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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA-CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. has moved into the top slot as the country’s largest corporate services provider by adding its third specialty firm in the past year. The most recent takeover, Corporate Property Ltd., has grown into Greater Brisbane’s largest independent player in the field since its launch in 2001.

Corporate Property Ltd. is a 10-employee shop, which has its office in Downtown Brisbane at AMP Place 10 Eagle St., directly across the street from CBRE’s brokerage operation. Like the previous acquisitions in Australia and New Zealand, the just-bought shop will continue to operate in a separate office from its buyer’s local team to protect clients’ confidentiality needs and thwart any concerns about its ability to provide independent business solutions, according to Tom Southern, president and CEO of CBRE’s Australia and New Zealand operations.

“They will be independent, but leaning off the services we provide and the research,” Southern explains. Southern says CBRE Australia, which also includes offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, started to amass corporate services’ firms as an offshoot of CBRE’s merger with Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. It was no secret at the time that Los Angeles-based CBRE’s takeover interest was tied to its global corporate services’ strengths worldwide.

“We had no corporate representatives in Queensland that’s why it was so important to us,” Southern tells GlobeSt.com. “We have gone from being massively underrepresented in this space to being the market leader in less than 12 months.” Last year, CBRE bought GVA Grimley/Swale Hines, creating a 75-employee shop in the Pacific Region. It also bought Sunshine Coast-based Rafter & O’Hagan.

Southern says Corporate Property Ltd. was approached about the buyout although its 10-employee force is smaller than what CBRE typically chases. “It’s fairly small, but in terms of expertise and client base, it was still a material transaction for us,” he says.

Corporate Property Ltd., founded by Angus Harvey Ross, will be re-flagged to CBRE Global Corporate Services. “Our long-term relationships with existing clients will remain a primary focus,” Ross says in a press release in which he cited CBRE’s “broader client base, state-of-the-art systems and processes and world-class research” with underwriting the merger decision.

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