The Real Deal Los Angeles

Movers & Shakers: Watson Land Company names new CEO, HFF poaches industrial manager … & more

LaTerra and NGFK also announced new hires
By Cathaleen Chen | May 11, 2017 11:45AM

From left: William Leahy, Jeffrey Jennison, and Andrew Briner

Jeffrey Jennison, president of Watson Land Company, has been named the firm’s CEO following the retirement of Bruce Choate. Choate had served as CEO since 2003.

Jennison joined Watson in 2000 as the vice president of asset management and was eventually named chief operating officer. He’d began preparing for the transition to CEO since 2014.

Watson owns and operates 20 million square feet of industrial properties in Southern California and on the East Coast. As CEO, Jennison will focus on expansion efforts, continuing the firm’s acquisition of industrial properties and land, according to a statement from the company.

Meanwhile, LaTerra Development landed a new division president of construction: William Leahy joins the Los Angeles development firm from Picerne Group, where he directed multifamily construction as a senior vice president.

At LaTerra, Leahy will supervise the construction of all projects in Southern California and Nevada. At Picerne, he oversaw urban infill multifamily construction. Before that, he served for nine years as the senior vice president of construction at Wood Partners.

On the brokerage side, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler poached a new managing director of industrial investment sales from CBRE, the firm announced Wednesday. Andrew Briner will lead the industrial transactions team throughout Southern California and the West Coast.

At CBRE, Briner was a member of the institutional group, where he closed more than $24 billion in dispositions and recapitalizations in the past 11 years, according to HFF.

Finally, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank tapped Danny Williams as a managing director in the El Segundo office. He joins NGKF from Prologis, where he oversaw the company’s South Bay industrial properties.