Lo Russo stepping down as head of Cushman in New York

John Santora, firm's former North American CEO, will replace him

Oct.October 27, 2016 03:07 PM

In a major shakeup at Cushman & Wakefield, Ron Lo Russo will step down as president of the brokerage’s New York tri-state region, The Real Deal has learned.

John Santora, the New York-based global chief operating officer and chief integration officer for Cushman, will replace Lo Russo in the role effective Dec. 1, a spokesperson for Cushman confirmed. Lo Russo will stay on at the firm and lead the firm’s agency/leasing practice in the tri-state region.

In a statement to TRD, Cushman’s global president Tod Lickerman said, “We are building on our momentum in New York with these leadership announcements and we’ll continue to build all of our core services in our firm’s largest market. John is an outstanding leader who will lead the charge overall in the market, and Ron will drive our leasing business growth.”

Lo Russo came to Cushman in 2013 from Vornado Realty Trust, where he was vice president of leasing.  He was brought in to manage brokerage operations in Cushman’s TRData LogoTINY nine regional offices in the Tri-state area. After DTZ’s $2 billion acquisition of Cushman last year, Lo Russo oversaw New York operations for the combined firm.

Santora joined Cushman in 1977, and has held multiple top executive positions at the firm. In 2010, he was named CEO of the 7,000-employee client solutions division and in 2014, became CEO of the 8,000-employee North America operation.

Lo Russo declined to comment, while Santora could not be reached.

The move is seen as a step down, at least in title, for both executives, and comes amid a series of high-level management and talent shuffle at the firm.

Cushman announced earlier this week it is also shuffling two key U.S. executives around. As of Nov. 1, Joe Stettinius, CEO of the Americas, will serve as CEO of Americas brokerage and capital markets. And Lickerman, global president, will serve as the CEO of the Americas. Both joined Cushman last year following the merger. (According to Cushman’s website, Lickerman, as global president, is No. 2 in the company hierarchy. Santora, as global COO, is No. 3.)

In August, John Busi, the firm’s global head of the valuation and advisory division, left for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. And this month, Nicola Heryet, a senior managing director at Cushman and former principal at DTZ, also left that month for Avison Young.

Earlier this year, Cushman picked up office leasing vets Mark Weiss from Newmark and Glen Isaacson from CBRE.  And the firm scored a huge coup last month by nabbing a five-person New York investment sales team led by Eastdil Secured’s Doug Harmon and Adam Spies.

Sources said the investment sales hires were part of a push for the privately-held global giant, which is led by Brett White, to launch an initial public offering in the next few years.

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