Lo Russo to lead combined DTZ-Cushman office in NYC

Local DTZ head Peter Hennessy being eyed for national role

Peter Hennessy Ron Lo Russo Brett White
From left: Peter Hennessy, Ron Lo Russo and Brett White

Ron Lo Russo, the president of Cushman & Wakefield’s New York tri-state region, will remain the head of the office following DTZ’s $2 billion acquisition of Cushman, sources told The Real Deal. The image of continuity presented by leaving Lo Russo in charge masks the uncertainty that a deal of such magnitude creates for local brokers and employees, insiders said.

Brett White, DTZ’s CEO, made the announcement Monday at a meeting of several hundred Cushman employees at the New York Hilton Midtown shortly after the news was disclosed that DTZ had reached a firm agreement to acquire Cushman. The reported price is $2 billion. The combined firm will be known as Cushman & Wakefield.

The agreement came only five months after DTZ and Cassidy Turley merged, and DTZ said when the Cushman integration is complete, it will create a company with 43,000 employees and revenues of more than $5.5 billion. At the end of last year, Cushman acquired investment sales brokerage Massey Knakal Realty Services for a reported $100 million.

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The merger will shake up the leadership of the local DTZ office, which is under the control of Peter Hennessy. Hennessy, who had led the Cassidy Turley office in New York before the merger with DTZ, was chosen last year to run the combined office. But now he is being eyed for a national position in the combined Cushman-DTZ entity.

Insiders said the combination of three firms in just a few months is creating uncertainty for employees and brokers in New York City, as is natural in any large deal with big changes of leadership.

In addition, while the Cushman-DTZ deal is being finalized over the next several months, the companies need to remain as competitors, one insider said.

Cushman and DTZ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.