Robert Futterman fired from RKF

Retail boss has reportedly been behaving erratically; firm is owned by Newmark Knight Frank
By Hiten Samtani and Rich Bockmann | May 29, 2019 12:53PM

Robert Futterman (Credit: RKF)

Robert Futterman (Credit: RKF)

Robert Futterman, the founder and chief executive of major retail brokerage RKF, was fired from his own firm, according to multiple reports.

“It’s sad; it’s a messy situation,” a source at Newmark Knight Frank, which acquired RKF  last year, told Commercial Observer. The New York Post reported that Futterman was showing signs of “erratic behavior” and cited police records showing that Futterman, 60, had been arrested in April in Texas for possession of marijuana and a controlled substance.

At a conference in Los Angeles after the incident, Futterman interrupted a presentation by Newmark chief executive Barry Gosin, the Post reported.

Futterman was prohibited by Newmark from going to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual retail expo in Las Vegas earlier this month due to his behavior, a source at the brokerage told The Real Deal. Michael Flood, the chief financial officer of RKF, has been in charge of running Newmark’s retail business since last month, according to a source. His profile is no longer on Newmark’s corporate site.

The decision is a dramatic fall from grace for one of the country’s most prominent and respected retail dealmakers, instrumental in finding space for international brands such as Apple, FedEx and Nordstrom. Prior to founding RKF in 1998, Futterman was the perennial top producer at retail brokerage Garrick-Aug Associates.

In The Real Deal’s most recent ranking of top Manhattan retail brokerages, RKF took first place, with over 820,000 square feet leased across more than 200 deals. In that same ranking, Newmark came third, with just over 450,000 square feet over 119 deals.

Newmark, which went public in December 2017, officially closed on its acquisition of RKF in September 2018. At the time, about 20 of RKF’s brokers left the firm, citing concerns such as a new corporate culture at a public company, lengthy employment contracts and a different commission structure, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Futterman had represented Whole Foods.