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Leadership of C&W's Local U.S. Markets Comes Into Focus

Former DTZ/Cassidy Turley Execs Take Key Positions Leading Two Dozen U.S. Markets Following Acquisition of Cushman & Wakefield
November 19, 2015
It's been just over 11 weeks since Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ completed their merger. Integrating the personnel, operations and culture of any large corporate merger is no simple task, especially for two global operations with $5 billion in combined revenue, 43,000 employees, more than $190 billion in annual transactions and 4.3 billion square feet of commercial property under management.

Complicating the integration issues since the Sept. 1 merger closing is the fact that many DTZ executives and other professionals have now worked for several companies as a result of the cascading company consolidation wave dating back to 2011, when Australia engineering firm UGL Limited acquired the operations of DTZ. It rebranded its integrated property services as DTZ the following year, moving its corporate headquarters from London to Chicago.

In 2014, things really got interesting. UGL sold DTZ to a consortium comprising TPG Capital, PAG Asia Capital and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for $1.1 billion, which also announced it was buying U.S. brokerage Cassidy Turley, itself formed in 2010 following a series of mergers.

An example of the rippling business effects of the Cushman/DTZ merger is Cushman’s newly minted, corporate-owned office in Raleigh-Durham, NC, where Cushman previously maintained an affiliate. Following the merger, Cushman named Rich Harris to lead the now-owned Raleigh office, while Thalhimer’s Raleigh and Charlotte offices led by partner John Kelly left to join Virginia-based CNL Commercial Real Estate, freshly spun off in late September from its parent company, CNL Financial Group.

"Interestingly, I've had four e-mail addresses in 16 months," said Harris, who joined Cassidy Turley along with eight brokers in mid-2014 when it acquired Synergy Commercial Advisors, a boutique firm serving the Research Triangle he founded in 2008. DTZ quickly acquired and rebranded Cassidy Turley in early January 2015, and Harris continued as managing principal of the new office.

"We've experienced a fair amount of integration over the last two years in Raleigh-Durham alone, but the good news for us is the Cushman/DTZ changes were very modest to our specific office," says Harris, who now oversees more than 70 Cushman & Wakefield employees. "There was not a lot of integration or painful cuts in Raleigh Durham."

DTZ Executives Take Leading Local Roles

Former DTZ executives make up 57% of the local market leaders announced to date by Cushman, with the remainder comprised of legacy Cushman & Wakefield managers.

In Houston, Scott Wegmann and Tim Relyea -- both long-serving Cushman & Wakefield executives -- were named co-leaders. Relyea was among the first employees hired by twin brothers Louis B. Cushman and John C. Cushman, III following the formation of Cushman Realty Corp. in 1978.

While the changes in Raleigh may not have been dramatic, other Cushman and DTZ markets have seen their share of dislocation over the last 10 weeks.

Cushman named Northeast Region Lead/Hartford Region and former Cassidy Turley colleague Joe Fallon to rebuild and lead the Boston-based New England team following the decision by longtime New England investment sales team leader Rob Griffin Jr. to depart for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in September.

In Nashville, Doug Brandon was named market leader after the affiliate there, Cushman & Wakefield Cornerstone, joined Avison Young. The new AY offices in Knoxville and Nashville added 82 associates from C&W Cornerstone.

On balance, pre-merger Cushman and former DTZ/ Cassidy Turley executives all tell CoStar News that they are looking forward to the increasing strength in numbers, geographic spread and market share gains coming about as a result of the merger.

"There's a tremendous amount of scale that we get nationally," Harris said. "The DTZ platform was strong before Cushman, but Cushman really strengths us in several of the key gateway cities where we were really looking to establish a top presence. By combining with Cushman, we get a best-in-class position in all of those markets. The Cushman merger advances those capabilities that we thought would take a few years to build after all the M&A transactions DTZ and Cassidy Turley had before."

Cushman last week also named nine practice group leaders, in specialties ranging from agency leasing to health care and education, in another step toward building out its national leadership team. Six of the nine are legacy DTZ/Cassidy Turley executives.

