, fixed income and commodity markets. He began his career with Deloitte Consulting in St. Louis, where he advised Fortune 500 clients on issues related to mergers and acquisitions, business transformation and process improvement.