DTZ gives pink slips, plans move to Cassidy Turley office

Brokerage to sublet Time-Life space

Less than three weeks after an affiliate of DTZ Investment Holdings acquired Cassidy Turley, the London-based commercial firm is slimming down its work force. DTZ laid off 45 employees nationwide Friday, including as many as nine brokers in New York, The Real Deal has learned.

The “vast majority” of the New York staffers laid off were from DTZ, not from Cassidy Turley, sources said.

A spokesperson for DTZ declined to comment about the staff reductions, or identify employees affected. But a source close to the situation said the layoffs were not a cost-cutting measure.

On Dec. 31, DTZ closed on the purchase of Cassidy Turley for $557 million, according to sources. The combined brokerage firm has more than 28,000 employees globally and revenues of approximately $2.9 billion, according to DTZ.

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Robert Brennan, a 30-year industry veteran who served as executive vice president at DTZ, was among the high-level brokers in New York to receive a pink slip. Brennan did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

A top commercial real estate executive who has been involved in multiple mergers – and who does not work at DTZ – said managers typically use mergers as an opportunity to remove people who are not covering their desk costs.

In the next six weeks, the two companies will consolidate at the Cassidy Turley office at 277 Park Avenue, near East 48th Street. About 200 people will work out of the 47,000-square-foot office, Peter Hennessy, president of the New York tri-state region at DTZ, told TRD.

Meanwhile, the firm will begin marketing its 23,400-square-foot office space at the Rockefeller Group’s Time-Life Building at 1271 Sixth Avenue for sublease, Hennessy said. A team led by Chris Helgesen, Chris Sterling and Dirk Hrosby is tasked with finding a sublessee. DTZ’s lease for part of the 43rd floor at the Time-Life Building is set to expire in 2017, he said.

Adam Pincus contributed reporting.

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