Rounding out the national team, Joe Stettinius, chief executive, Americas, came from DTZ/Cassidy Turley, as did three of the four region presidents. The 10 sub-regional market leaders are evenly split between the two companies, while new Global President Tod Lickerman was with DTZ/CT.

Some Affiliates Stay, Others Go

Cushman has been reviewing its affiliate contracts for several months. Global President Tod Lickerman told CoStar News in September that while Cushman prefers owned offices in every major global market, the company will continue affiliate agreements "where it makes sense."

As of Nov. 19, Cushman & Wakefield still has about 38 affiliated office across the U.S. under its Alliance program, with affiliate relationships in Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus, OH, set to expire and transition to corporate-owned offices on Nov. 30.

Two DTZ legacy affiliates in Milwaukee and Louisville dropped the DTZ name and went independent after the merger, including Milwaukee real estate executive Jim Barry, who opted to rebrand from DTZ Barry to Barry Co.

In Louisville, where both companies had established affiliates, the Cushman affiliation with Commercial Kentucky survives. The local office previously known as DTZ Harry K. Moore, and prior to that Cassidy Turley Harry K. Moore, rebranded on Nov. 2 as Harry K. Moore Co., a brand that dates back to 1948.

The Alliance affiliations that have expired or are expiring are largely companies in markets where Cassidy Turley/DTZ had a significant presence such as Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Nashville, Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, OH; Indianapolis, St. Louis and Kansas City.

One office that opted to remain an affiliate is Cushman & Wakefield | Oxford Commercia in Austin, which will remain an Alliance office led by Spencer Hayes, co-founder and managing partner of Oxford Commercial. Keith Zimmerman, the former managing principal of the Austin office of DTZ, joined Oxford Commercial.

"What’s ideal is how complimentary our strengths are," Zimmerman said.

Other Alliance members are either transitioning to corporate-owned offices or going elsewhere. For example, St. Louis affiliate Gateway Commercial was recently acquired by Colliers International, which is still backfilling its local presence, years after Cassidy Turley launched, in 2010, combining combining several Colliers offices among others.

Kevin Gallagher, who served as managing director at Gateway, which was formed in 2005 after Cushman & Wakefield of Missouri merged with St. Louis-based Summit Realty Group, is now Colliers’ managing principal.

"Everything in our business is of course very local, and in our St. Louis market, it was a good fit for our firm and for Colliers. We needed the platform and scale of Colliers," Gallagher said.

Cushman & Wakefield Local Market Leaders (owned offices as of 11/18/2015)

Pre-Merger Firm

Roberta Liss
Mid-Atlantic Region Market Lead/DC Metro Market Lead
DTZ/Cassidy Turley
Shawn Mobley
Cushman & Wakefield
Larry Richey
Joe Fallon
Northeast Region Lead, Boston Lead
Dan Broderick
Southwest Region Market Lead/San Diego Market Lead
David Gillece
Steven Gassaway
Richard Harris
John Derham
Dick Cassetti
John O’Neill
Cushman & Wakefield
Andrew McDonald
Downtown Los Angeles
Eric Olofson
West LA
Jim McFadden
Orange County/LA County South
Philip Lombardo
Inland Empire
Jeff Starkovich
Oakland, CA
David Hiebert
Palo Alto, CA
Todd Beatty
San Jose
Jeff Starkovich
Oakland, CA
Mike Kamm
San Francisco
Ron Thomas
Michael Copeland
Pleasanton, CA
Whitney Strotz
San Rafael, CA
Brooks Pedder
Walnut Creek, CA
Michael Moran
Burlingame, CA
Michael Schroeder
Monterey/Salinas, CA
Steve Everbach
Dallas/Fort Worth
Scott Wegmann (Co-Lead)
Tim Relyea (Co-Lead)
Betty Castro
Jeff Eaton
Doug Brandon
Doug Bolton
Greater Cincinnati/Dayton
Thomas McGarity
Brian Piergentili
Jeff Henry/Chris Yeakey
DTZ/Duke Realty Corp.
Michael Mayer
Kansas City
Jared Andresen
Newmark Grubb Levy Strange Beffort
Brian Ungles
St. Louis
Greg Morris
Jason deVries
Jim Fagan
Connecticut Region/Stamford and Westchester

source: Cushman & Wakefield

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