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DALLAS-Faced with a senior vice president’s exit, Transwestern Dallas has backfilled the slot to create a new multifamily team for investment sales. The shift has swung into motion this week.

Bob Helterbran, former vice president and head of Grubb & Ellis Co.’s multifamily team in Dallas, will replace Armand Charbonneau, a senior vice president who is ending an 18-year commercial real estate career to solo in the real estate securities arena as Mount Sherman Capital. Helterbran, starting out as senior vice president, will team with Charbonneau’s eight-year partner, Mark Freeman.

Charbonneau and Freeman, both former Fairfield Residential LP executives, are marking their fourth year at Transwestern. “I’ve had a wonderful run at Transwestern,” Charbonneau says. “One of the reasons I’m able to do this is Transwestern has been good for us and we’ve been good for Transwestern.”

Helterbran joined Grubb & Ellis in August 2005, building a four-member team that has completed nine sales totaling $70 million in the past year and is waiting to clear one big-ticket deal from the pipeline. Coming with Helterbran will be associate Philip Wiegand. Grubb & Ellis’ David Richards did not return a telephone call by press time to comment on the exits.

“Dave Richards is a good manager. I made the switch to be a partner with Mark Freeman. I perceive him to be the top multifamily broker in the city,” Helterbran stresses to GlobeSt.com. “It was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

Helterbran has been involved in more than $600 million of property sales during his 30 years in the business. In his first year at Grubb & Ellis, he made it into its circle of excellence, an internal accolade for top achievers. “It was a very good platform for me,” he adds.

Transwestern’s four-member multifamily team, which includes junior broker Taylor Snoddy, is part of a nationwide corporate initiative aimed at bolstering multifamily business. Charbonneau and Freeman have been company leaders on that front. In the past three years, they have closed 31 sales, totaling $256 million in three years.

“It was a wonderful partnership,” Freeman says. “I’m happy for him, but I’m sad to see him move on to something else. And, I am happy to have Bob joining. We plan to take the multifamily platform at Transwestern to the next level.” In other words, he says they will focus on beefing up the “for sale” roster with more class A and class B listings.

During his career, Charbonneau has racked up more than $1.2 billion of multifamily asset sales. While at Fairfield Residential’s Arlington, TX home office, he established the investor relations department and oversaw several apartment developments. His career included acquisitions for more than 7,500 units in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Utah and Nevada for pension fund clients of advisers, Lowe Enterprises of Los Angeles and Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co.

Jack Eimer, president of Transwestern’s central region, says Charbonneau put the office on notice several months ago that he was going to leave. Since then, Eimer has been quietly meeting with multifamily pros in the market to find the right match for the platform and Freeman. “We feel so fortunate we were able to identify and bring on board one of the strongest multifamily sales brokers in the market,” he says, citing the importance to build in time for the transition. “Armand has been a phenomenal asset to Transwestern, a good friend and a good partner.”

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