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Deals & Dealmakers

Who’s News: CBRE shuffles the deck

CBRE announced a new organization structure that will become effective January 1, 2019, and several senior executive promotions made in anticipation of the future organization.

Under the new structure, the company will organize its operations around, and publicly report its financial results on three global businesses: Advisory Services; Global Workplace Solutions; and Real Estate Investments.

For the remainder of 2018, CBRE will continue to manage its services business within its existing geographic

Mike Lafitte

businesses (Americas, EMEA and APAC).

Mike Lafitte has been promoted to Global CEO, Advisory Services, with responsibility for leasing, capital markets (sales and mortgage services), property management, valuation services and local project management service lines across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC) regions.

Lafitte will serve as CEO, Americas through the end of 2018.

Jack Durburg, who previously served as Americas CEO, has been promoted to Global Chief Operating Officer, a new position.

Durburg will have authority across the entire company for service line excellence, operating efficiencies and its global client care program.

In January 2019, Steven Swerdlow, will be promoted to Group President, reporting to Durburg, and his duties will include responsibility for global research and marketing, and support for worldwide M&A activity in partnership with CBRE’s Corporate Development team.

In January 2019, the company will eliminate the CEO roles for the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions and elevate 12 existing Advisory Services divisional presidents across the globe. Seven divisional presidents in what is currently the Americas business will report directly to Mr. Lafitte. The other five divisional presidents will report to Martin Samworth, who will be promoted to Group President and CEO, Advisory Services: Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific. Samworth will oversee the divisional presidents of Continental Europe; India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East & Africa; North Asia; Pacific; and United Kingdom. He will continue to report to Lafitte.

Daniel Queenan has been promoted to Global CEO, Real Estate Investments, with responsibility for CBRE’s global investment management and development services businesses. Ritson Ferguson will continue as CEO of CBRE Global Investors, reporting to Queenan.

Jeremy Plummer has been promoted to Chief Investment Officer and Sophie van Oosterom has been promoted to CEO of EMEA, which is the largest business within CBRE Global Investors.

William Concannon will continue to serve as Global CEO, Global Workplace Solutions, which comprises facilities management, account-based project management, dedicated account-based leasing services and management consulting.

In January 2019, Ian Entwisle will be promoted to CEO, Global Workplace Solutions: Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific.


Chris Connelly

CBRE has appointed Chris Connelly as Global President, Asset Services and Investor Leasing.

CBRE’s Asset Services business provides property management services for approximately three billion s/f of commercial property.

A long-time leader for CBRE in the Americas Region, Connelly previously he served as President of Mountain Northwest Division, overseeing CBRE’s operations in the Bay Area, Sacramento/Reno, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix/Tucson, Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Albuquerque.

Prior to that role, he led CBRE’s Midwest Division, which includes Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Louisville.

Earlier, he held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility for CBRE in the Chicago area, including leading the company’s downtown Chicago office.

In 2011, Connelly took over responsibility for leading the Greater Chicago Region as executive managing director, before being promoted to president for the Midwest Division in 2015.

He began his career at Jones Lang LaSalle, specializing in industrial, land and office brokerage.
Connelly received a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois.


Kate Van Tassel

Denham Wolf Real Estate Service has named Kate Van Tassel Director of Development Services.

She will lead a collaborative practice group in the assessment, structuring, and negotiation of real estate development opportunities for New York City nonprofits.

Van Tassel has over a decade of large-scale planning and project management experience in the real estate industry, most recently with the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

An experienced city planner, she has a history of managing and executing complex projects. As a Vice President of the EDC, she worked as a to facilitate the implementation of multi-million-dollar community development projects.

Before joining EDC, Van Tassel worked in a managerial position at Sustainable South Bronx among other civic positions, including a fellowship with the City of Chicago.

She holds an MCP from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received her BS magna cum laude in Chemistry with a specialization in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Virginia.


Fritz Richter

The Investment Sales group for the Avison Young New York City office, led by James Nelson, has added three new professionals to its team.

Frederick (Fritz) Richter will serve as an Associate Director and focus on the multi-family and mixed-use assets of Brooklyn and Queens.

Prior to joining Avison Young, he served as an Investment Sales Associate at Besen & Associates.  While at Besen, Richter transacted in each NYC borough and all major asset class. Before that, he served as an analyst on the CMBS team at Annaly Capital Management and also assisted with community outreach for Paul Massey’s mayoral campaign.

