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NGKF Strikes Again: Recruits Top Office Investment, Retail Teams from Rivals CBRE, Cushman

Success in Landing Top Brokerage Talent Underscores Firm's Determination to Remain a Force to Be Reckoned With Among National Players
January 7, 2016
Top-producing Los Angeles office investment sales broker Kevin Shannon and his team from CBRE are the second major recruitment win for NGKF's capital markets business.
Top-producing Los Angeles office investment sales broker Kevin Shannon and his team from CBRE are the second major recruitment win for NGKF's capital markets business.
It’s been an epic week (and three months) for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. After the surprising recruitment of Rob Griffin and his top investment sales team in New England last fall, the New York-based real estate division of BGC Partners added a bookend by landing top-producing Los Angeles office investment sales broker Kevin Shannon and his team from CBRE Group in a second jaw-dropping recruitment win for NGKF's capital markets business.

But that's not the end of it. Newmark also this week hired eight star brokers from Cushman's Southern California retail brokerage team, and recruited a pair of elite Chicago tenant rep brokers in Bob Chodos and Steve Levitas, both from Colliers International.


NGKF's new retail sales team based in San Diego and Newport Beach will be led by Executive Managing Director Pete Bethea. The team has completed transactions valued at more than $2 billion over the last three years. Also moving from Cushman to NGKF are Senior Managing Director Rob Ippolito and Managing Director Glenn Rudy, who specialize in shopping center sales for institutional clients and public and private investment companies; senior managing directors John Jennings and Chris Walton; who will lead leasing; and leasing brokers Aaron Hill and Justin Wessel and Kevin Hansen. Their combined leasing portfolio totals more than 9.3 million square feet throughout Southern California.

However, the biggest win of 2016 so far is NGKF's signing of Shannon and his 14 colleagues, widely believed to be the West Coast’s preeminent capital markets team.

"The addition of Kevin Shannon and these top capital markets professionals will create a leading team on the West Coast, further solidifying NGKF as one of the strongest capital markets operations in the country," said Newmark CEO Barry Gosin in a statement. "Following our acquisition of Cornish & Carey and ARA, and the hire of top tier capital markets brokers in Boston, Baltimore, Southern California and throughout the country in 2015, we have become a market leader with premier talent throughout North America."

With the addition of Shannon in L.A. and Griffin in Boston, "We now hold a top position in three of the top six gateway coastal cities for investors, including Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle," noted NGKF President James D. Kuhn.

Shannon will be based in NGKF's El Segundo office headed by Executive Vice President and Southern California Regional Managing Director Greg May. Shannon has sold and marketed more than $46 billion of office, industrial and retail properties since 1996.

"Our team will continue to be a leading capital markets provider on the West Coast as NGKF continues to grow at an exciting pace nationally," added Shannon.

Other investment sales professionals include Ken White who joins as an executive managing director; Rob Hannan, senior managing director specializing in the sale of investment properties for institutional clients in Los Angeles and Seattle; Paul Jones and Blake Bokosky, working out of the Orange County office; managing directors Brad Burton, Michael Moll, Laura Stumm, Michael Moore and Scott Schumacher, and director Blake Bokosky, along with their support teams.

BGC Partners, Inc. (Nasdaq:BGCP), led by Chairman and CEO Howard W. Lutnick, entered the CRE services industry with the acquisition of Newmark Knight Frank in October 2011, and further expanded through the acquisition of the assets of the bankrupt Grubb & Ellis Co. in April 2012, becoming Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

In 2014, NGKF acquired Santa Clara, CA-based Cornish & Carey Commercial, and BGC acquired Apartment Realty Advisors, rebranding it as ARA, A Newmark Company (ARA Newmark). NGKF's 12,800 professionals, together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently owned offices, operate from more than 370 offices around the world.

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