Patrick Murphy, a top office-leasing broker at CBRE and one of the biggest dealmakers in the city, has jumped ship for rival brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.
Murphy joined Cushman as an executive vice chairman following a 15-year run at CBRE, during which time he represented major clients like MetLife, the Swiss bank UBS and the tax-and-advisory firm KPMG.
“I’m interested in a new challenge,” he said. “I’m literally at the top of my game. Last year was one of my biggest years in the business. I could’ve stayed there until the end of my career.”
Murphy, who will turn 59 this year, said his son is heading off to college, and working for Cushman was a brass ring he had eyed throughout his career. He and his wife will be moving from their home on Long Island and are expecting to close soon on an apartment near Sutton Place.
“My basketball coaching days are over. I’m becoming an empty-nester,” he said. “I’m a high-energy guy. I’m definitely a workaholic.”
The move is a coup for Cushman, which ranks as the second-biggest firm in Manhattan when it comes to office leasing. Murphy is one of the top 10 leasing brokers in the city, according to an upcoming ranking in The Real Deal’s April issue.
“Since ‘81, Patrick has shown a phenomenal capacity to tackle complex projects and win new business from around the globe,” John Santora, Cushman’s president of the tri-state region, said.
While the investment-sales side of the business saw many bold-named brokers switch firms last year, the office leasing side has remained relatively quiet. Last year Cushman hired Mark Weiss, one of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s top producers.
In the world of broker poaching, firms often offer big financial incentives to lure top talent. Murphy said that, unlike the deal CBRE offered when it hired him from Insignia/ESG 15 years ago, a big financial incentive wasn’t the motivating factor.
“When I left to go to CB back in 2002, the stories were they paid me a giant amount of money to go – and back then that was true, because money meant a lot to me back then. It was a lot of money,” he said. “This is a completely different situation for me.”
A 36-year industry veteran, Murphy got his big break in 1991 when he went to work at the Edward S. Gordon company. After a few years as a consultant, he moved to the brokerage side of the business, and 1998 took over management of the New Jersey office as a player-coach.
He joined CBRE in 2002 – the year before the firm acquired Insignia/ESG – at a time when the brokerage was bringing on new talent that includes the company’s most recognizable names. That year CBRE hired Mary Ann Tighe, the company’s current CEO, as well as Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan, who left Cushman.
Murphy was recruited at CBRE by Brett White, the current CEO at Cushman, who had considered Murphy for the position of tri-state president when DTZ acquired the brokerage in 2015 for $2 billion.
Murphy said that this time around it was Santora, former tri-state president Ron Lo Russo’s replacement, who convinced him to join Cushman after the two first discussed the idea at a charity event they attended.
Murphy worked on a total of 1.2 million square feet worth or deals last year, including UBS’ 900,000-square-foot renewal at 1285 Avenue of the Americas and Bleacher Report’s 58,000-square-foot lease at 1633 Broadway.