BGC Partners CEO Howard Lutnick appeared on Bloomberg Television yesterday and shared his vision for the company’s commercial real estate business on the heels of recent acquisitions of Newmark Knight Frank and Grubb & Ellis (see video above).
Lutnick said his financial brokerage can thrive in the commercial property market because the biggest users of offices are the very financial services firms with which BGC already has an established relationship. “We figured we could buy companies, hire great brokers and use those relationships we have to grow our market share.”
Lutnick also said the firm plans to bring Wall Street-level analytics and information technology to the commercial real estate sector and provide it to clients in an effort to lure them back for future transactions.
Commercial insiders previously told The Real Deal that they expected BGC to use its newfound footing in the industry to introduce derivatives to clients. But in the interview, Lutnick emphasized the similarities between the sectors as a reason for the acquisition rather than the advent of a new business.
“The more we studied it the more the overlaps were there,” he said. “We figured with our technology infrastructure, plus our relationships with those financial service companies, plus the huge market and scale we do that this is an opportunity for us to scale out and do stocks, bonds and real estate. And so if you do those three together you really do have a great diversified business.”