BOSTON-FHO Partners is quickly preparing to do battle in New England’s competitive marketplace–and possibly beyond. Re-born as an independent operation nearly 10 years after merging with Trammell Crow Co., FHO has already established a beachhead at International Place in the Hub’s Financial District, and yesterday announced the appointment of six more principals to the 40-person firm. Now, according to industry sources, FHO could be in line to secure a network affiliation, reportedly assembling with representatives of Colliers International.

“I know they have met–definitely,” one industry source claims of negotiations between the two entities. Based in Boston, Colliers has 241 offices in 54 countries, but is sans a branch in the city where it was founded in 1986. The vacuum occurred last year when long-time Boston partner Spaulding & Slye was bought out by Jones Lang LaSalle. FHO was formed after TCC was bought out by CB Richard Ellis, allowing a group to break off on its own.

Whether any talks between FHO and Colliers will lead to a union is uncertain, but one observer unaware of any discussions notes that Fallon Hines & O’Connor trumpeted the global reach of TCC when that firm joined forces in 1998. The $38 million-plus shelled out to Fallon Hines principals was clearly the bigger factor, but company officials cited TCC’s far-reaching resources as another attraction, allowing many brokers to break into fresh markets. In the view of the observer, “it’s tough to lose” the access and resources afforded an international platform.

Neither FHO nor Colliers appear ready to discuss the matter. A call to FHO was not returned by press deadline, while a Colliers spokeswoman would only accede the organization is eager to establish a local office again, calling Boston “a very important real estate market to us.” She would neither confirm nor deny interest in FHO.

“There have been a lot of rumors in the marketplace, but at this point, we don’t have anything to discuss,” the spokeswoman says. Previous reports have cited Meredith & Grew of Boston as one original target and other sources claim Richards Barry Joyce & Partners has also been on the radar screen. However, M&G is still a part of the Oncor International network and one source maintains that RBJ has opted out after mulling over the possibility. RBJ president Robert Richards declined to discuss the matter with

Regardless, FHO has named six former TCC colleagues as partners, bringing the number of partnerships to 14. The promotions were given to: Michael Dalton, Barbara Elia, Barry Hynes, Thomas Kent, Mark Mulvey and Jeanne Salvucci. Expanding the principal pool will ensure broad coverage in both the downtown and suburban leasing and investment sales markets, Fallon explains, as well as specialized areas such as life sciences, technology and the legal profession.

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