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Studley Completes Buyout to Brokers

Mitchell Steir Named Chairman and CEO
December 19, 2002
Julien J. Studley, the granddaddy of tenant reps, finalized an agreement to sell the New York-based brokerage firm he founded in 1954 to 45 of the firm's managers and brokers. The firm will be led by Mitchell Steir, who was named chairman and CEO, and two of his longtime colleagues, Michael Colacino, who was named president, and Mark Jaccom, who was named to the newly created position of vice chairman of U.S. operations.

Former Studley President Jacque Ducharme was named vice chairman of the West Coast region, and Stephen Goldstein, another powerful Studley manager who was believed to be in the running for the top executive position, becomes vice chairman of the Mid-Atlantic region.

Terms of the buyout agreement were not disclosed, although the Wall Street Journal reported that Julien Studley will receive approximately $10 million from the sale, which involved eight other sellers. The 45 brokers paid between $100,000 and $450,000 each to acquire shares in the privately held firm from Studley and the other sellers.

According to the Journal, the group of Studley brokers borrowed approximately $9 million from Hill Street Capital LLC, an investment bank that advised the buying group, to acquire about $19 million in equity in the firm. John Brim, managing member of Hill Street Capital, told the Journal the transaction valued the brokerage firm at between $50 million and $60 million. The company will be governed by a 14-member board of directors chosen by the new investors. Board members will control more than 50% of the voting shares.

The 75-year-old Studley will assume the role of founding chairman. He will continue to advise the firm on its strategic direction, while also dedicating time to consulting, investing, and philanthropic endeavors.

"The leadership is now in place to maintain our position as a leading tenant representative firm. We hope to continue being the best firm in that arena, while expanding our successful business model into related areas," stated Steir.

Consistently the firm’s top producer, Steir has been with Studley since 1988 and has amassed a roster of blue chip clients including: AOL Time Warner, Accenture, Crédit Agricole Indosuez, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co. as well as law firm powerhouses Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, Kirkland & Ellis, Arnold & Porter, Goodwin Procter and Kirkpatrick & Lockhart.

After a rocky 2001, the brokerage firm said it is turning in a stronger financial performance this year, with revenues up 20% over 2001 levels. One of the first commercial real estate firms to concentrate on tenant representation, Julien J. Studley, Inc., has offices in Atlanta; Chicago; Denver; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; New Jersey; New York City; Orange County, Calif.; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Washington, D.C., and its suburbs.
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