Richter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University.

Carter Lovejoy

Carter Lovejoy will serve as an Associate for the Investment Sales group.

Prior to joining Avison Young, he worked at CBRE as an associate where he secured new and expanded business opportunities, as well as analyzed data and prepared real estate reports.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a concentration on International Studies from Trinity College.

Maxwell Helfman will serve as an Associate for the Investment Sales group, focused on

Maxwell Helfman

multi-family and mixed-use properties.

He joins Avison Young from Cushman & Wakefield, where he recently served as an intern. He also previously worked as an intern at Colliers International and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Emory University.


Alexander Taic

Ariel Property Advisors announced Alexander Taic, Stephen Vorvolakos and Eli Weisblum have joined the firm’s New York office as directors in its Investment Sales and Capital Services Divisions.

Taic and Vorvolakos have joined the firm’s teams covering Queens and Brooklyn, respectively. In their roles, they will lead business development and networking initiatives in sub-market neighborhoods.

Weisblum will concentrate on debt and equity placement, specifically for multifamily and

Stephen Vorvolakos

mixed-use properties.

Alexander Taic previously worked as a residential broker at Peter Ashe Realty. He spearheaded that firm’s commercial arm, working with local businesses to acquire leases for retail and office space.

In the four years at Peter Ashe Realty, Taic executed over $10 million in sales and generated over $1 million in annual rent income from residential and commercial leases.

Eli Weisblum

Stephen Vorvolakos was previously a senior associate at Cushman & Wakefield, formerly Massey Knakal Realty Services.

He has been involved in the valuation of over $1.2 billion in properties, and participated in the sale over 20 sale transactions with an aggregate value of more than $124 million.

Eli Weisblum worked as a commercial mortgage broker at Eastern Union Funding and, before that, Citibank, where he focused on residential and business loans. In 2016, Weisblum was named one of Citibank’s Top 5 bankers having closed over $100 million in loans during the year. Since the end of 2017, he has arranged financing for over $50 million in loans.


Julie Fox has joined R.J. Brune1li & Co., LLC in the newly-created position of Manager Of New Tenant Representation.

Julie Fox

Fox brings over 13 years of retail real estate experience in property management, brokerage, landlord leasing, tenant representation, and land disposition to the brokerage.

She joins the firm from Shopcore Properties where she directed the leasing of The Shops at Skyview, in Flushing, N.Y.

Prior to that, she was a senior leasing representative for Brixmor Property Group, handling a portfolio of more than 2.2 million square feet of shopping centers throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Earlier, Fox served as a portfolio leasing representative for Paramount Realty Services and was a sales associate at

FAMECO Real Estate. She began her career in 2005 as an assistant general manager for PREIT Services.
Fox earned M.B.A. and Master of Finance degrees from Drexel University and a B.A. from The University of Delaware.


NAI Mertz announced that Jonathan Klear has been promoted to Senior Vice President.

Jonathan Klear

Klear, who was formerly a Vice President with the firm, has specialized in industrial sales and leasing throughout southern New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia market for the past 10 years.

In the first half of 2018, he completed more than $31.5 million in sale and lease transactions.

Prior to joining NAI Mertz, Klear spent several years in the entertainment industry specializing in marketing, agency representation, and licensing at MTV Networks.

Klear earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ohio State University. He is a licensed real estate salesperson in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and a member of the NAI Global Industrial Council, as well as the International Council of Shopping Centers.


Kathy Thurston has joined PGIM’s real estate debt strategies platform as an executive director and assistant portfolio manager.

Kathy Thurston

Thurston will be responsible for the day-to-day responsibilities for both the U.S. debt portfolio and asset management activities.

She is also responsible for investment decision-making, ongoing investor engagement, managing leverage, and overseeing the reporting and administration of the portfolio.

Thurston brings 23 years of real estate finance experience. She was most recently head of institutional real estate for The PrivateBank (acquired by CIBC), where she was a member of the leadership committee and responsible for bridge and corporate lending to institutional investors and real estate finance companies.

Earlier, she was a senior vice president with LaSalle Bank, N.A. .

Thurston has a MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has held several board and committee positions with ULI, NAIOP and CREW Network.

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