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C&W Broker Jumps To Avison Young After Massey Knakal Payday

Avison Young investment sales broker James Nelson
Investment sales broker James Nelson

Investment sales broker James Nelson has left Cushman & Wakefield for Avison Young.

Nelson was one of the partners of Massey Knakal who were the recipients of C&W's $100M acquisition of the brokerage house in 2014. Nelson's departure from C&W corresponds with him receiving the last of the funds from that sale, Commercial Observer reports.

Under a deal with Nelson and fellow Massey partners Stephen Palmese, Thomas Donovan and John Ciraulo, along with founders Paul Massey and Bob Knakal, Cushman & Wakefield paid 75% of the acquisition cost up front with the remaining 25% deferred for nine years. The former Massey crew could accelerate that timeline to three years if they worked for C&W until Dec. 31, according to CO.

With Nelson having completed his three years of service, he left in early January for Avison Young, which has New York City roots that do not go quite as deep as Cushman's — it is based in Toronto — but with fewer major brokers to compete against in-house. Cushman hired New York's top investment sales brokerage team, Douglas Harmon and Adam Spies, from Eastdil Secured in 2016, which has led to some personnel turnover in the department.

Nelson's move also prevents him having to relocate from 275 Madison Ave. to 1290 Sixth Ave. next month as a result of C&W's expansion of its New York headquarters.

Among the largest deals Nelson has brokered was Tishman Speyer's acquisition of land in the Hudson Yards district for its Spiral tower, now under construction.