Gene Spiegelman to lead Cushman’s North American retail

New position highlights increasing power of retail in brokerage firms
By Adam Pincus | December 09, 2014 11:28AM

Gene Spiegelman, a vice-chairman at Cushman & Wakefield and one of New York City’s top retail brokers, has been tapped to lead the firm’s North American Retail Services Group, the company said in a statement.

Spiegelman, who has been with Cushman for nearly 15 years, has completed some of the firm’s top deals in the local market, and has been named as a top retail producer for the firm in 2011, 2008, 2007, 2005 and  2004.

He will keep his client base but will be focusing more time on the management side, insiders said.

The move underscores the greater importance that retail holds in commercial services firms.

“Commercial real estate firms are viewing retail as more important in the scheme of their overall business,” said Paul Massey, CEO of Massey Knakal Realty Services. “The dollar velocity of transactions has dramatically increased over the past few years along with a very healthy retail [leasing] climate, so the absolute number of transactions has also increased.”

Cushman’s parent firm, the Italian public company Exor, reported last month that retail leasing revenue was up sharply globally in the first nine months of 2014, compared with the same period of 2013, boosting the service line’s relative importance.

While office leasing revenue was up 13 percent, retail leasing revenue was up nearly 30 percent, Exor reported.

Spiegelman will work alongside John Strachan, Global Head of Retail; Mark Burlton, Global Head of Cross Border Retail; Justin Taylor, head of Retail Services for Europe; and James Hawkey, head of Asia Retail Services, according to a statement from Cushman.

Spiegelman has twice won the sought-after Retail Deal of the Year awards given out each year by the Real Estate Board of New York. In 2008 he was on a team that won the “most creative” award for representing Gucci in a sublease to Diesel at 685 Fifth Avenue, and in 2001 he won for the “most significant” deal that year, when Crate & Barrel took 48,000 square feet at 611 Broadway in Soho.