Joe Harbert and Arthur Mirante just left the New York office. Why did they leave, and what impact will it have on Cushman?
Arthur is a lovely man and he was very helpful to me when I became CEO. Remember, in most businesses when a new CEO comes in, the old one goes. In brokerage it’s different. If I were with New Plan or Centro when I left, I would leave. In brokerage it has been different. Guys become brokers and Arthur tried that. But he decided, I think, that he liked being in management, and I wish him luck. This is a great position for him to grow a company. He’s 67 and healthy and looks great; he’s a young 67 and for him to get a new start is great. I told Arthur that we hate to see [him] leave but we understand this is a good spot for him and if for some reason it doesn’t work out, he should come back and talk to us.
Joe has been with us eight years and I like Joe a lot, but I think Joe was looking for something else and less sure about why. I think maybe he just needed a change, and that’s O.K., too. We wish him luck. The truth is no one is indispensable—not me, not anyone. In the brokerage business right now, there is a lot of meaning read when someone leaves. But it’s only one person, and too much is read into it.
Recent reports suggested Cushman was profitable for 2011, but less so compared to peers. What has made the company lag?
In terms of the first quarter, revenue was fine. Overall we’ve had more expenses than peers because we’ve been investing in the company, and we’re fine with those investments because we’re not just here for 2012. We’re here for ’13, ’14 and ’15, and we plan for growth over time.