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Dr Richard Helfer

Chairman, RCH international Pte Ltd & Creo Lifestyle International Pte Ltd

Dr Helfer’s hotel, hospitality and tourism industry experience spans more than 35 years, and includes all aspects of the business, from hands-on management to the successful building of a global luxury brand and international hotel / resort management company.

As Chairman of the strategic tourism / hospitality organizations RCH international Pte Ltd and Creo Lifestyle International Pte Ltd, Dr Helfer provides strategic oversight and direction for:

  • Owner Representation / Advisory Services / Asset Management
  • Acquisitions / Divestiture / Public Listings
  • Conceptualization / Master Planning
  • Adaptive Reuse / Restoration
  • Hotel Pre-Opening / Operations / Marketing / Revenue Management
  • Brand Development
  • Sustainable Social Enterprises / Community

Through the offices of RCH International, Dr Helfer further has advised corporations, government organizations, and high net worth family offices which include: Kingdom Hotel Investments, Fairmont Raffles Hotels and Resorts, Credit Suisse, CCM Holdings, Falcon & Associates (Dubai), Galle Face Hotel Group, Nuri Holdings, Mori Building, The Farrer Park Company, YANUA International, YCS Estate, the National Arts Council, Preservation of Monuments Board and Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore.  Dr Helfer has been the Chairman, or on the Board of the public listings of 4 companies in Singapore and London.

As the founding Chairman / CEO of Raffles International (1989 – 2003) and President and CEO of Raffles Holdings (1995 – 2003), Dr Helfer grew and public listed a five star international hotel company, from a single 103-all suite hotel in Singapore to thirty-six hotels / resorts (including the acquisition of Swissotels), with over 12,000 rooms, in 31 destinations across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas with annual revenues exceeding SGD1 billion and was the first Asian based hospitality company to reach this milestone. During his time at Raffles, Dr Helfer conceptualized and developed the Raffles Brand and led the re-conceptualization / master planning and re-debut of a number of historic / new hotels and mixed-use developments, including Raffles Hotel, and Raffles City, Singapore, with 10 of the hotel/resort properties recognized as being among the top 100 hotels in the world

During this period, Dr Helfer was also a member of the Senior Management Committee of DBS Land Limited and later its successor CapitaLand Limited in regards to property development in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Dr Helfer has been widely credited with anticipating the growing trend towards lifestyle and wellness. Under his vision and direction, the Amrita Spa brand was launched with the flagship located in Raffles City, occupying 50,000 square feet on three levels. With 23 facilities, Amrita became the largest ‘in hotel’ spa operator in Asia.  Currently CREO Lifestyle has developed the Asian Wellness Spa and Spa Retreat in Singapore, recently named by The World Spa Awards as the Best Hotel Spa in Singapore.

Dr Helfer has spearheaded the conceptualization and development of over 160 signature lifestyle food and beverage concepts/experiences worldwide, as well as management for these facilities. In Singapore, these include; the original 19 F&B outlets of the Raffles Hotel and Arcade, the Equinox Complex featuring 5 restaurants and bars on the top three levels of Swissotel the Stamford, Out of the Pan and in 2009 – 2015, development of the fast casual Charly T’s restaurants. CREO Lifestyle under Dr Helfer’s direction has conceptualized and developed 15 lifestyle concepts including 9 food and beverage concepts and 2 lifestyle spas, at the recently opened One Farrer Hotel & Spa in Singapore.

Prior to the years at Raffles, Dr Helfer was a senior executive at Westin Hotels and Resorts. Over a period of 18 years he was involved in the opening and operation of a number of international luxury hotels / resorts in Canada, the United States and Singapore, including the Renaissance Center, Detroit, Michigan, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel; Hawaii and the Westin Stamford and Westin Plaza Hotels, Singapore.

Dr Helfer was the motivation behind international Lifestyle events such as ‘An Evening at Angkor with Jose Carreras’. As Chairman of Spotlight Singapore, he guided the team that brought this collaboration between art / culture / business / education and governments to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Moscow and Cape Town.  Dr Helfer is currently the Chairman of Sculpture Square Limited; Singapore’s pioneer 3-D Art Organization, as well as Chairman of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA).

In addition to sitting on a number of public listed / private boards of directors and being advisor to a select group of government / private organizations and companies, Dr Helfer is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), as well as the URA Conservation Advisory Panel.  Dr Helfer since 1993 has been a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), CEO and subsequently the World Presidents Organization (WPO).

Dr Helfer is the Senior Advisor, at cabinet level, to the five ministries, which comprise the Tourism Authority of Cambodia, including issues concerning the World Heritage Site at Angkor. He in addition serves in a personal capacity, as Advisor to the King and Prime Minister of Cambodia.  Dr Helfer also serves as the Official Representative of the Tianjin Investment and Promotion Center (Government of Tianjin) in Singapore.

Dr Helfer is Chairman of One Farrer Pte Ltd, over sighting master planning / developing Singapore’s first mixed use facility encompassing a private full service hospital, medical suites, luxury hotel and conference facilities.  CREO Lifestyle further provides hotel management and marketing services to One Farrer Hotel & Spa.

Dr Helfer is Chairman of YANUA International, an Asian lighthouse brand, which undertakes tourism, lifestyle and sustainable social enterprise projects, including the lifetime adoption of 5 Giant Pandas and support of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.  Dr Helfer is also, through RCH International and CREO Lifestyle International, advising, re-storing and re-developing the historic Galle Face Hotel, Sri Lanka.