This Is What Post-Merger Cushman & Wakefield Looks Like in DC
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Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ have officially merged into one behemoth real estate company, and in DC that means 246 people are now working under Mid-Atlantic and DC market lead Roberta Liss, former east region president at DTZ.
The merger became official Sept. 2, and since then the 246 employees in DC, 103 in Virginia and 16 in suburban Maryland have been getting rapidly acquainted, Roberta told Bisnow yesterday. “I think there’s been a lot of excitement about what has been identified and hashed out at this early stage,” she says. “It’s kind of remarkable when you understand how big this merger is and how meaningful it is.” She couldn’t say what the head count might be when the wrinkles of the merger are smoothed out, or when that could happen. Ultimately, C&W will have one Maryland, one Virginia and one DC office, but there are still seven offices—two each in MD and VA, and three in DC—the company uses right now.
Joe Stettinius will continue to serve as CEO of the Americas from DC for the new company (he had held that title with DTZ after it acquired Cassidy Turley, where he had been president). Above him on the corporate ladder are global CEO and chairman Brett White and global president Tod Lickerman. Between Joe and Roberta is Shawn Mobley, east region president. The roles of the managers under Roberta are still being decided. “Our whole leadership is being worked on within the company,” Roberta says. “The company will be keeping the best talent. There will be guiding principles for determination and a lot of study and commitment.” That process includes Cushman & Wakefield senior managing director Brian Dawson, who was C&W's top DC broker pre-merger. Brian has been in charge of office leasing at The Wharf, including signing the American Psychological Association as a 63k SF anchor tenant.
On Tuesday night, the combined teams gathered for a soirée at the official DC HQ, 2101 L St NW. “It was a great acknowledgement about how much mutual respect we have for each other and how comfortable we feel with each other,” Roberta says. “That, from a cultural perspective, is a key positive.” Roberta says the focus will now shift to their clients. There are new platforms available to groups from both companies, and their research and marketing are more robust. While both firms brokered deals for investors and occupiers alike, DTZ’s DC office had a strong property management arm and Cushman & Wakefield brings valuation and advisory services DTZ didn’t have. Moreover, C&W now has a presence in nearly every major market in the world. Considering half of real estate investors in DC in recent years are foreign (the national average is about 18%, C&W’s research shows), Roberta thinks that’s where the merger’s impact will be felt most inside (and outside) the Beltway.