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ORLANDO-New York-based Insignia/ESG Inc. is breaking into the fiercely competitive metro Orlando office market by hiring away two big hitters from the local office of Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. They are Jeffrey T. Morris and Jubeen F. Vaghefi. Terms of their contracts were not disclosed.

Morris will be managing director of Insignia’s new Downtown Orlando office in the SunTrust Center. Vaghefi and Morris will be part of the Capital Advisors Group, the firm’s investment sales and financing division. Both were senior directors with Cushman & Wakefield’s Tampa, FL office.

Russell Sampson, regional operations director, north Florida, says in a prepared state the company plans to grow its Orlando office as it has in Tampa. “We now have a presence in the important Orlando market,” he says.

The Morris-Vaghefi team has participated in 13 million sf of commercial real estate deals aggregately valued at $1 billion over the last 10 years in the North Florida marketplace. They have represented Lend Lease, the Archon Group, Northwestern Mutual Life and Lehman Brothers.

Morris has been ranked on the Central Florida Commercial Real Estate Society’s Top 10 Overall Producers list for the last four years. Vaghefi received the 2000 Top Investment Sales Award and Overall Top Producer Award from the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of Realtors in Tampa.

Morris-Vahefi also previously toiled for the Orlando office of Trammell Crow Co. and Pizzuti Realty Co.

Other new faces in Insignia’s Capital Advisors Group are Patricia Kollias, a financial analyst and Michelle Allen, a marketing and administration assistant.

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