Walter & Samuels Names C&W’s Joe Manasseri as New President

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Commercial landlord and property manager Walter & Samuels recently hired Joe Manasseri away from Cushman & Wakefield to serve as the firm’s president, Commercial Observer has learned.

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Manasseri started at the boutique real estate firm last month after a two-year stint at C&W, where he was the executive managing director of the tri-state asset services group. In his new gig at Walter & Samuels, he runs the company’s day-to-day operations, overseeing the buildings it owns and manages, and spearheading plans to grow its investment portfolio. He replaces Elena Zweifach, who had been with the firm for more than 30 years.

The 30-year real estate industry veteran explained that he hopes to expand Walter & Samuels’ third-party property management and development business. He also wants the company to get more involved in investing in and advising building conversions from rentals to co-ops and condos. Currently, the 40-person firm manages more than 50 commercial properties spanning 3 million square feet of office and retail space, along with three residential buildings, all of which are located in Manhattan.

Manasseri, 53, said he wanted to make the jump to W&S because he wanted to be back on the owner side. “It was an opportunity to get back on the owner-investor side—get more involved in the deal,” he said. “Third-party property management isn’t the same as building a book and working for an owner-investor in a smaller firm. Cushman is a larger place, a brokerage, and it’s not the same as working for an owner-operator.”

Manasseri spent 28 years at GE Capital Real Estate, where, as the managing director of global asset management, he handled a $30 billion portfolio of 3,200 properties across North America, Europe and Asia. GE sold its assets to Wells Fargo and Blackstone Group in the summer of 2015, and Manasseri jumped ship for C&W in April of the following year.

“I worked with Joe when he was calling the shots at GE Capital in buildings we were partners in,” said Walter & Samuels Chairman David Berley. “Joe brings to W&S a sophisticated, high-end and national institutional approach.”