Ex-Avison Young top broker Donna Abood jumps to Savills to co-lead Florida 

Her move marks the latest shakeup at CRE firms in the tri-county region

Top Broker Donna Abood Jumps From Avison Young to Savills
Savills' Donna Abood (Savills, Getty)

Top office broker Donna Abood split from Avison Young to take the reins as co-lead of Savills’ Florida business. 

Savills, a British real estate services firm with operations across the U.S., appointed Abood to help the company grow in the Sunshine State, including in recruitment and retention, visibility and revenue, according to a Savills news release. Her move comes amid continued shakeups at commercial real estate firms in South Florida. 

Abood, who also now is vice chairman at Savills, will lead the brokerage’s state operations along with Mike Griffin, who was just promoted to Florida co-lead from market leader for Savills’ Tampa Bay office. Abood oversees Savills operations from South Florida to Tampa Bay, and Griffin is in charge of regions from Tampa Bay northward, as well as Naples and Fort Myers, the release says. 

Top Broker Donna Abood Jumps From Avison Young to Savills
Savills’ Mike Griffin (Savills)

Former Avison Young brokers Peyton Dowd and Joseph Abood, who is Donna Abood’s brother, also joined Savills, as managing directors. Tom Capocefalo remains Savills’ market leader for its Miami office. 

Abood spent nearly a decade at Avison Young, where she was the firm’s first woman to serve as managing director and worked on multiple deals during the South Florida office leasing spree of the past four years. She represented Canadian asset management firm CI Financial, which first leased about 20,000 square feet at 830 Brickell in 2021 and then doubled its footprint at the 55-story office tower to roughly 40,000 square feet in 2022. 

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In 2022, Abood represented Sandals Resorts’ affiliate Unique Vacations in its 53,000-square-foot lease at the 5505 Waterford building, at 5505 Blue Lagoon Drive, in the Waterford Business District near Miami International Airport. 

Abood was with Colliers from 2002 to 2014, her LinkedIn shows. She joined Avison Young in 2014 when the brokerage acquired her firm Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, according to the release. 

As a whole, she has leased over 80 million square feet of office space on behalf of landlords and tenants, the release says. 

South Florida’s commercial real estate brokerages have hosted a game of musical chairs in recent months. 

In April, Toronto-based Avison Young appointed Lisa Jesmer as Florida market leader, filling a long vacant position. Jesmer remained company principal and national director for investor services development, a role she has held since joining the firm in 2022. 

Hialeah-based ViVO Real Estate acquired Doral-based Jacog Advisors and its six-member team in March. At the same time, former State Street Realty industrial broker Frank Trelles jumped to ViVO, as well. 

Foundry Commercial, based in Orlando, poached ex-CBRE broker David Bateman to lead the company’s recently launched investment sales, debt and financing, leasing and property management division in South Florida. 

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