The Real Deal New York

More Massey Knakal alumni leave Cushman for JLL

Bob Knakal was recently brought on to head up the firm’s investment sales team
By Rich Bockmann | September 21, 2018 04:46PM

From left: Will Suarez, Brock Emmetsberger, Clint Olsen, Guthrie Garvin, and 330 Madison Avenue (Credit: YouTube, Twitter, and Vornado)

JLL continues to poach former Massey Knakal dealmakers from Cushman & Wakefield.

More than half a dozen top brokers focused on Manhattan are leaving Cushman for the rival brokerage, multiple sources told The Real Deal. The moves come shortly after Bob Knakal joined the brokerage to head up investment sales.

All the brokers are Massey Knakal alumni and have spent years working with Knakal.

They include Guthrie Garvin and Tom Gammino, who focus on the Upper East Side, and Hall Oster and Paul Smadbeck, specialists on the Upper West Side. Brock Emmetsburger, Clint Olsen and Will Suarez, who specialize in Chelsea, Midtown East, and Lower Manhattan, respectively, are also joining JLL.

A spokesperson for Cushman & Wakefield, which ranked No. 1 on TRD‘s list of top investment-sales brokerages last year with $6.36 billion worth of deals, said the company is confident it can retain its market dominance without the departing brokers.

“Unfortunately, the business that was a good home for some of our producers when we were No. 4, is unable to accommodate those producers when we are No. 1.,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for JLL was not immediately available for comment. When reached Friday afternoon, Knakal would not discuss the brokers.

Olsen and Garvin had worked with Knakal on the $375 million sale of a portfolio of Upper East Side properties owned by the Elghanayan family in 2016. And Oster and Smadbeck teamed up with Knakal to sell a block of 70 sponsor units at the Apthorp building to Thor Equities and Imperial Companies for $112 million the same year.

The dealmakers join their colleagues in Brooklyn who are also making the move. Stephen Palmese, Brendan Maddigan, Winfield Clifford and a handful of other Cushman brokers are leaving for JLL, Crain’s reported.

JLL hired Knakal earlier this month to bolster its investment sales division after the industry veteran was fired from Cushman in June.

Knakal and his partner Paul Massey sold their eponymous firm to Cushman in 2015 for $100 million, but most of the brokers have since left.

Massey’s recruited a number of alumni for his new brokerage, B6 Real Estate Advisors.