Newmark Grubb Knight Frank has snagged Craig Robinson, the former president of U.S. operations for Colliers International, to head up its global corporate services division, Commercial Observer has learned.
The 42-year-old started Monday as CEO of global corporate services, which will involve handling sales, operations, strategic acquisitions, and overall platform growth. The gig requires overseeing real estate for large tenants including Boeing, CenturyLink, Ricoh, and Dow Chemical.
At Colliers, Robinson was responsible for 150 different offices and 5,600 brokers and staff, as well as sales and operations, property management, valuations and capital markets. Before that, he was president of corporate services at Cassidy Turley (now part of Cushman & Wakefield) and worked in corporate services at CBRE and Trammell Crow Company in Atlanta. While Trammell Crow was his first commercial real estate job, he started his career doing technology consulting at Arthur Andersen.
Robinson is the first person to hold the job, and he said Newmark’s corporate services division has been growing for several years under the guidance of its chairman, Michael Ippolito.
He told CO that he decamped to Newmark because he felt it was more progressive and innovative than other large firms.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work in global companies and mid-cap fast growing companies, and I find Newmark to be a great hybrid where leading clients want to be serviced,” he said. “It’s still nimble and entrepreneurial and attractive to talent that wants to make a difference. There’s a certain entrepreneurial culture where people are encouraged to be bold and to act.”
Moving forward, Robinson hopes to build an ambitious team and grow NGKF’s corporate services business.
“The larger firms will still get larger, but I think the key is to bring on the right skills and the right people,” he added. “[NGKF] brought on the best capital markets teams across the country. I see the opportunity to replicate that kind of talent on the occupier side.”