Is Cushman’s parent company to blame for Rufrano’s exit?

Glenn Rufrano
Glenn Rufrano

A sudden departure, like that of Glenn Rufrano last week from his post as CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, yields a lot of speculation. Though both Rufrano and Cushman have remained hush-hush about his exit, the Wall Street Journal reported that the answer for the move may lie in his relationship with the brokerage’s Italian parent company, Exor SpA.

It’s unlikely that Exor was unhappy with Rufrano’s work, the Journal said, but there may have been friction as Exor required Cushman to pay it dividends, rather than continuing its historical practice of investing funds back into the brokerage.

Though Cushman’s operating income increased to $79.1 million in 2012, up from $64.5 million in 2011, the brokerage lags behind rivals CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle, which have greater global operations, the Journal said.

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“In 2012, Cushman didn’t grow as quickly partly because of the greater global bandwidth of those two organizations,” William Marks of JMP Securities told the newspaper.

In the interim, Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano has taken over as acting CEO, as previously reported

“I would never say ‘I’m leaving’ and they would never say ‘Go,'” Rufrano told the Journal. “We both understood that there are different adventures in life that would work out.” [WSJ]Zachary Kussin