Howard Grufferman, a leasing executive formerly with Grubb & Ellis, is rumored to be in the final stages of talks to join Colliers International’s New York office several sources say.
Mr. Grufferman was regarded as one of Grubb & Ellis’s top New York brokers before the company entered bankruptcy earlier this year and was acquired by BGC Partners, which merged the firm with the real estate services company it purchased last year, Newmark Knight Frank, now known as Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.
Neither Mr. Grufferman nor Joseph Harbert, Colliers International’s top executive for its eastern region, responded immediately to a request for comment. In a recent conversation with The Commercial Observer however, Mr. Harbert said he was actively recruiting Mr. Grufferman.
“Everyone is recruiting him, he was their top broker for something like three out of the last five years,” Mr. Harbert said then. “I am talking to him. I spoke to him for about an hour and I’m due to talk to him again in 20 minutes.”
Mr. Grufferman arranged or was involved in many of the largest leases done by the Grubb & Ellis’s New York office in recent years. In 2009 for instance, he was one of a team of brokers from the company who handled the F.D.I.C.’s 100,000-square-foot lease at the Empire State Building.
A number of brokers at Grubb chose not to join BGC over the way the company handled commission payments owed to Grubb executives. BGC, which won the right to that money through its purchase of the company, said it would pay the funds out only to brokers who remained with the new firm for a period of time, an offer that infuriated some brokers because of the widespread sentiment the money was theirs and should have been given to them with no strings attached.