SEATTLE—Colliers International is bringing in Craig M. Robinsonto fill the newly created position of president for the US, effective April 7. He’ll report to Colliers’ CEO | Americas, Dylan Taylor, managing all aspects of day-to-day US business for the firm, including operations, strategic initiatives and business development. Robinson most recently has been president of corporate services at Cassidy Turley, and Taylor tells GlobeSt.com that this is one of the key growth areas that Robinson will foster.
“What’s unusual about Craig is that typically, people will come up through the ranks on the corporate user side or on the investor-client side,” says Taylor. “Craig has both in his background, and he was actually on the client side as well” when he managed more than $350 million in equity real estate investments for AIG Global Real Estate. “So he’s got a sense of the corporate user, he’s got a sense of the investor and he’s got a sense both from the service provider side and the client side. That’s a very unusual, and powerful, combination of experience.”
Colliers has had “great success“ with its corporate services platform—referred to as corporate solutions within the company—and Taylor says the firm is looking to Robinson to “help us take it to the next level.” Another key focus, says Taylor, is the firm’s recruitment efforts. “We have had a tremendous amount of success on our recruiting of key brokerage talent in the US; in fact, 2013 was our best ever in recruiting on the brokerage side, and Craig will have key responsibility for continuing that momentum,” he says.
The third area is growing Colliers’ operations in New York, “which is the most important market for future growth in the US business,” Taylor says. The firm had hired Joseph Harbert in 2012 as president of the Eastern region, and among the New York City-based Robinson’s priorities ‘will be helping us grow our tri-state operations in partnership with Joe.”
US operations account for about 60% of Colliers’ global business, says Taylor, and within that realm New York City is pre-eminent. “New York is the nexus of all our strategies in the US, and frankly globally as well,” he says. “Whether it’s on the capital markets side or the corporate services side, New York is the crossroads of all those strategies.”
It’s safe to say that Robinson is not being brought in as a Mr. Fix-It to reverse the fortunes of a flagging operation. “The US business is in excellent shape; it’s enjoying great momentum,” Robinson tells GlobeSt.com. “My job is simply to continue supporting the US leadership team with the tools and resources I think they need to continue this momentum and take it to the next level.”
He notes that Colliers is “the third largest real estate provider in the world and has already built this successful, full-service global platform. It has accomplished quite a bit in terms of local market leadership and preserving a very entrepreneurial, client-centric culture. But what I find really compelling is that the company has a very strong vision for where the industry is headed, and the willingness and capacity to make the long-term investments” to make sure Colliers is a preferred choice for clients.
At Cassidy Turley, Robinson was responsible for all corporate services business development, account operations and strategic planning. He also served on the executive committee of Cassidy Turley’s board of directors, with a focus on corporate M&A growth, capital and enterprise resource planning. He formerly served as managing director of strategy and consulting for CBRE‘s global corporate services platform, where he led the Northeast region.