Cushman & Wakefield has named former Goldman Sachs executive Edward C. Forst president and chief executive officer of the company. He will join the firm effective January 6, 2014.
Forst replaces Glenn Rufrano, who left the company in June and has since returned to his former firm, O’Connor Capital Partners.
Forst, 53, joins Cushman & Wakefield following his tenure at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as global co-head of the Investment Management Division, as a member of its management committee and previously as the firm’s chief administrative officer. Most recently, he served as an advisor to Fenway Partners, a private investment firm.
Forst is described as “a highly accomplished investment professional and business executive with more than 30 years of experience working in international asset management, capital markets, and operational leadership. ”
He has held multiple executive level roles in both New York and London at Goldman, Sachs, where he was elected Partner in 1998. While at Goldman, Sachs, Forst also served in leadership roles at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and was elected as its first co-chairman and subsequently in 2007 as its chairman.
During the financial crisis of 2008-2009, Forst was selected to be the first executive vice president and principal operating officer of Harvard University, leading its non-academic affairs and served as advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.
John Elkann, chairman and CEO of EXOR, Cushman & Wakefield’s controlling shareholder, commented: “The appointment of a professional of Mr. Forst’s caliber will further strengthen Cushman & Wakefield’s ability to capture the opportunities to accelerate the firm’s growth and capitalize on the substantial investment that has been made in the business over the last few years. EXOR remains strongly committed to supporting Cushman & Wakefield’s development, enabling it to achieve its full potential in this exciting new phase.”
Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano, chairman of Cushman & Wakefield Inc. who has held the position as interim president & CEO of the firm for the past five months, added: “We are delighted to welcome Ed to Cushman & Wakefield and look forward to working closely with him. We have outstanding professionals around the world who are committed to bringing the highest quality real estate services to our clients. Under Ed’s leadership we aim to further strengthen Cushman & Wakefield globally.”
“Cushman & Wakefield is a powerful and iconic brand with unparalleled capabilities in providing creative and innovative real estate services and solutions to a global client base,” stated Forst. “I am honored to lead Cushman & Wakefield and am particularly excited to work with this world-class team of professionals to build on the company’s strengths and capitalize on the many opportunities ahead.”
Forst is a graduate of Harvard University and holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is Treasurer, Trustee and member of the executive committee of Carnegie Hall; a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard University Capital Campaign and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Harvard Stem Cell Science Initiative; he is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Yale University School of Management; and is a Trustee of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.