James is the Founder & CEO of The Peech Hotel and Co-Founder and CEO of Benson Software. He is based in Johannesburg.
He was born in the UK and grew up in England and France. He attended Eton College and the University of Edinburgh earning a MA Hons in Spanish. From 1998 to 2003 he worked at two of Britain’s leading advertising firms, TBWA & WCRS, in London, responsible for client relationships, and advertising development
He started The Peech Hotel after moving to South Africa in 2003. He has grown the hotel from an initial 6 rooms to the current 32 rooms. The hotel has achieved recognition from leading travel publications worldwide – Elle South Africa calls The Peech Hotel “an unexpected city oasis,” Frommer’s USA says “Swish and sexy… the ideal hangout for trendy travellers in the hunt for no-frills contemporary style” and Wallpaper Magazine UK listed it as ‘The’ place to stay in Johannesburg. In November 2014, on the eve of the hotel’s first decade, The Peech received an award as the Best City Hotel in Africa from the World Boutique Hotel Awards.
In 2014 James also co-founded Benson Software which offers a hotel a property management system. The company is in its infancy but aims to carve its niche in the hotel industry.
James speaks Spanish and French fluently. He also serves as Chair of the Melrose Residents Association. Past industry activities include speaking at hotel industry events on topics around sustainability.