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LOS ANGELES, CA-New York-based Newmark has hired 12 brokers from Julien J. Studley offices in Southern California as part of its California expansion.

Newmark President James Kuhn tells GlobeSt.com the Studley brokers will staff new offices in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties for the New York brokerage, which already has an office in Long Beach, Calif. and one in West Los Angeles.

Those going over to Newmark include Maury Gentile and Rick Merritt in the downtown office of Studley, Myron Galchutt in the Orange County office, and nine other brokers. Newmark already has five industrial brokers working in a Long Beach office and four office brokers working in West Los Angeles. Kuhn says Gentile, Merritt and Galchutt will be managing principals of Newmark.

The Studley brokers are one of the largest groups to be hired away at one time in quite some time in Los Angeles. For a time in the late 1990s, a number of firms lured brokers away from competitors, sometimes paying generous signing bonuses, but the wholesale departures abated with the slowing economy.

Kuhn tells GlobeSt.com that Newmark contemplated a larger expansion into Los Angeles at about the same time the brokers were switching sides in the late 1990s, but he says the New York firm was “sitting on the sidelines” in much the same way that a real estate investor sits it out in an overheated market.

Newmark is not paying signing bonuses to attract the Studley brokers, he says, but it is offering generous profit sharing and “a very autonomous” working environment.

The L.A. expansion is the latest in a series for Newmark, which expanded recently in San Francisco and Atlanta and now has offices in 17 U.S. cities. The company’s ultimate goal, however, is more modest than that of its fellow dominant New York firms, Insignia/ESG and Cushman & Wakefield.

“We don’t plan on being in 100 markets and 50 countries, just the dozen or so with more than 100 million sf, because if you are in those markets you cover close to 80% of the country and 70% of the corporate talent,” Kuhn told GlobeSt.com last month. “We won’t match their revenues but we will match them on profitability per broker.”

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