Avison Young Head Of Florida Ousted In 'Cost Containment' Move
Avison Young has been without a Florida leader since late May after the international brokerage firm parted ways with its previous head of the Sunshine State and opted not to fill the role.
Randy Buddemeyer was let go as Avison Young’s managing director for the Florida region 17 months after being appointed to lead the firm’s operations in the state. The company cited “cost containment efforts” as the reason for his exit in an internal email from May 23, which was obtained by Bisnow.
The email, signed by then-U.S. President Juan Bueno, said the company was focused on “ensuring every dollar spent is effective.”
Buddemeyer was hired in January 2022 and was tasked with growing Avison Young’s market share in Florida, according to a press release issued at the time. He had previously served as the president of the property management services division at Newmark and the managing director for asset services and the practice leader for agency office leasing in Florida at CBRE.
It is unclear where Buddemeyer has moved to since his departure. He didn't respond to Bisnow’s request for comment and still lists his position at Avison Young on his LinkedIn profile.
“We’re grateful to Randy for his contributions to Avison Young and wish him the best in the next chapter of his career,” an Avison Young spokesperson wrote in an email to Bisnow. “Avison Young is well-positioned for success, with deep bench strength, knowledge and expertise among our leadership who are poised to take the firm to the next level.”
The spokesperson declined to answer questions about the firm's strategy in Florida moving forward.
Toronto-based Avison Young, which has offices in 17 countries, announced in November that it was planning $18.5M in budget cuts that would include staff downsizing to “navigate the current economy.”
Bueno wrote in the email to Avison Young staff that macroeconomic and geopolitical events in late 2022 and early 2023 in the commercial real estate industry had a “significant impact on revenue” that precipitated the cost-cutting measures leading to Buddemeyer’s departure. He directed Florida staff to work directly with the managing directors of each regional office as the brokerage determined “the future leadership structure of Florida to maximize reach and revenue.”
A review of job postings indicates that the firm isn't searching for a replacement.
Avison Young has six offices in Florida — Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Tampa, Orlando and Gainesville — and also maintains a presence in Jacksonville and Ocala.
Bueno wrote that Buddemeyer’s departure wasn't part of a broad-scale reduction of its workforce, but several national executives have also left the company this year.
A month after sending the memo, Bueno left his role as U.S. president and joined Cortland, a U.S. multifamily developer and investor, as president of operations. He was replaced at Avison Young by Harry Klaff, who had been president of clients since October 2020.
Former Chief Financial Officer Christine Battist left the company in April after serving as CFO since 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile. Avison Young’s website doesn't currently list a chief financial officer among its top leadership roles.
Several other commercial brokerage firms have also shed staff as leasing and sales slowed down in response to rising interest rates, difficulty securing capital and uncertainty around workers returning to offices.
CBRE was one of the first firms to announce cuts when it said in October that it would reduce costs by $400M, including $300M in permanent cuts mainly related to staff reduction. JLL has engaged in at least two rounds of layoffs since November, including an announcement in March that it would pursue $125M in cost savings this year. Cushman & Wakefield and Marcus & Millichap also reported headcount reductions in their fourth-quarter earnings reports.
Disclosure: Matt Wasielewski is a former Avison Young employee who left the firm before Buddemeyer was let go.