One day after its alliance with Newmark Group ended, Knight Frank has already locked in a new partner to expand its U.S. presence.
On Wednesday, the London-based real estate firm announced a strategic partnership with Cresa, a tenant-focused commercial real estate firm based in Washington, D.C. Combined, the two firms have over 16,000 people across 384 offices in 51 territories.
Knight Frank’s new deal will look different from its global partnership with Newmark, which officially ended this week. Cresa focuses solely on tenant representation, as opposed to Newmark, which also represents developers and landlords. As a result, Knight Frank is tapping a much smaller piece of the overall market than it did with Newmark.
As part of the partnership, William Beardmore-Gray, chairman-elect of Knight Frank, will sit on the Cresa board, while Tod Lickerman, Cresa’s CEO, will attend Knight Frank’s executive board meetings, according to a release.
Newmark and Knight Frank formed a partnership in 2006, with Newmark changing its name to Newmark Knight Frank. The company acquired British retail leasing firm Harper Dennis Hobbs late in 2019, then rebranded itself as simply Newmark Group in October of last year.
In an interview, Newmark CEO Barry Gosin told The Real Deal that Newmark and Knight Frank still have an “informal relationship,” but said it was necessary to end the official partnership in order for Newmark to expand without restrictions on mergers and acquisitions. He said the Knight Frank’s business generated less than 1 percent of Newmark’s annual revenue.
“It restricted our growth,” he said. “As a public company it’s our manifest destiny to grow and expand.”
Cresa and Knight Frank’s strategic partnership comes as other large commercial brokerages have formed their own international alliances in recent years, including Avison Young and UK-based GVA in 2019.