Aaron Appel leaves JLL to launch own firm

Appel will launch AKS Partners with three of his former JLL team members

Jonathan Schwartz and Aaron Appel
Jonathan Schwartz and Aaron Appel

After JLL’s acquisition of HFF, head of the brokerage’s debt arm Aaron Appel is leaving to start a firm with his colleagues.

Appel and JLL team members Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz and Adam Schwartz are launching a firm called AKS Capital Partners, according to Commercial Observer. It was reportedly a mutual departure based on differences in approach and style.

As The Real Deal reported in June, JLL was mulling the makeup of its debt team amid the $2 billion merger with HFF. The acquisition created the country’s largest debt and equity advisory firm.

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Appel’s team had arranged more than $40 billion for JLL over its roughly five years with the company, including $11 billion last year that included a $2.2 billion deal for 3 Hudson Boulevard from the Moinian Group.

Appel worked at Meridian Capital Group and CBRE prior to joining JLL. Rumors had been circulating this summer that he would get fired, but he told CO earlier this year that this was not the case.

“I’ve got a long-term contract,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.” [CO] – Eddie Small

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