Avison Young announced that it has hired an investment sales team formerly from Grubb & Ellis.
The group includes executives Vincent Carrega, Neil Helman and Charles Kingsley as well as a number of other brokers who work under its senior partners. Jason Meister, a prominent young broker who works with the team is also joining the company.
The Carrega team’s arrival at the company confirms rumors that had been circulating in the brokerage industry for weeks. Mr. Carrega and his colleague drew attention during the recent acquisition of Grubb & Ellis in bankruptcy court by the Wall Street firm BGC Partners for their opposition to the court’s decision to give BGC full control of outstanding commissions owed to Grubb brokers.
The group’s protestations made it appear unwilling to make the move to BGC, which said it would pay brokers who remained with the company their commissions. The team were among hundreds of Grubb & Ellis brokers who bristled at the conditions BGC made the payments contingent on, including that the money be structured as a loan that would be forgiven only after a broker remained with the company for a lengthy period of time.
For weeks however, it remained unclear where the Carrega team would go.
“I am excited by the opportunity to use my experience to grow the firm’s investment sales business in the regional marketplace,” Mr. Carrega said in a prepared statement released by Avison Young.
Avison Young, a Canadian firm, quietly established a beachhead in Manhattan last year by hiring former CBRE executive Greg Kraut to begin building an office in the city. The company’s pace of hires has accelerated as it has been beneficiary of Grubb & Ellis’s bankruptcy and a wider shakeup in the brokerage business. In recent weeks the company hired Michael Gottlieb, another top broker from Grubb & Ellis who decided not to join BGC. Avison Young also recruited Arthur Mirante, a former CEO at Cushman & Wakefield, to join as tri-state president.
Mr. Mirante, in a conversation with The Commercial Observer after his hiring two weeks ago, said that he expected to build the company’s brokerage team up to more than 30 individuals over the next two years, what appear to be lofty goals to expand.
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