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BOSTON-As Richards Barry Joyce & Partners begins its seventh year in business, the commercial real estate services firm has added two new brokers, beefing up coverage in the central Route 128 and Cambridge markets. Former Jones Lang LaSalle VP Jay Nugent will focus on the suburban territory, while Eric Smith is joining the Cambridge team led by Steve Purpura and RBJ president Robert Richards.

“We’re excited about it,” Richards tells GlobeSt.com of the additions, which were announced along with several promotions. Among those moving up the RBJ ladder are Kristin Connelly to director of national accounts and Brian Connelly to associate vice president, while Chris McCauley was named VP and Brendan Carroll has been appointed VP of research. Renee Twerago is now VP of finance and administration, Robert Byrne was named an associate and Samantha Bullock is the new manager of information technology.

The two brokerage hires are a bit out of character for RBJ’s typical recruitment philosophy, says Richards, having generally favored prospects inexperienced in real estate because the company wants to train them for a system that eschews commissions as a way of encouraging teamwork. Not only is RBJ now among the top commercial real estate firms in the region based on square footage represented, it was also recently ranked as the leader in productivity per broker. “It’s a proven formula,” maintains Richards, and Nugent embraces the RBJ model after being at commission shops Grubb & Ellis and most recently Jones Lang LaSalle.

“There’s no question that their approach to the business is different than other firms and better for the client,” says Nugent, who watched as RBJ burst on the local scene in June 2001 after eight industry professionals from national firms joined Richards to take on heavyweights such as CBRE/New England, Cushman & Wakefield and the erstwhile Trammell Crow Co. “When you look at what they have accomplished, it’s amazing,” says Nugent. RBJ is prevalent in every Massachusetts market and today services clients both nationally and internationally, overcoming the unfortunate timing of starting just months before the US terrorist attacks and a subsequent economic slump still dogging New England.

Nugent and Smith have both impressed RBJ in the early stages of their careers, says Richards, with Smith coming over from CBRE/New England. “Jay and Eric each bring to RBJ a unique set of strengths that will help us advance our tenant and landlord clients’ business goals,” says Richards, praising the pair as “all-stars who will make an immediate impact on RBJ and, more importantly, our client partners.”

During his six-year career, Nugent has been involved in the leasing and disposition of more than four million sf of space, with clients including Comcast, MRO Software, GPC Biotech, ING Clarion, Normandy Real Estate and Saracen Properties. A graduate of Arizona State, Nugent has focused on the Waltham leasing market, and joins RBJ as a VP.

Smith’s tenure has been spent representing such firms as Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Boston Properties, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Gene Network Sciences. The University of Vermont graduate also worked on the international sales team for NOSC Corp. Smith joins the Cambridge operation as an AVP.

Besides the new players, Richards also commended the matriculation of the seven in-house staffers, promotions he said underscore their contributions to the company’s success. Carroll, for example, has produced research that not only helps tenants and landlords, but has earned national attention. Carroll, says Richards, “has done a great job for us and we wanted to recognize his performance.”

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