Cushman & Wakefield has tapped Vornado leasing vice president Ronald Lo Russo to become president of the firm’s New York Tri-State Region.
And long-time executive managing director Suzy Reingold has been promoted to chief operating officer.
The appointment of both Lo Russo and Reingold to senior positions is seen as an effort by the firm to re-assert its position in the New York market following the departure last year of two long-time power brokers, Arthur Mirante, who left to join Avison Young, and Joe Harbert, who took the reins at Colliers.
The two are being tasked with leveraging Cushman & Wakefield’s brand reputation to drive growth in the tri-state.
They will report directly to Jim Underhill, president & CEO of the Americas, who said the company is focused on expanding its tri-state footprint.
“Cushman & Wakefield is focused on hiring and developing the best professionals in the industry, with a focus on our next generation of leaders, and the addition of Ron is indicative of that strategy,” said Underhill.
“He brings with him the leadership necessary to continue making C&W the preferred place to work, and the best platform for delivering the highest quality services to our clients. He will have the full support of senior management in expanding C&W’s capabilities and footprint throughout the New York Tri-state area.”
Lo Russo, who was previously a vice president of leasing for the New York Office Division of Vornado Realty Trust, will be based in Cushman & Wakefield’s world headquarters office in Midtown Manhattan.
The 38-year-old becomes a key member of the firm’s executive management team in the US. He will oversee brokerage operations in the nine regional offices throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and co-ordinate brokerage activities with C&W’s global platform of services.
“Cushman & Wakefield has a great reputation and it’s one that I’m proud to be a part of,” said Lo Russo.
“It is known in the industry that the firm has great new leadership, and some of the most talented brokerage professionals, many of whom I’ve worked with on transactions. The positive reputation of C&W was confirmed upon meeting its executive management recently, and I look forward to working closely with all of them.”
“I have known Ron to be a dedicated, knowledgeable real estate professional and believe he will be a tremendous asset to Cushman & Wakefield,” added Reingold. “I look forward to working with him to carry out the priorities and goals of the firm.”
Cushman & Wakefield has made no secret of its plan for strategic growth and most recently acquired the Atlanta- and Dallas-based third party client services business of Cousins Properties Incorporated last summer. In 2011, it merged operations with NorthMarq Real Estate Services Minnesota, significantly bolstering its presence in the Midwest region. In 2011 C&W hired 1,900 professionals and last year hired nearly 1,500.
And despite losing several key sales and leasing brokers, since taking the reins of Cushman & Wakefield in 2010, president and CEO Glenn Rufrano has been credited with putting the world’s third largest real estate services company back on firmer financial footing.
“We’ve got the wind at our back,” said Rufrano told Crains New York Business in an interview last year. “Shame on us if we can’t make this work.”