Merger Between C&W and DTZ a Done Deal With Big Internal Changes


Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ are officially one, the latest step in a string of mergers by the two companies.

The new entity will operate under the C&W banner, boasting 43,000 employees and rolling out a new logo in the $2 billion merger. It’s expected to be the third largest brokerage in terms of revenue, expected at $5 billion annually, putting it just behind CBRE, which reported $9 billion in revenue last year, and JLL, which took in about $5.4 billion.

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Brett White, the former chief executive officer of CBRE and most recently the executive chairman at DTZ, will oversee all global operations for the new C&W, which will have offices in 60 countries across the globe.

“Both legacy firms had been aggressively growing their respective platforms and deepening their reach into the market with new acquisitions and talent,” Mr. White said in prepared remarks. “Now we have the opportunity to see these ambitions come together—capturing the momentum in the market and clearly claiming our position at the top of the industry.”

Ed Forst, C&W’s current president and CEO, has left the company as a result of the merger. A source told Commercial Observer in May that Mr. Forst, who came on board in 2013, was expected to leave once the deal was sealed.

Ron Lo Russo, currently the president of C&W’s New York Tri-State region, will continue running operations in Gotham where DTZ has had the lesser footprint. As CO reported in June, there aren’t expected to be any redundancies in New York City but that might not be the case in the rest of the country, including Boston and San Francisco.

The C&W acquisition by DTZ’s parent company, private equity firm TPG Capital, is the latest in a string of mergers by the two brokerages. TPG, PAG Asia Capital and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan bought Chicago-based DTZ last November for $1.1 billion. The financial backers struck again a month later, buying based Cassidy Turley for $557 million, and giving the company an expected annual revenue of $2.9 billion.

C&W meanwhile beefed up its Big Apple investment sales with the $100 million purchase of Massey Knakal Real Estate Services on New Year’s Eve last year. Founding partners Paul Massey and Robert Knakal became president and chairman of New York Investment Sales, respectively. The company had been performing quite well throughout its 50-zone system, recording $2.2 billion worth of sales in 2014 Mr. Knakal told CO for this year’s Power 100 that his existing operations now had “the horsepower of a global giant behind us.”

With most of the puzzle pieces in place, the next step might be to take this new company public, insiders told CO in June.