Cushman & Wakefield’s Betty Castro Joins RIPCO as Managing Partner

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Betty Castro has left Cushman & Wakefield to become managing partner at RIPCO Real Estate, overseeing retention, recruitment and revenue in the Manhattan and Brooklyn offices, Commercial Observer has learned. 

Castro formerly ran C&W’s Brooklyn and Queens markets, and then served as a managing director of brokerage services in the firm’s Manhattan office, where she oversaw a staff of 60 and worked to grow the firm’s presence in office, retail, industrial leasing, capital markets and property management, according to RIPCO.

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“With Betty’s well-respected knowledge of Manhattan and the outer boroughs, we are confident she’ll be a great asset to the team,” RIPCO Chief Operating Officer Mark Kaplan said in a statement. “Her close relationships with brokerage professionals and clients as well as her expertise in strategic business plans makes her a trusted mentor and leader, which will further help attract additional team members.” 

Wednesday was Castro’s first day at RIPCO, where she said she spoke with Kaplan and met her new staff. Castro will spend about 60 percent of her time working from the Manhattan office and the other 40 percent in Brooklyn, though she said that could change as the firm brings on new employees and undertakes new deals.

Her role at RIPCO will also include supporting brokers so they can focus solely on making transactions, Castro said. 

“My mantra has always been: ‘Get the obstacles out of the brokers’ way, so that they can focus on making money [and] doing what they’re good at,’” Castro said. “It’s really just making sure that they have the support that they need and [that] they’re not bogged down with too much pressure, paperwork or systems.”  

Castro, who also serves as president of the New York chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network, described maintaining the culture of RIPCO as crucial for retaining top talent.

“As [RIPCO] has grown, they have managed to protect [its] culture,” Castro told CO. “I think they’ve done a wonderful job in protecting that culture, and not just recruiting folks for the sake of production. Some firms will just recruit folks because they’re top producers, but may not really put enough emphasis or attention [into] whether that person is a good culture fit. All of these things have to do with revenue, retention [and] recruiting.”

Castro started her two-decade career in New York, selling bonds to institutional clients at First Empire Securities, then joining Massey Knakal in 2014 before C&W bought the boutique brokerage for $100 million at the end of that year. 

After the acquisition, Castro ran the firm’s Brooklyn and Queens markets for five years, expanding C&W’s presence in industrial, retail and office leasing, alongside investment sales in the two boroughs. 

A representative from Cushman & Wakefield declined to comment on Castro’s move. 

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.