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Deals & Dealmakers

De Stefanis in the driver’s seat as merger pushes work up a gear

When it comes to figuring out potential problems, Mark de Stefanis is in a class of his own.

The veteran construction auditor at IVI International is an expert in cost segregation and was the senior chairman on the development of the industry standard.

MarkdeStefanisPhotoColorxHe still performs expert witness services in the area of construction cost auditing.

Now, he’s also tasked with helping direct the merger of his family’s 40-year-old construction risk advisory consultancy with the mighty CBRE.

CBRE announced in late 2014 that IVI was being added to its stable of companies, a move that enhances and aligns its valuation and advisory services group with that of the larger company.

de Stefanis, who was named senior managing director of CBRE’s Assessment Services Group as part of the merger, said the acquisition has attracted positive attention and boosted the services that CBRE can offer to clients internally and externally.

But seeing the family company — it was co-founded in 1973 by his brothers Carl and Mario — absorbed into CBRE Group has been bittersweet, he said, though it will ultimately be beneficial to both employees and clients.

“There will be a managed brand integration,” de Stefanis said of the process he is tasked with overseeing, “and I’m watching that very carefully because of the 40 years of goodwill that has been developed.”

Beyond brand integration, he’s responsible for making sure that IVI and CBRE Group’s respective human relations, accounting, financing, and business operations components are fully meshed.

It’s a daunting task, considering that previous IVI offices — and over 240 employees — are dotted across the country, from New York to Los Angeles.

IVI has undertaken thousands of assignments since its early roots in the 1970s. The roster of past and present projects the firm has consulted on include Manhattan’s One57 and 56 Leonard Street, the Wynn Las Vegas and Boston’s Vertex Pharmaceutical headquarters.

The company continues this rapid expansion in many areas and has strengthened its operations and range of services in the Western United States, even as it continues to fully integrate with CBRE Group.

This is why one of de Stefanis’ responsibilities is recruiting for the positions that are open in each group — from assessment to construction risk management to telecom.

As president of Construction Cost Recovery, Inc. (CCR), an affiliate of IVI International, Inc. that was absorbed into CBRE Group, de Stefanis has over 30 years of professional experience in finance and accounting.

CCR specialized in construction cost advisory services, such as cost segregation and construction cost auditing. Despite the fact that CCR has now been sold to CBRE Group, de Stefanis said that he still assists and gives them help in bringing in work.

de Stefanis also previously served as the director of operations for the IVI Companies, a position that made overseeing the integration with CBRE Group a natural fit. In fact, he originally joined the company in 1998 in a business operations role.

He is a founding member of the American Society of Cost Segregation Professionals (ASCSP), where he was on the board of directors and was the co-chairman of the Technical Standard Committee, which established the most widely used industry standard.

de Stefanis has ultimate responsibility at CBRE for the Assessment platform and focuses his efforts on strategic planning, mergers and acquisition, organic growth, market strategy and recruiting for key senior leadership slots.

The group has aggressive growth plans over the next five years that focus on expansion and development of new opportunities.

While the duties associated with the integration with CBRE Group are starting to tail off, “we are integrated and running as one platform,” de Stefanis pointed out, he added, “I’m still managing the brand at this point, but at some point the brand will be phased out.”

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