Yoav Oelsner, an investment sales broker formerly with Grubb & Ellis, joined Jones Lang LaSalle the company announced this afternoon.
Mr. Oelsner will work with JLL executives Richard Baxter, Jon Caplan, Ron Cohen, Scott Latham and Glenn Tolchin, JLL’s investment sales group. The move will reunite Mr. Oelsner with the team, who he had previously worked with at Cushman & Wakefield over two years ago before leaving for Grubb & Ellis to join a sales group led by Vincent Carrega and Neil Helman. Months after Mr. Oelsner departed C&W, Mr. Baxter and the rest of the sales team separately left C&W in 2010 to go to JLL.
Uncertainty had hung over Mr. Oelsner and the rest of Mr. Carrega’s team after Grubb & Ellis was acquired in recent weeks by BGC Partners. The Carrega team protested BGC’s right to take control of commissions owed to Grubb & Ellis brokers and early-on in the acquisition process, which was done in federal bankruptcy court, appeared unwilling to join the new company, which was merged with another firm BGC recently acquired, Newmark Knight Frank.
Mr. Oelsner is the only executive from the group at Grubb & Ellis to join JLL so far. Rumors have swirled that Mr. Carrega and his partners will join Avison Young, a Canadian real estate services company that has made a push to expand in the city in recent months.
“We love Yoav, we think he has real integrity and a work ethic that is very challenging to find, he knows the market, the players and he knows how we work,” Scott Latham told The Commercial Observer in an exclusive interview. “He plugs into our group and his strengths are the kinds that anyone would need, he’s excellent at business development.”
Mr. Oelsner, who is in his 30s, has focused on middle market transactions so far in his career, a category of the brokerage business – usually defined by deals $100 million or lower and sometimes only a few million dollars in size – that the JLL team has not shied away from turning to as larger transactions slowed in recent years in the aftermath of the recession. Lingering caution in the credit markets have made big deals difficult to finance.
“We have been focused on middle market deals since the old Cushman days,” Mr. Latham said. “It’s a little counter cyclical and it allows you to round out your business because it’s not so volatile.”
Mr. Oelsner would appear to provide a resource as the JLL team has also focused on pushing back into larger deals. During the boom years it handled some of the city’s biggest ever transactions, including the sale of 666 Fifth Avenue for a record $1.8 billion in 2007, but lost ground to competitors CBRE and Eastdil Secured in more recent years. But the JLL group has continued to make progress edging back into the top-most tier of the brokerage business. In recent weeks it handled the $230 million sale of 222 Broadway and is in the process of marketing 350 Madison Avenue, another large office building. Mr. Latham said the team is also in talks to market a property that would likely command upwards of $400 million.