First, London Next, the World
Avison Young CEO Mark Rose better have enough room for stamps in his passport. After yesterday's announcement that his company will open its first European office in London and the Thames Valley, he tells us that AY has its sight set on other locales abroad. (Also beware, Europeans like a lot of mayonnaise.)
AY's deal to acquire London-based commercial real estate services firm Haywards (which brings 20 new employees to AY) is only the first step in a methodical world expansion for the Toronto-based company, Mark tells us. Its next stops include Germany, France, and ultimately Asia, based on what its clients need, he says. (So if you were wondering what to get him as a gift, a travel pillow may be in order.) Mark's no stranger to London—he was chairman, CEO, and CFO of British Coal Corporation Pension Funds' US REIT in the early '90s, so this move's even more exciting for him, he says, since he knows the market well.
Its first deal outside North America actually happened last year, when it repped Hannover Leasing in its sale of the 192k SF, Class-A 30 Crown Place office tower in London (above) to Samsung SRA Asset Management. Mark says it helped lay a foundation for the Haywards deal by boosting AY's reputation in the market. Haywards partners Nick Cook, Tony Oxford, Iain Rackley, and Sarah Cook are now principals in AY.