Cushman’s top sales brokers negotiating new contract

Doug Harmon and Adam Spies’ 5-year deal expires in October; talks said to center on commission split

New York /
Aug.August 06, 2021 01:30 PM
Cushman & Wakefield's Doug Harmon and Adam Spies (Cushman, Getty)

Cushman & Wakefield’s Doug Harmon and Adam Spies (Cushman, Getty)

Top commercial real estate brokers Doug Harmon and Adam Spies are working on a new contract with Cushman & Wakefield — negotiations that could impact how billions of dollars’ worth of real estate is traded.

Harmon and Spies’ current contract with Cushman expires in October, five years after the brokers decamped from their longtime home, Eastdil Secured, in the fall of 2016.

When the duo joined Cushman, they received a large signing bonus that’s been paid out over the five-year term of their contract. Sources familiar with the existing deal said the most significant points to be negotiated center around the star dealmakers’ split with the house, among other financial terms.

The outcome of the negotiations could significantly impact compensation not only for the biggest trophy dealmakers, but also for brokers further down the trough, who can point to the deal as a benchmark.

Harmon wrote in a statement that, after nearly five years, he and his team “feel like an integral part” of Cushman” and reiterated their commitment to the company.

“The global platform, the people, the culture and the strength of the brand are all valued and appreciated by us,” he wrote. “We’re in the process of building a unique, best-in-class capital markets business incorporating our market research, leasing expertise, tenant relationships and all that CW has to offer for our clients to take advantage of opportunities through this recovery.”

Harmon and Spies’ surprise exit five years ago from their longtime home at Eastdil shook up the investment sales landscape and brought to light the princely bonuses brokerages are willing to shell out to land a top sales team.

If the duo wants to test the market this time around, they will have fewer options to leverage. Their split from Eastdil turned acrimonious, so a reunion does not seem likely. Cushman’s biggest competitor, CBRE, already has a top team led by Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan.

Possible destinations include Newmark or JLL. The latter spent $1.8 billion two years ago to boost its capital markets presence by acquiring the sales and debt-placement specialty brokerage HFF. And while the deal has helped increase JLL’s share of the investment sales market, it still lags in a field that is dominated year after year by the competition between the Harmon and Spies team and CBRE’s Stacom and Shanahan.

After building up their platform at Cushman, Harmon and Spies transformed the brokerage into the top investment-sales firm in New York City for several years. During the pandemic, they shifted some of their focus away from New York, cutting deals in other cities and selling some nationwide portfolios. The brokers are said to be focused on building out a national practice now.

Last year, CBRE outperformed Cushman in New York City trophy sales above $100 million, racking up $3.13 billion in deals to Cushman’s $2.51 billion.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Len Texter (Cushman & Wakefield)
    Senior Cushman executive to depart
    Senior Cushman executive to depart
    (Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty Images)
    U.S. property value to fall 20% in likely recession, Cushman forecasts
    U.S. property value to fall 20% in likely recession, Cushman forecasts
    From left: Letitia James, Donald Trump and Brett White (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty Images)
    Cushman delivers 36K documents to AG in Trump probe
    Cushman delivers 36K documents to AG in Trump probe
    A photo illustration of 450 Park Avenue (left) and 8 Spruce Street (right) (Douglas Elliman, Reading Tom, CC BY 2.0 - via Wikimedia Commons, Getty Images)
    CRE investment sales hit $21B in first half of 2022: report
    CRE investment sales hit $21B in first half of 2022: report
    Mitti Liebersohn and Arthur Mirante
    Mirante, Liebersohn jump to Savills from Avison Young
    Mirante, Liebersohn jump to Savills from Avison Young
    From left: Letitia James, C&W's Brett White, and Donald Trump
    Cushman & Wakefield squirms out of Trump sanctions
    Cushman & Wakefield squirms out of Trump sanctions
    From left: Cushman & Wakefield executive chairman Brett White; Donald Trump (Getty Images, Cushman & Wakefield, iStock)
    Cushman held in contempt in Trump property probe
    Cushman held in contempt in Trump property probe
    From left: Cushman & Wakefield chairman Brett White and Newmark CEO Barry Gosin (Cushman & Wakefield, Newmark, iStock)
    Rumors fly regarding Cushman-Newmark merger: report
    Rumors fly regarding Cushman-Newmark merger: report
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...