DALLAS-Grubb & Ellis Co., amid market rumor that it’s on the block once again, has lost a leading investment sales team and one more broker to its competitors in unrelated moves. For one winner, Transwestern, it’s the first of two high-profile teams that will be put into place by mid-May.

Marking his 12th year at Grubb & Ellis, Thomas E. Clarke, and his two-year protégé, Lindsay A. Allen, have jumped to the Transwestern camp. “They courted us,” Clarke tells GlobeSt.com. “It was an opportune time and something we couldn’t refuse.” The former senior vice president is now a managing director while Allen becomes a senior associate. Meanwhile, Steve Wolff has held onto his senior associate’s title with the shift to Dallas-based Staubach Co.’s capital markets team after breaking into brokerage three years ago at Grubb & Ellis.

Transwestern has added eight brokers to date this year, driving the ranks to 60 in an office with roughly 225 employees. “Size doesn’t matter. It’s really about quality,” says Jack Eimer, president of the Houston-based Transwestern’s Central region. “I can’t tell you how excited we are to have Tom and Lindsay. We’re humbled given their reputation and what they’ve accomplished that they felt good in joining us.”

Personnel shifts are flying fast and furious once again in Dallas as brokers seize advantages that began with the Trammell Crow Co. and CB Richard Ellis merger, but have spread to practically all firms as they joust for veterans and rising stars to strengthen their footholds for the future from the inevitable fallout. Who’s come from where isn’t as important as which ship is gaining ground. “We’ve been blessed,” Eimer says. “We’ve gotten some great talent.” And, he says, stay tuned because another high-profile four-member team is headed his way.

Unlike the last flurry two years ago, Eimer says the Transwestern platform is larger and “more credible” locally and nationally. Executive leaders about four years ago vowed to grow the company. “We’ve implemented it very successfully,” he says, pointing out that the Dallas tenant advisory group has undergone the most significant change with this year’s hiring rally.

Eimer says he and Clarke have been talking “on and off” about four years. Clarke’s Grubb & Ellis run began when he merged his 17-year firm, Clarke & Co. Realtors, into the fold in 1995.

“This new energy is going to do great things for Tom and me,” says Allen, Grubb & Ellis 2006 rookie of the year companywide. “It’s a new energy and a completely different feel.”

Now, as before, Clarke and Allen will focus on infill land and single-tenant, net-leased sales in the Galleria, Uptown and Tollway submarkets. The team closed nearly $100 million in deals last year, with the top two being Showcase Chevrolet site in the Galleria and SBC Communications’ campus buy in Richardson.

Clarke and Allen are the highest profile loss since Moody Younger left last fall as managing director to join TCC and now CBRE. And, it’s the most significant team loss since Don Ostroff and Will Balthrope’s sudden exit in 2002 from Chicago-based Grubb & Ellis’ Dallas office to Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.

David Richards, the G&R’s new local leader as senior vice president and managing director, says the recent exits are just part of the natural progression arising from office changes and career ambitions. The partings were amicable on all sides of the street, he says. “I wish them the best of luck,” Richards says, adding that in Wolff’s case “it was a great opportunity for him.”

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