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NEW YORK CITY-Farmington, CT-based United Technologies Corp. has tapped Grubb & Ellis/Knight Frank Global Services to handle a laundry list of its real estate needs throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. The exclusive, three-year agreement involves 1,500 locations and includes portfolio audit and strategic planning, lease administration, transaction management, acquisition and disposition.

“In the past we handled our real estate either on a region-by-region or country-by-country basis, as do most other major international businesses making and selling varied products throughout the world,” says UTC president Ron Zappile. “Advances in technology allowed us to consider centralizing the management of our real estate portfolio. The capability platform of services provided by the Grubb & Ellis/Knight Frank alliance has given us the action arm to recommend strategies and to execute our policy decisions.”

Grubb & Ellis has been working closely with United Technologies for several years. Earlier this year, it completed the sale of two South Korean office/industrial properties totaling 449,330 sf. According to Grubb president Barry Barovick, Grubb/Knight Frank approached UTC’s big-picture issues as well as suggesting market-by-market real estate initiatives the firm might take in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Spain.

“Our Global Service activity is presently underway for 27 separate United Technologies projects in 11 different countries,” notes Barovick. “We are dedicated to making this new process work for United Technologies and we are confident that the results will include improved control and decision-making, greater cost savings and more flexible and rapid action on behalf of the United Technologies Realty team,” he adds. “We won this assignment because of the combination of strong relationships, unique talents and great teamwork between Knight Frank and Grubb & Ellis,” Barovick states.

The Global Services team from Grubb & Ellis includes Craig Morris, president of Corporate Services Group: Gail Crowder, senior VP; Steve Smith, managing director of real property administration; Ray O’Keefe, executive VP and director, international operations; David Yi, VP; Cesar Ruiz, senior VP and from Knight Frank, partners Julian Pinner, Steve Mallen and Richard Sexton.

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