Newmark poaches Eastdil Secured sales team

Brett Siegel, Evan Layne and Jean Celestin are switching firms

Brett Siegel, Jean Celestin, and Evan Layne with Newmark Knight Frank offices at 125 Park Avenue (Credit: LinkedIn and Google Maps)
Brett Siegel, Jean Celestin, and Evan Layne with Newmark Knight Frank offices at 125 Park Avenue (Credit: LinkedIn and Google Maps)

Newmark Knight Frank poached a team of young brokers from Eastdil Secured to lead its investment-sales group in New York City.

Brokers Brett Siegel, Evan Layne and Jean Celestin will join Newmark effective next week to head up its I-sales practice, sources told The Real Deal. The brokers resigned from Eastdil Tuesday.

A representative for Eastdil declined to comment and a Newmark spokesperson was not immediately available. The brokers either declined to comment or couldn’t be reached.

Sources had previously told TRD that the trio of young dealmakers made up the core of a bench of young talent that Eastdil leaned on when star dealmakers Doug Harmon and Adam Spies — the top-producing sales team in the city — left for Cushman & Wakefield three years ago. Siegel and Lane worked together on trophy office sales while Celestin focused on multifamily deals.

Siegel, for example, worked on assignments like ABC’s sale of its Upper West Side campus to Silverstein Properties for $1.2 billion and AEW Capital Management’s $180 million sale of its 360 Lexington office building to Savanna. And Layne, alongside Siegel, worked on Invesco Real Estate’s $203 million sale of 130 Prince Street in Soho this summer, as well as HNA Group’s sale of a stake in 245 Park Avenue last year to SL Green for nearly $150 million.

At Newmark, the brokers will oversee the firm’s investment sales group, which has grown over the past several years to grab marketshare in the city but trails behind some of its biggest competitors.

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The brokerage, which went public at the tail end of 2017, did $1.55 billion worth of sales in 2018, according to TRD’s most recent tally. That was good enough to place it sixth among the city’s top firms — behind Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE, Eastdil Secured, HFF (which last month was acquired by JLL) and Rosewood Realty Group.

The new brokers will oversee a group that includes legacy brokers like senior managing director David Noonan and Brian Ezratty and Ron Solarz, who joined Newmark last year amid the fallout from Eastern Consolidated’s closure to head up the firm’s new private client practice. Former Newmark sales broker David Colen also recently left the company to form a principal-venture focused on film studios on the West Coast.

The Seiegel-Layne-Celestin group will work side-by-side with Newmark’s mortgage-brokerage team led by Dustin Stolly and Jordan Roeschlaub, who have spent the past few years integrating the debt and sales sides of the business to bolster Newmark’s capital markets group. The firm had the city’s third-most active debt platform in 2017 with nearly $3.5 billion worth of deals — behind Meridian Capital Group and Eastdil Secured. The duo has done $22 billion in debt deals in last 18 months, according to Newmark.

Newmark last year also poached Eastdil’s key hotel-sales team of Larry Wolfe, Adam Etra, Mark Schoenholtz and Miles Spencer.

Eastdil, sources said, had been leaning on the young brokers that it considered the future of the company to continue its sales dominance in the wake of Harmon and Spies’ departure in 2016. But as company CEO Roy March negotiated a management-backed buyout with the asset management firm Guggenheim Investments and Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings from parent company Wells Fargo, Eastdil brought on more senior brokers.

The company hired Gary Phillips, the head of acquisitions for Allianz Real Estate of America, to oversee its New York City office and veteran broker Will Silverman from Hodges Ward Elliot.

Eastdil finalized the buyout in June in a deal that reportedly valued the firm at more than $400 million.