SHANGHAI-The Curzon-GVA Worldwide partnership has been official for only three months, but GVA Worldwide is already able to quantify the benefits this link-up should deliver in both the immediate and long term. “It will add millions of dollars in additional fee revenue to our bottom line,” Michael Corbett, president of Chicago-based GVA Worldwide, tells “It is difficult to say how many millions exactly at this point, but I would be very surprised if, within a year or two, we would not be making an additional $5 million of revenue per year because of it.”

The partnership with Curzon Partners, a major player in China’s real estate property management and tenant rep leasing sector–now known as GVA Curzon Partners–brings to the table some 250 employees, 200 of which are brokers, in eight cities in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming and Nanjing. Its focus will be on value-added investment consulting and corporate work.

Curzon Partners has realized about a 20% plus year-on-year of cumulative growth over the last few years, British national Corbett says. In part this is due to its qualifications: most of the staff speaks excellent English and the firm has a strong track record in China, which can be rare in this emerging market economy. It serves major corporate accounts such as Coca Cola and Adidas China. As one example, it is now making final preparations for the leasing of a 200,000-sf prime office building in Shanghai, as previously reported.

GVA Curzon Partners’ growth, of course, is also attributable to the lure of the market itself and the growing realization by multinationals that real estate is as much of a driver to success there as is the core business. “The main source of business in China, in the real estate sector, will be from major corporations that want to be in the country or are already there,” Corbett says. “It is this corporate activity–as opposed to investment growth–at which we are pitching our energies.” He adds that eventually the firm will add investment sales to the mix in China.

This is GVA Worldwide’s first initiative of any significance into China. An earlier attempt did not work out well, due mainly to a work culture mismatch, Corbett says.

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