Cushman CEO on future of CRE brokerages, international real estate

April 05, 2012 02:15PM

Glenn Rufrano, CEO of Cushman & Wakefield

While many firms in commercial real estate have seen upheaval in recent months — BGC purchased Newmark Knight Frank and Grubb & Ellis, CBRE purchased part of ING — one firm has been notably calm, CoStar News reported: Cushman & Wakefield. Cushman CEO Glenn Rufrano sat down with CoStar and explained his strategy.

“Pricing is high in some people’s minds, with core pricing being as high as it has been over the last 12 months, coupled with the fact there is clearly more debt liquidity in the market today,” Rufrano said of the international investment climate for commercial real estate. “Some investors simply want higher returns — and they’re willing to take on more risk,” he told CoStar.

He projected investment sales activity in the U.S. would jump by 25 percent, from last year’s $235 billion deal volume.

On the matter of the recent changes at big commercial brokerages, Rufrano said they indicate a split in the brokerage world as companies become either global or niche brokerages. He cited CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle as global examples and Eastdil Secured and HFF for the niche category. “Both of these models seem to be working pretty well,” he said, but added that “anything in the middle — it’s very difficult to see how those businesses will have long-term success.” [CoStar News]