Since private equity firm Apollo Global took over timeshare company Diamond Resorts in 2016, news has been sparse out of the company.
Any information that could be ascertained suggested that business was ticking along as usual, until Friday when all sales and concierge staff across Europe were called to meetings. Initial reports suggest that the meetings were all broadly similar, outlining wide-scale changes to the group, most notably the loss of 1000 jobs across the company.
Apollo has yet to provide official reasoning as to why this has occurred. It has been reported that staff were told this is in aid of meeting targets, particularly in the European wing of the business. This course of events wasn’t entirely unexpected, with similar restructuring predicted over a much longer 2-year period, however, with not even a full year of Apollo ownership under the companies’ belt, these drastic measures have been taken on remarkably short notice
With layoffs spread across a number of different sectors within Diamond, different employees are being affected differently. The staff at over 15 European locations have been told to put their affairs in order and prepare for the imminent closure of the offices. Office staff in departments such as concierge, contracts and marketing have been asked to provide their 15-day minimum notice, while customer-facing sales staff were given the shortest shrift, being asked to leave the premises immediately after the meeting. Again, with little information given as to why Apollo has taken this step, speculation suggests that this difference is so final paperwork on contracts written in the past few weeks can be completed before the relevant staff leave.
Members of Diamond were informed of these changes by a mailshot, two days prior to the official announcement to staff, with an assurance that the quality of service will not be affected.
Diamond was also sure to assure their members that this will not limit them from making changes to their memberships, letting them continue to enjoy their timeshare experiences, and they are looking to put dedicated teams in place to ensure service remains the same. Questions are sure to be asked as to how this can be the case when the changes were made so abruptly.
With minimal information coming out of Apollo or Diamond, we can only wait and see how the company more widely adapts to these changes. One possibility may be to group the European and American business together, or if they want to maintain the two separate wings of the business, even if it’s just in name only, we may see outsourcing to call centres or third parties put in place to manage European business.
With minimal solid information to work on, if any members of Diamond in any of the European resorts this week have been affected by the changes, or saw them first hand, we would love them to get in touch.