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CHICAGO-William Barrett has been hired to lead Jones Lang LaSalle’s new Bio/Pharmaceutical practice. Barrett will be an EVP of the firm’s Corporate Solutions Group. The company “viewed the pharmaceutical industry as an industry that was undergoing a lot of pressure to reduce costs, optimize and to become more efficient and (the firm) really wanted to develop a practice focused around that,” he says. Barrett had previously been the VP of operations for the Americas for the drug maker Pfizer.

The newly-formed group plans to assist pharmaceutical and related firms with facility management services and to assist the firms with their real estate strategies. The company will also manage some of the capital projects for Pfizer and other companies, such as replacing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, Barrett says. The new practice expects to reduce operational costs for companies and be able to improve the quality of service at the company’s research and development facilities. “One of the things that we are trying to so is look for ways to increase productivity,” Barrett says. The firm will see if things the pharmaceutical company’s staff is doing could be done more efficiently by JLL’s staff, or be outsourced to a different company, such as materials management and logistics, he says.

Barrett has more than 20 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he says. He actually began his career as a chemist at Baxter. “I started in the lab as a developmental chemist on the bench,” he says. Prior to his position as vice president of operations for Pfizer, he had oversaw Pfizer’s US research and development operations, led research and development at Pharmacia and directed several pharmaceutical and consumer manufacturing operations for Searle. Barrett had been responsible for all of Pfizer’s research and development sites.

Last month, Pfizer hired JLL to manage the company’s research and development facilities and commercial office facilities in the US and the United Kingdom. Pfizer has 2.7 million sf of office in New York City, where it has its headquarters, and also has research and development facilities in Sandwich, England; Groton, CT; St. Louis and La Jolla, CA. The portfolio contains a total of 14.1 million sf, Barrett says. Pfizer hired the firm to provide integrated facility management, energy management, property improvements and workplace services. Another client of the new practice is Novartis, which has a one-million-sf, worldwide headquarters in Cambridge, MA.

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