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SEATTLE, WA-Last April, the Vancouver, B.C. based company of Colliers Macaulay Nicholls International announced it had appointed Douglas P. Frye as its new president and chief operating officer. Now four months into his tenure, Frye speaks with GlobeSt.com about choosing to headquarter himself in Seattle and operating the largest affiliate of Colliers International in today’s market.

Why the decision to operate out of Seattle? “We decided that a lot more of the growth will be in the United States (as opposed to Canada), and so it made sense to create more of a presence here from a corporate standpoint,” says Frye. “We started by looking up and down the (West) Coast and decided Seattle was perfect. It offers close proximity to Vancouver and also all the other things we were looking for in a major city—SeaTac Airport is great, the talent pool is wonderful, and the city itself is progressive yet manageable.” From a personal standpoint, Frye loves to sail and says Seattle’s waters are “gorgeous.”

Frye spent 13 of his previous 17 years at Grubb & Ellis where he last served as president of its financial services group. Having changed ships in a real estate downturn, GlobeSt.com asked Frye about doing business in today’s market and what course he’s set for CMN. “In this market, like everyone else in the industry, we’re focusing on operations—on each office and the company as a whole,” says Frye. “We’re tightening the operations side and improving our internal processes so we can build upon the efficiency and economies of scale inherent in a large corporation.” “Then,” he adds,” when we’re in a more robust market, we can grow our top line gross revenues. For now, we’ll pay more attention to working more efficiently.”

Frye draws parallels to large companies across all industries that are notching up their belts and looking to run on the lean and mean. “Read any of the publications like the Wall Street Journal or Fortune, and they’re all saying. ‘you have to be smart.’” Reflecting on the latest boon to go bust, he says, “We enjoyed an extremely wonderful run with the economy the last couple of years. Now it’s over, and we have to work with a lower revenue base.”

The CMN head says, however, this is far from the worst down cycle he’s been through. “Although there’s a slowdown in the market, there’s still quite a bit of activity and I’m optimistic about what we’ll see happening over the balance of this year and next. I expect to growth. We’re not in a defensive mode and expect to continue to look at opportunities to hire and grow the company.”

And, now that he’s at the helm, what course has Frye set for CMN? “We’re going to work on building stronger corporate services and financial services–building on what we already have,” he says.

Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Inc. is the largest affiliate of Colliers International, one of North America’s largest commercial real estate services organizations with offices in 35 North American cities, combined with international operations in 50 markets in 21 countries.

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