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Kasselman to Lead NGKF's U.S. Industrial Practice

Op2mize Co-Founder Tapped to Expand Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's Industrial Brokerage Capabilities
January 10, 2014
Geoffrey M. Kasselman has joined Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) in Chicago where he will lead the national expansion of the firm’s industrial real estate practice. The 26-year industry veteran and former president and CEO of Op2mize, the commercial real estate advisory firm he co-founded in 2004, joins NGKF as an executive managing director.

Through Op2mize, Kasselman sought to carve out a niche in industrial real estate brokerage by combining traditional real estate fundamentals with a platform of what it called "ROI-driven intelligent building and sustainability concepts."

Those services included government incentive consulting, engineering, facility modeling and computer simulation intended to optimize a client's operational efficiency in terms of real estate utilization and investment to provide what it called a 'total cost' approach.

"Geoff’s systematic approach to real estate goes beyond traditional bricks and mortar, by identifying and implementing customized client-centric solutions that improve operating efficiencies and reduce related expenses," explained Michael Sheinkop, NGKF's executive vice president and regional managing director.

Kasselman said Op2mize will wind down operations. Prior to forming the boutique advisory firm, Kasselman directed Studley’s Industrial Services Group in Chicago as senior managing director. Before that, he spent 10 years at Insignia/FC&S, where he held the position of managing director and vice president.

NGKF, Epic Realty Part Ways

Kasselman takes over at NGKF as the firm begins a new chapter in its plan to build a national industrial practice to compete with its top rivals. Newmark had previously formed an alliance with Chicago-based Epic Realty Partners, but both firms decided not to renew that agreement after it expired at the end of 2013.

According to local media reports, Epic is exploring a possible alliance with other national firms, including Transwestern.

After closing down the Op2mize business, Kasselman will focus on growing NGKF's industrial real estate services business across the country, starting with Chicago.

Kasselman said his goal is to help companies "unlock hidden value and drive enterprise performance across their portfolios." He added that NGKF’s platform provides the "ideal infrastructure and expertise for delivering a complete package of services, including advanced strategies in industrial real estate."

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