LOS ANGELES-Cushman & Wakefield has formed a new Southern California capital markets group, naming four of its top investment sales brokers as the core of the 22-member group, in a move that is a sign of changing times in the commercial real estate industry and changing expectations on the part of clients. Marc Renard, who has been named managing director of the group, tells GlobeSt.com that the new group is a response to “the tremendous amount of activity and the complexity of the transactions occurring in the market today.”

Thanks to the changing dynamics of the real estate capital markets today, Renard explains, investment sales brokerage teams must be able to provide “a comprehensive platform that draws upon many areas of expertise,” such as that created by the new Cushman & Wakefield team. In addition to 24-year industry veteran Renard, the other three senior members of the new group are executive vice president David Hasbrouck, executive director Richard Plummer and senior director Steve Algermissen.

Collectively, the four have completed more than $20 billion in sales, notes Tony Marano, Cushman & Wakefield’s chief executive officer for the Americas. Frank Liantonio, executive vice president of Cushman & Wakefield’s global capital markets group and head of US transaction services, adds that the move is in line with the firm’s overall approach in major markets across the nation to “put the absolute best team on each assignment.”

Renard tells GlobeSt.com that, based on the velocity of transactions in the marketplace today and the complexity of deals, operating as an individual broker or a two-person team “is not as effective a platform” as a team of senior people with varying degrees of expertise and a depth of resources to draw upon. He outlines a number of specific trends that have changed the way brokers need to operate to produce the best results for their clients.

For example, Renard points out, deals are bigger today and those deals typically have “many moving parts” that require a more sophisticated approach. “A $100-million transaction used to be very big, but now we’re involved in $500-million and $1-billion deals,” Renard says. Brokers are involved in complicated transactions like helping companies to take REITs private and other types of complex matters, he points out.

In addition, Renard explains, clients have different expectations today, often requiring much faster service than was historically the case. “Deals might historically have taken 60 days and a traditional due diligence period, but today, everything is condensed,” Renard says. By contrast, clients today often require either no due diligence or a seven-day due diligence period.

Clients are also asking for faster speed to market. “Investors once were OK with properties being on the market in two to three weeks,” Renard says, but clients today often want properties on the market within a week. He points out that clients also look to brokerage firms for a host of other services, such as financial analysis, geographic market intelligence, knowledge of the debt and equity markets, construction costs, replacement costs, entitlement, land use, zoning and auditing of operating expenses.

The upshot of these changes is that the commercial real estate world today is “a much more sophisticated market that moves much quicker than historically was ever the case,” Renard says. As a result, brokers today are being asked to do much more and to do it faster, he says, and the new Cushman & Wakefield group is designed to provide “a platform that will most effectively and efficiently add value for clients.”

Renard, who has sold in excess of 300 properties throughout the US since joining Cushman & Wakefield in 1983, has been recognized as Cushman & Wakefield’s top investment sales broker in the Western Region or in California nine of the past 11 years. In addition to his role as an office, industrial and retail broker, he has been instrumental in building the company’s multifamily brokerage operation since Cushman & Wakefield began a push in that direction about five years ago.

Hasbrouck has nearly 30 years of experience specializing in the analysis, disposition and acquisition of individual and portfolio properties for institutional investors, developers and corporate users. He has been recognized as Cushman & Wakefield’s top investment sales broker for the Western Region on eight occasions, is a two-time recipient of the firm’s National Deal of the Year Award and has been on the firms’ board of directors since 2000. Over the past five years, he has completed nearly $3.5 billion of institutional investment property sales including nine trophy office towers, 44 industrial projects and 20 major land sites.

Plummer is one of the firm’s national leaders managing the sale of trophy office buildings and a veteran of more than 20 years in the industry. In the past 36 months he has sold 25 major properties with an asset value of more than $2.1 billion.

Algermissen has more than 20 years of experience specializing in the sale of retail and commercial properties in Southern California. Since joining Cushman & Wakefield in 1991, his primary focus has been in the sale of major retail assets and suburban office properties. Throughout his career he has sold more than 40 retail properties totaling 6.9 million sf and valued in excess of $1.1 billion, plus 75 office buildings totaling more than 10 million sf with a value in excess of $1.4 billion.

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