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DALLAS-A Dallas “rainmaker,” who rose to the top as an original member of the Weitzman Group and its president for the last four years, is exiting the company to start one of his own, promising to unveil plans in a month for “a new and different” real estate company.

Steven A. Lieberman might be changing his letterhead, but his focus will remain retail. He’s not saying much right now about the new venture, but he promises, “it will be knowledge driven, client centered and very well sponsored … I am a team player and it won’t be the Steve Lieberman Co.”

Lieberman will spend the rest of this month finalizing his exit as president and head of the firm’s tenant representation group. The 42-year-old Lieberman started at Henry S. Miller Commercial in 1986, where he met Herbert D. Weitzman and left with him three years later to form the Weitzman Group. Lieberman consistently garners top producer awards, both inside and outside company walls.

“We’re sorry to see Steve go, but know that he will be able to utilize the skills he developed with us in the future,” Weitzman, chairman and CEO, says in a prepared statement. “Steve has been one of the key people behind our outstanding growth and a leader from the beginning. He has played a major role in our becoming one of the leading retail brokerage firms in the country. We wish him the best.” Weitzman has a history of maintaining ties with those who have left, which surely will be the case with Lieberman.

“It will be success under separate roofs,” Lieberman tells GlobeSt.com.”We built a great company together…it’s just time for me to take that to the next step.”

The departure was announced Tuesday to the Weitzman team although the upper echelon has been aware of the plan for some time. Lieberman, like others, says the timing is perfect to seize market opportunities to build real estate companies. “I needed to resign to be in a position to fully pursue those opportunities,” he says of the friendly parting. “The real story is the next one.” And the next headline won’t be until mid-September when he’s ready to go public with his plan.

Marshall Mills, Weitzman’s COO, says there’s no rush to name a successor given the firm’s seasoned tenant representatives and last year’s hiring of Bob Young as managing director of Dallas-Fort Worth brokerage. Mills says when the time comes “our first preference will be to look internally…He was one of the rainmakers, but we’ve still got rainmakers.”

Lieberman’s black book is branded with such leading national retailers’ names as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Garts Sports, Famous Footwear, Office Max and Zales Jewelers. He intends to employ the same approach with the same “leading edge delivery of services” that he’s spun for Weitzman: “You’re as good as your clients. And, the best team wins.

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