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NORTHBROOK, IL-It’s an amicable parting, says Mark Rose, CEO of Grubb & Ellis, but a parting nonetheless. Grubb has revealed plans to sever its five-year alliance with London-based Knight Frank at the end of the year. Rose cites “gaps” in the service coverage beyond transactions that were inconsistent with the Grubb model.

But it does seem consistent with the Newmark model, and a statement from that New York City-based firm reveals that it will fill the void left by Grubb’s departure. In fact, with the new year, Newmark will become Newmark Knight Frank, president James D. Kuhn says in a statement.

The two firms will focus jointly on a global presence and establish a superior platform from which to service clients’ international requirements, the statement explained. A possible investment by Newmark in Knight Frank Asia Pacific is also a possibility. Joint revenues top $545 million.

For Grubb’s part, considering the alliance with a partner that has “some locations and some gaps, it became evident that we were going to have to do something different,” Rose tells GlobeSt.com. Knight Frank represented Grubb in Europe and Asia. A transition plan is being constructed to ensure continuity of services for Grubb clients.

“Look at where we’re going and how we want to grow the company over the next five years,” he continues. “We want to be in the middle of global capital-market flow and global corporate solutions. To do that, we need not only transactions, but also facilities management, project management and consulting,” all the services, Rose says, that US multinational clients are looking for. “We have to fill these gaps in certain places because, outside of transactions, these are not a Knight Frank forte.”

And it doesn’t seem likely that the London firm will change direction. An internal memo obtained by GlobeSt.com states that Knight Frank management “reviewed the way we manage large corporate real estate accounts and will be moving the model toward transaction management rather than full account service.” Knight Frank officials would not comment on the memo.

But what choices are left to Grubb as it builds that global platform? Rose explains that an agreement with some “best-in-class” provider will serve until the firm finalizes its five-year plan. There might even be a separate agreement to fill the bill in Asia, “where we’ve needed to invest heavily,” Rose states.

But once the five-year plan is in place, foreign coverage will be handled either by a tighter partnership with a foreign provider or the creation of wholly owned Grubb & Ellis offices, something Rose calls, “a distinct possibility.” A final decision might come before the end of the year.

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