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Avison Young Hires JLL Researcher As First Chief Innovation Officer

John Sikaitis, then with JLL, speaking at a Bisnow event in D.C. in 2017.

A trio of D.C.-based researchers is leaving JLL to take on a larger role at a competing brokerage. 

Avison Young announced Thursday it hired John Sikaitis as principal and chief innovation officer, a newly created role that will place him on the firm's global executive committee. 

The firm also hired two of Sikaitis' JLL team members, Nick Guglietta and Carl Caputo, to serve as global practice leads in product development and data science, respectively. The team will continue to be based in D.C. but will work with Avison Young's clients around the globe to develop technological solutions to a variety of business challenges. 

During his 15 years at JLL, Sikaitis focused on market research, producing statistical reports for the firm in D.C. and nationally. The team will no longer produce research reports at Avison Young, he said, instead working on projects with the firm's clients. He said it is already beginning to work with a client in the United Kingdom on a large-scale data analytics project. 

"For our careers, we were really in this lane of research, but our lane of what we understood and believed we were experts on was way beyond that," Sikaitis tells Bisnow. "The thing that was most enticing here at Avison Young was they saw the enthusiasm and passion of us to really go in a completely different lane, and they had the confidence for us to lead that on a global level for the firm's clients."

Sikaitis said he was also drawn to Avison Young because it was creating a new role that would allow him to build a platform from scratch.

"It was the opportunity to go into a blank slate and be able to experiment with as many ideas and processes and products as possible for our clients," Sikaitis said. "There is so much potential that can come from an environment where you're just able to really experiment with any idea that you feel could be beneficial to the industry." 

Related Topics: JLL, Avison Young, John Sikaitis