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Avison Young Taps Eastdil Secured's John Kevill To Run US Capital Markets

After years of brokering some of the biggest office sales in DC—including the history-making Evening Star sale in 2010—John Kevill has a new home: as principal and head of US capital markets for Avison Young.

Avison Young Managing Director of U.S. Capital Markets John Kevill

John spent nearly two decades at JLL before joining Eastdil Secured six years ago as managing director. Yesterday was his first day at Avison Young in its DC office, he tells Bisnow, which is where he was snapped above.

John says he's known CEO and chairman Mark Rose and US president Earl Webb for decades, which made the move a natural fit.

"What they’ve done around the country is like what they’ve done in DC. They’ve created a lot of energy; there’s a lot of talent here," he says. "There is tremendous esprit de corps around the country, and a significant component of that comes from the fact that senior people are owners of the company. They have, by definition, bought into the growth of the company."

Now John is, too. While Avison Young has been going through some explosive growth nationwide, most of it was focused on leasing and property management, John says, because the company didn't initially have the scale to play with the big boys in the investment sales space. Now they do. And John is going to be leading the efforts nationwide.

"I may be technically leading it, but it’s not just me," John clarifies. "Each office is very heavily invested in the growth of the capital markets business. It’s going to be a key element in the growth of the firm."

John Kevill, Dean Sands and Brad Allen, photographed in 2014 while at Eastdil Secured.

John, snapped a couple of years ago with former colleagues Dean Sands and Brad Allen, has been a titan in the DC investment sales market for years. In 2014, he brokered the sale of 555 12th St NW to MetLife and Norges Bank for $496.5M, or $635/SF, still one of the largest sums of money ever paid for a single building in DC.

John has executed more than $25B in transactions over his career. He was named a DC Power Broker last year by CoStar and has led or co-led the top-ranked office brokerage team in metro DC since 2012, according to Real Estate Alert.

John says he's excited to work with Avison Young's DC capital markets team, which includes principal Chip Ryan, and help create a culture of excellence in DC, maximizing profits for their clients.


“John is one of the best investment sales professionals in the business, having earned a stellar reputation in the nation’s capital and across the country,” Mark says in the hiring announcement. “He is the ideal fit for this critical US capital markets leadership role."

Capital markets is a natural place for the expansion Mark has been aggressively pushing. Earlier this year, at Avison Young's annual meeting in Manhattan, Mark told employees, "This room three years from now will be three times its size. I promise you.”

Since 2008 when Mark took over, the company has grown from 290 employees to more than 2,200. He expects the firm to keep growing organically and through acquisitions.

“We’re going to be buying company after company,” he said. “We’re going to grow 40% again this year, with or without velocity being the same.”

John was less outwardly ambitious on the phone today about the DC office's growth plans, but it's clear he plans to add to the half-dozen or so professionals on his team. 

"We'll strategically add people, how many I don’t know," he says. "These are very good people here, I think we’ll add to that. From a capital markets standpoint, we want to be able to service our clients in a very high-touch way. That takes a small, focused team with a diverse skill set."