NEW YORK CITY-In what can only be described as a major coup, Avison Young has hired John Ryan III away from Jones Lang LaSalle. Ryan, who served for nearly 20 years at JLL, most recently as managing director, will start serving at Avison immediately under the title of principal.

Ryan is not replacing anyone, this is a new position, Avison Young’s Greg Kraut, principal, and managing director, New York, tells GlobeSt.com. “We are growing, and we’re looking for the top professionals within our verticals. Owners and occupiers are receptive to what we’re doing now, not just on a production level but on a people level.”

He expounded on some ways in which the firm wants to grow.  “We don’t have retail yet, and we don’t have industrial in New Jersey, but we will,” Kraut says. “There’s a need for another player besides CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, and JLL, and that’s us.”

And there’s no shortage of attributes Kraut says Ryan brings to the table—especially the negotiating one. “He can work with large occupiers as well as landlords. I think he’s one of the best landlord reps out there because he doesn’t try to spread himself too thin, he concentrates on each client and he goes the distance for them. Plus he’s process oriented, he comes from the LaSalle Properties methodology. He’s a diligent person and an unbelievable negotiator.”

For his part, Ryan was enticed by the prospect of getting into a firm on the ground floor, as well as Avison’s reputation and its recent track record. “Avison Young has created a great platform and strategy in New York and it’s a chance for me to start building something. When I started at JLL we had three or four people doing tenant representation and we grew it to what it is today. This is a chance for me to bring something to the next level.”

“In the last 90 days, Avison Young’s Arthur Mirante, principal and tri-state president, and Greg Kraut won theagency agreement for 1501 Broadway and Joe Moinian‘s development site [3 Hudson Blvd.] at the West Side Rail Yards; those are pretty significant wins. It’s a testament to how owners are looking at the company, it shows they’ve really helped educate people that there’s another firm out there.”

He continues, “There’s a renewed sense by owners and tenants that our firm is one that is really looking to create a bench looking to execute, and they’re willing to listen to the story.”

Of course, Ryan has an impressive track record of his own. “One of the things I’ve been able to do is large, complex deals, like the Bank of America transaction at One Bryant Park. I’ll never work on a deal as fun or as complicated on that. So I have experience in highly complex stuff and also landlord/tenant negotiations, like the recent UBS deal at 1285 Ave. of the Americas, where I represented the owners.”

JLL issued a brief comment on its loss. “John Ryan has been a valued employee of Jones Lang LaSalle for many years, and we have the utmost respect for him,” says Peter Riguardi, president, New York region, in a written statement. “We wish him luck in all his endeavors.”