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Avison Young Hires Transwestern Partner To Lead NYC Office

Avison Young has hired Rory Murphy as its new NYC market lead.

Avison Young has poached an executive from a rival to take the helm of its New York City operations.

The Toronto-based commercial real estate services firm named Rory Murphy a principal and its New York City market leader this week. Murphy had been a partner in Transwestern's NYC office but is now tasked with leading Avison Young's expansion efforts in the five boroughs.

“Rory’s energetic leadership style and collaborative approach align perfectly with the culture that Avison Young has built,” Avison Young U.S. President Harry Klaff said. “He is a proven leader who will be instrumental in driving growth in the New York City market.”

Murphy replaces Dorothy Alpert, the former Tri-State region head, who was hired in 2021. Alpert left at the end of 2023, an Avison Young spokesperson said.

Murphy, who starts Monday, was at Transwestern for nine years after starting his career with Cushman & Wakefield.

“There is a contagious energy for growth across the Avison Young executive team,” Murphy said in a statement. “I am both excited and humbled to be a partner to so many like-minded individuals, who see an incredible opportunity over the next 3-5 years in our industry.”

He represented City Year last year in its move to 180 Maiden Lane and found Signal AI a new U.S. headquarters at 440 Park Ave. in 2022.

“Rory was a great teammate in our New York office,” Transwestern East Region President Bruce Ford said in a statement. “We wish him well in his future endeavors, as we remain focused on serving our clients in New York City with our robust platform of commercial real estate services.”

Avison Young employs 115 people and 46 brokers in New York City, and it is looking to beef up its operations, which took a hit in 2022 when two of its biggest deal-makers, Mitti Liebersohn and Arthur Mirante, left for Savills.

The broker-owned firm was also ruled in default on $375M in corporate debt by ratings agency S&P Global in February after years of dwindling cash and having its debt reduced to junk status.

But shortly after that default, Avison Young reached a deal to reduce its debt by half for “a miniscule amount of equity,” CEO Mark Rose told Bisnow at the time.

He said the deal would allow the company to aggressively grow in preparation for a market turnaround.

“The next report you should be hearing from us is what we're investing in, who we're hiring and who we're buying,” Rose said.