Joseph Harbert, Others Depart Avison Young in Last Few Months

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Industry veteran Joseph Harbert, who departed Colliers International for Avison Young in 2018, has left Avison Young and started his own analytics company, Harbet Analytics, part of a string of high-profile departures for the firm, per his LinkedIn profile.

While it wasn’t clear why Harbert left, employees and brokers said they were surprised. The staff and brokers learned of Harbert’s imminent departure via an email from Arthur Mirante, the principal and chairman of the tri-state area for Avison Young, about a week before Harbert’s last day on Aug. 6. The letter did not provide information on why Harbert left.

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“It was a shock to everyone,” said one employee who requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

No one has replaced Harbert, who served as principal and director of operations for the Northeast at Toronto-based Avison Young and had the heads of human resources, marketing, research and accounting all report to him. Of note, he led diversity efforts for the firm, including spearheading an internship program that would serve as a feeder to the firm.

“We wish him well and are appreciative of the leadership he’s provided the tri-state region for nearly three years,” a spokesperson for Avison Young said in a statement.

Harbert has had a long and successful career in brokerage. He is the former president of the Eastern region for Colliers, a position he held for about six years, as Commercial Observer previously reported. He also previously served as the COO for Cushman & Wakefield for eight years.

His departure follows a string of notable ones from Avison Young recently. Not long after Harbert left, Gail Donovan, the senior director of marketing for the tri-state region, departed in September to pursue other opportunities. And Jamie Covello, who was an executive director in the New York City office, left and has since started an eponymous firm. The spokesperson added that the firm wished Donovan and Covello “well.”

Meanwhile, the firm did make one big addition with the August hiring of Dorothy Alpert as a firm principal and tri-state president. She had a 30-plus year career at Deloitte prior to starting at Avison Young in August.

Avison Young is not alone with so much change at the top. A number of brokerages have seen high-profile departures as of late, causing shake-ups at the top, The Real Deal reported. 

Harbert, Mirante, Donovan and Covello didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Update: This story has been updated to include a statement from Avison Young.