DALLAS-Two more of Dallas’ top names have changed affiliations as Hillwood and Cousins Properties Inc. create new positions for the high-level executives. A third leading exec will be deciding in the next couple of weeks if he stays in Dallas or heads to Atlanta, Miami or Manhattan.

Hillwood has opened up a senior vice presidency of office development for David Hicks, former executive vice president and managing director at Dallas’ Bradford Cos. The Cousins team has gotten Jack Minter as director of investments, working from the Las Colinas office but tasked with nationwide acquisitions, dispositions and joint venture opportunities for the Atlanta-based firm. Minter was Credit Suisse First Boston’s managing director for a Dallas investment sales team, which has gone from downsizing to shutdown in the last nine months.

John Alvarado, a CSFB director, is the only one left out of seven brokers hired two years ago to lead the investment sales initiative, but he too is job shopping. Alvarado tells GlobeSt.com that opportunity is knocking as a principal or a broker. And, it’s opportunity more so than just having a job that will drive his decision in the long run. “I’m thankful in this economic environment that we’re in to have these kind of opportunities,” he says of the decision that could take him out of Texas.

Minter emphasizes the CSFB decision to eliminate investment sales in Dallas wasn’t made hastily. For several months, it’s been just Minter and Alvarado. Finally, he says, “it was decided to call it a day,” relegating CSFB investment sales to Los Angeles and New York City. Minter stresses the cut takes aim only at investment sales, nipping speculation that the office’s real estate group also was stripped from the Dallas mix.

Aside from 20 years in the business, Minter’s good fortune to land the newly created job is due in part to his relationship with Cousins’ new president and CEO, Thomas Bell, who happens to be a Credit Suisse Group board member. The duo worked together early last year on a deal and now they’re on the same team. “It just kind of happened,” Minter explains, now into his fifth day on the job.

It’s a definite career change for Minter, who will no longer be a broker. “I am going in a different direction, but I will be using some of the same relationships,” he explains.

Hicks, president of the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors, starts Oct. 1 at Hillwood after spending the last 12 years at Dallas-based Bradford. “David made valuable contributions to the Bradford platform,” Kevin Santaularia, Bradford president and CEO, said. “We are excited for him in that he has identified a position with a patient entity in a difficult office environment where he can combine his desire to market office land and develop office buildings.”

Hicks, consistently a top producer, confides to GlobeSt.com that he and Hillwood have been talking since June. He will continue with his longtime assignment, the Dal Briar portfolio, which consists of the 570-acre Twin Creek Business Park in the suburb of Allen and 250-acre Turnpike Commons in the Richardson/Plano submarket.

While praising Bradford, Hicks says the future holds “tremendous opportunity to join a company with a vision for the next 10 years.” In his new role, he will oversee leasing for Hillwood’s Victory, a 70-acre, mixed-use plan sitting on fringe of the Dallas CBD; Circle T, the corporate campus and golf component for the 15,000-acre AllianceTexas consortium; and 50 acres of raw land along the east side of the Dallas North Tollway near the President George Bush Turnpike in Plano. Hicks as a single point of contact, says Hillwood chairman Ross Perot Jr., “will allow Hillwood to greatly accelerate its office development plans,” clearly a sign of what is to come.

For the past year, the Dallas-Fort Worth ranks have been changing with regularity, but it’s just been in recent months that the shifts have involved the uppermost levels as companies create new positions seemingly as a dowry. Minter says the changing corporate structures are aimed at being “more vertical…to make sure they have all the services” to meet marketplace demands.

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