Avison Young Taps JLL Veteran to Fill New President of Clients Role


Harry Klaff, a 35-year veteran in commercial real estate, has been named principal and president of clients for Avison Young, based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.

Klaff heads to the firm in the newly created position after spending the past 25 years at JLL, working in its Tysons, Va., office as its managing director specializing in tenant representation.

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“This is a big pivot for me,” Klaff told Commercial Observer. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with [chair and CEO] Mark Rose and the great team at Avison Young, and help it to continue to grow and work with people across the entire agency platform.” 

In his new role, Klaff will build on Avison Young’s collaborative culture, enhancing connectivity across service lines and affinity groups. 

Additionally, Klaff will partner with global leadership, including Sheila Botting, president of professional services for the Americas, who joined the firm earlier this year, and Mark Croad, who joined last month as principal in the firm’s UK office.  

“First and foremost, I’m going to learn and understand what drives Avison Young and where I might be able to help,” Klaff said. “Avison Young’s collaborative culture means that clients get the full benefit of the firm’s cross-functional expertise, driving value as we use real estate to achieve business goals.”

Throughout his career, Klaff has structured complex real estate transactions across several sectors, including technology, government, professional services and finance, and completed more than $10 billion in real estate transactions. 

“We all need to find new ways to realize the full potential of real estate as the world adapts and changes, and our client experience service model leverages real estate for business benefit through our collective intelligence of people and data,” Rose said in a company statement. “Clients have always been at the heart of what we do, and Harry’s decades of experience mentoring fellow colleagues and leading clients through their needs and challenges makes him purpose-fit to run our client engagement platform.”