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DALLAS-One of Canada’s Top 4 brokerage houses has struck an exclusive alliance with Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co., replacing a relationship that fell by the wayside with the Insignia/ESG takeover by CB Richard Ellis Inc. The new cross-border alliance has been under negotiation for six months.

“This alliance serves the purpose of really anchoring our North American services platform,” Martin Peck, Trammell Crow’s senior managing director of brokerage services, tells GlobeSt.com of the long-term contract inked with JJ Barnicke, a Toronto-headquartered firm with offices in 20 Canadian cities and 400 employees. Peck says the partnering already has staffs on both sides of the border talking about new locations for their clients. “I am amazed and encouraged by the amount of communications,” he says. “We have a fun list of prospects.”

Peck says the Canadian firm’s founder, Joseph J. Barnicke, started interviewing US companies about six months ago to replace an Insignia contract destined to be set aside due to the CBRE merger. Barnicke’s call to Trammell Crow’s Dallas office dropped the hot prospect into Peck’s domain.

Peck says each side was under the magnifying glass for a month before talks turned serious. “Our commitments to doing things correctly became very apparent between us,” he says of the survey that probed the company culture as well as the portfolio.

Trammell Crow’s last strategic alliance was nearly three years ago with Savills in the United Kingdom plus it also has offices in Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. With the push north, Trammell Crow gains transaction capability to go along with a 160-employee office in Toronto that primarily focuses on facility management of 12 million sf in 16 cities for about a dozen corporate clients. With the push south, JJ Barnicke reconnects with a full-service firm for its clients with US operations and those seeking American locations.

“JJ Barnicke’s previous arrangements with international service suppliers had been related specifically to real estate transactions. The new thrust of real estate services around the world is now expanding dramatically, and real estate is being treated as an asset on the balance sheet rather than simply a necessary expense,” Barnicke says in a press release. “With this alliance, JJ Barnicke will be the only national Canadian commercial real estate brokerage firm with this full range of services to offer its clients.”

Peck says the two nations are surprisingly alike in terms of real estate regulations, fees and contract languages … and even its business portals. Peck says he was particularly interested in the energy-related profile similarities between Dallas and Houston versus Calgary and Edmonton as well as the Montreal-Toronto match to New York City’s financial stronghold.

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