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Empire Builders


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Empire Builders
Former Grubb & Ellis CEO Mark Rose believes lots of global real estate companies lean toward a specific city: CBRE in Los Angeles,JLL in Chicago, and C&W in New York. So when the took the helm at Canadian full-service firm Avison Young, his strategy was to create a company with a non-city-specific culture.
Mark Rose, Michael McKiernan, Jim Solomon, Earl Webb
In the five quarters since the company opend its US offices in Chicago, it's grown to 110 American employees in multiple cities. Veterans like Mike McKiernan (former managing director of C&W in Chicago), Jim Solomon, who joined from his own company (he formerly worked at Trizec), and 30-year JLL veteran Earl Webb are heading up the flagship US office. Earl says each member of the team had been successful at a larger company and was looking to build something of his own. With 95% of the shares, every Avison Young partner owns stock in the company; they feel like they're answering to themselves instead of shareholders. About 80% of the company's profits are paid out in dividends to shareholders, and some of the profit is reinvested in technology. Avison Young's bloglaunches at the end of this month.
Earl Webb, Mark rose, Jim Solomon, Michael McKiernan
The company has opened US offices in Boston, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, LA, and San Fran, and has eyes on opening one in Dallas. They're striving to have 500 US employees, and gain a foothold in Europe by the end of 2011. With a strong presence inindustrial in the Chicago submarkets, thanks to Mike, and capital markets in the US, headed up by Jim, the team is looking to acquire or hire some tenant rep and CBD office experts to round out its Chicago presence.