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The Real Deal Los Angeles

NYC’s top I-sales team jumps ship to Cushman & Wakefield

Eastdil's Harmon, Spies were powerhouses at Eastdil Secured

October 06, 2016 02:00PM
By Mark Maurer, Adam Pincus and Will Parker

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From left: Douglas Harmon, Adam Spies, and Brett White

From left: Douglas Harmon, Adam Spies and Brett White

From the New York website: New York’s most successful investment sales brokers, Eastdil Secured’s Doug Harmon and Adam Spies, are jumping ship to Cushman & Wakefield, sources told The Real Deal.

Harmon and Spies, who joined Eastdil in 1993 and 1999 respectively, have topped TRD’s list of the city’s most successful investment sales brokers for years now. In 2015, Eastdil sold a record $22.7 billion in New York City properties, including the $5.3 billion sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village to Blackstone Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge. Their deals raked in what TRD estimated to be $65 million to $80 million in commission fees. In 2014, Eastdil Secured brokered nine out of the city’s 10 biggest investment sales.

Cushman, led by CEO Brett White, had been looking to form a large capital markets group. The firm has ranked a distant third when it comes to New York investment sales, doing an estimated $3.4 billion in deals in 2015, according to TRD’s ranking. That’s after acquiring Massey Knakal Realty Services for a reported $100 million at the end of 2014. In 2014, Massey Knakal did an estimated $3.8 billion in deals, while Cushman did just $875 million that year.

The Eastdil team was hired by an executive “at the highest level,” sources said, and senior executives at Cushman were informed of the hires last month. Along with Spies and Harmon, Kevin Donner is also moving over.

At Cushman, Harmon and Spies will both have the title of “Chairman, Capital Markets,” while Donner will be an Executive Managing Director.

The New York Post’s Lois Weiss first tweeted the news of Harmon’s move.

New York-based Eastdil Secured is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank. Unlike many other brokerages, the firm uses a salary-and-bonus structure prevalent within financial firms.

Sources said the brokers’ sudden exit is likely due to concerns over their compensation packages amid the recent fraudulent accounts scandal at Wells Fargo. Late last month, news broke that the bank’s employees opened 2 million unauthorized bank and credit card accounts. Wells Fargo fired over 5,000 employees in the wake of the scandal, and its stock has taken a pummeling.

Representatives for Eastdil could not be immediately reached.

For the past five years, TRD has ranked Harmon and Spies at the top of New York City commercial sales. In the past few years, the pair have put considerable distance between themselves and their nearest rivals, CBRE’s Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan.

So far this year, Harmon and company represented developers Chetrit Group and Clipper Equity in the $1.4 billion sale of the Sony Building and represented Coach in the sale of its equity stake at 10 Hudson Yards, a deal valued at nearly $1 billion, according to CoStar Group.

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