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Cushman & Wakefield Terminates Chairman Bob Knakal's Contract

Bob Knakal
JLL Chairman of New York Investment Sales Bob Knakal

Investment sales power broker Bob Knakal is no longer with Cushman & Wakefield.

“I can confirm that today Cushman & Wakefield terminated its relationship with Bob Knakal, effective immediately,” a company spokesperson told Bisnow. The reasons for the termination are not yet clear.

Knakal’s contract with C&W was due to expire next month, and the broker had been meeting with firms like JLL and Colliers, according to The Real Deal, which first reported the news. Knakal declined to comment.

Knakal and Paul Massey founded investment sales firm Massey Knakal Realty Services in 1988, and sold it to C&W for $100M in 2014. Knakal had served as the brokerage's chairman for New York investment sales since the sale.

Massey left C&W in April to start his own firm. James Nelson, who had also joined as part of the Massey Knakal acquisition, defected to Avison Young in January to set up its investment sales team.

Last week he told Bisnow that a cyclical market is "exactly the reason we sold Massey Knakal,” in discussing the news that brokerage Eastern Consolidated is closing shop.

“We had a $6M payroll at the time we sold the business. Expenses are high, and during the downturn in 2008 and 2009, we had to let go 25% of the staff,” he said. “It was a very emotional thing to sell our company after 26 years.”

He said there will always be a place for midsize brokerages, if the circumstances are right. Knakal specialized in middle-market investment sales — an average deal of $52M — and was one of the city's most prolific dealmakers. His next step will be closely watched by the city's brokerage community, especially as the ripple effects from Eastern Consolidated's abrupt closure continue to be felt.

CORRECTION, JUNE 28, 3:30 P.M. ETA previous version of this story misstated the average deal size Knakal typically brokered. This story has been updated.