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SAN FRANCISCO-Jones Lang LaSalle continues to expand its Bay Area presence. A few months after announcing plans to open an office in San Jose, the Chicago-based company says it has added two key players to its local Capital Markets Group.

Dave Christensen, most recently a vice president and regional manager with Fremont Investment & Loan, is now executive vice president of the San Francisco Capital Markets Group. In addition, JLL vice president Rob Hielscher has shifted to the San Francisco Capital Markets Group from its Chicago Capital Markets Group, one of JLL’s strongest capital markets groups.

Christensen and Hielscher join David Doupe, Larry Krasner and Michel Seifer in growing the West Coast Capital Markets business. Christensen will lead the firm’s West Coast Real Estate Investment Banking unit in San Francisco unit and will focus on raising equity and debt for the commercial and the hospitality sector. Hielscher will support Christensen and Seifer in growing the investment sales business in the local market.

“[Christensen] will be responsible for launching the West Coast expansion of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Real Estate Investment Banking franchise,” says JLL Capital Markets managing director Bart Steinfeld. “We will be building a team around Dave to service the extensive financing needs of our West Coast clients.”

In July, Erich Sengelmann, a co-leader of JLL’s Northern California operation, told GlobeSt.com that JLL is heightening its presence in the Bay Area as the market continues to rebound. One of the biggest parts of the plan is to open a new corporate office in the Silicon Valley in the very near future.

“We are negotiating an office lease right now and will be recruiting some very seasoned professionals, particularly on the brokerage services side of the business,” Sengelmann said. A company source this week tells GlobeSt.com that JLL also plans to further expand its Capital Markets Group. “We will be adding to the team over the coming months,” says the source.

The personnel expansion follows significant growth in the firm’s local business over the past year, growth it wants to see continue. Up from 20 million sf 12 months ago, the firm now leases and/or manages about 30.5 million sf. Its clientele includes Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Solectron, VeriSign, Synopsys and Kaiser Permanente, of which the latter two have been picked up in the past year. To boot, JLL was recently named one of the best places to work in San Francisco and, nationally speaking, was the only real estate services firm in the recently released Forbes 400.

“We’ve got great momentum and very ambitious plans,” said Sengelmann, who along with fellow co-leader David Churton were recently named International Directors–a title reserved for the firm’s top talent companywide.

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