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December 11, 2019
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DTZ’s $2 Bil Acquisition of Cushman & Wakefield Leads a Number of Brokerage Announcements


The week has started off with a lot of merger news pertaining to some of the leading commercial real estate services firms. In a transaction with global impact, DTZ, a real estate concern backed by private equity firm TPG Capital, will acquire leading brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield in a deal said to be valued at around $2 bil. The combined firm should be able to better compete, size-wise with CBRE Group and Jones Lang LaSalle, the biggest players in this arena.

The merged firm will create a global real estate powerhouse with revenues of more than $5.5 bil, and over 43,000 employees in 250 offices worldwide. After the transaction’s expected close later this year, the new entity will operate under the well-known Cushman & Wakefield name and be among the largest real estate firms globally.

Brett White of DTZ will become chairman and chief executive of the combined company. Tod Lickerman, the chief executive of DTZ, will become president. Cushman’s North America chief executive, John Santora, will hold the titles of chief operating officer and chief integration officer, while Edward C. Forst, Cushman’s chief executive, is expected to leave the company.

Founded in 1917, NY-based Cushman & Wakefield has 259 offices in 60 countries, employing more than 16,000 professionals. The company’s 2014 annual gross revenue was $2.85 bil, an increase of 14 percent compared to 2013.

DTZ provides property management for 1.9 bil sf and facilities management for 1.3 bil sf. The company completed $63 bil in transaction volume globally in 2014 on behalf of institutional, corporate, government and private clients. Headquartered in Chicago, DTZ has more than 26,000 employees who operate across more than 260 offices in 50 countries

In another brokerage merger, of more regional impact, JLL will boost its retail business with its acquisition of Wilson Retail Group, a leading player in Southern California. The transaction will enable JLL, already the nation’s largest third-party retail property manager, to provide a broader range of brokerage and investment sales services to retailers and investors in a core urban gateway. The transaction closed for an undisclosed sum.

Founded by Principal Chris Wilson, in partnership with President Scott Burns, LA-based Wilson Retail Group does business both as owners’ and retailers’ representatives, providing fully integrated retail services to the biggest players in the industry. Wilson currently represents 9 msf of retail space in 75 shopping centers, and the firm’s investment sales team has $125 mil of retail assets on the market.

A total of 16 people from Wilson Retail Group will now become a part of JLL. Chris Wilson will now serve as Executive Vice President, Southwest Brokerage Lead, JLL Retail. Scott Burns will serve as Executive Vice President, Retail Brokerage Lead for JLL’s Los Angeles office. Geoff Tranchina will join as Executive Vice President, Investment Sales. The new Wilson executive team will report to Peter Belisle, Market Director for JLL’s Southwest Region, and partner closely with Naveen Jaggi, President of JLL’s Americas Retail Brokerage business.

And in a notable retail brokerage move from the other end of the state, Colliers International announced that prominent retail broker Julie Taylor and her team have joined its San Francisco office, effective immediately. Taylor is well regarded among international retailers and top institutional landlords, and has been a leading broker in San Francisco’s Union Square.

Taylor will serve as an Executive Vice President, and will be joined by longtime colleagues Erika Elliott, Stephen Rusher and Tom Neuburger. This gives Colliers a 12-member, San Francisco-based specialty retail brokerage team, including existing industry-leading names such as Pam Mendelsohn and Anne Marie Cecconi.

Taylor is a 25-year veteran who specializes in the Bay Area and most recently served as one of the top retail brokers at Cornish & Carey. Taylor’s clients have included Apple, Tiffany, Victoria’s Secret/Limited Brands and CVS, and institutional property owners such as UBS Realty, JP Morgan, La Salle, Shorenstein, Essex, Estate of James Campbell, and Hudson Pacific REIT. Taylor has leased over 600k sf in 50 transactions in the Union Square trade area alone, as well as handling the repositioning and leasing of regional and specialty centers in many of the Bay Area’s suburban markets.

As part of the Taylor team, Stephen Rusher represents 3 msf of Class A institutional-grade retail assets throughout the Bay Area, including notable projects such as Bay Street - Emeryville, Broadway Pointe -Walnut Creek, Alameda South Shore Center, and Lone Tree Plaza – Brentwood. Clients include UBS Realty, Donahue Schriber, and Jamestown LP.

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