CHICAGO-The second broker team in about a month has left Equis Corp., based here, for Staubach Co.’s Chicago office. The beginning of this month, Gregg Raus, Mark Kolar, Tricia McNulty and Mark Prosperi joined Staubach. On March 1, Robert Leiding, George Kotrogiannis, Robin Stolberg and Kurt Sarbaugh also left Equis for Staubach.

The team led by Raus, who is a principal at Staubach, will focus on suburban accounts, particularly the O’Hare and Northwest submarkets which they have experience in, says Robert Hepding, chief operating officer for Staubach. The team led by Leiding and Kotrogiannis, both senior vice presidents with Staubach, will focus on national accounts. “In the end of 2006, we went through a detailed needs analysis in our annual strategic planning process,” Hepding says. “We identified areas of key focus for us for 2007 and both of those groups fit an identified need for us, and they are also great culture fits for our organization.” Future plans for the company are to focus on industrial and logistics, he says.

Although Staubach has hired eight former Equis employees within a month time span, it is not a reflection on Equis or Staubach, the companies say. “In our industry, it is overall in a state of flux based on some recent acquisitions. I do not think it is something that is specific to one firm or another,” says Hepding, who joined Staubach last year from CB Richard Ellis.

Chris Wood, senior vice president and managing director of Chicago operations for Equis, says there are “ebbs and flows” with the human resources at Equis just like other businesses. “There is a tremendous amount of competition in place right now for broker teams,” Wood says. “The timing of these two different teams going to Staubach is coincidental but we wish them the best. [They are] great guys. We wish they had decided to stay at Equis but certainly I understand that they want to do something different.”

The competition for broker teams is tied to consolidations in the industry such as the acquisition of Equis by United Group Ltd. and the acquisition of Trammell Crow Co. by CB Richard Ellis, Wood says. The acquisition of Equis by UGL has led to some changes in how Equis is operated. Equis “was really run and operated by one person” being Michael Silver, and the company “moved into much more of a democracy where decisions are made with a lot more due diligence,” Wood says. “We think that is sound business. Some people react like it is a different place and they look to alternatives as it relates to a career,” Wood says. The Chicago office of Equis still has 30 brokers and “we continue to win big business” such as the Clorox account and Agfa-Gevaert Group. “We will have some significant announcements of new talent in the next month or so,” he says.

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