Walker & Dunlop Cuts 110 Employees, Blaming Economic Uncertainty


Walker & Dunlop laid off 110 employees this week, or about 8 percent of its staff, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing Monday.

In a memo to staff on Monday, CEO Willy Walker blamed the cuts on economic uncertainty brought on by the Federal Reserve’s continually raising interest rates and the recent collapse of two regional banks, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank

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“We held on to our entire team entering 2023 thinking that commercial real estate transactions would recover once the Federal Reserve stopped raising rates,” Walker wrote. “Unfortunately, with the Fed still raising rates, and the market disruption caused by the recent bank failures, we simply don’t have visibility into when market activity will return to normal and must take action.”

The Maryland-based commercial real estate brokerage and lender plans to spend between $3 million and $4 million on severance in the second quarter of 2023, but expects the cuts to save $25 million in payroll this year, according to the SEC filing.

Walker wrote in the memo that the brokerage doesn’t plan to shutter its business lines impacted by a slowdown in the commercial real estate market.

“We could dramatically cut or exit businesses that the market is severely impacting today. We are not,” Walker wrote. “We have the financial wherewithal and confidence in our future growth to continue investing in these businesses.”

Walker & Dunlop join a handful of other brokerages that have trimmed staff or cut costs as office leasing and investment sales have slowed. CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield and JLL all announced plans to reduce their expenses, including layoffs, at the end of last year, The Real Deal reported.

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