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[IMGCAP(1)]NEW YORK CITY-Locally based Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman will expand its US platform into new markets in order to help meet increasing demand for access to debt and equity capital sources, the firm says. The company, formed after Cushman & Wakefield’s acquisition of a majority interest in Sonnenblick Goldman in 2007, is expanding its operations to Los Angeles and Atlanta this month. The firm’s current offices include New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Washington, DC.

[IMGCAP(2)]The two new offices are already under the Cushman & Wakefield banner, but will now include CWSG’s investment banking teams. The expansion into the Los Angeles and Atlanta markets “will allow the firm to more efficiently provide its debt and equity placement, as well as hotel sales services to clients in the respective regions,” according to a prepared statement.

According to Thomas MacManus, CEO and chairman of CWSG, “during these times of capital market uncertainty, investors are putting greater reliance on recapitalizations, refinancings, capital raising and joint venture structuring as well as loan sales and advisory services, in order to enhance their capital position.”

Dan MacDonnell, managing director, and Stephen O’Connor, director, will join the team at the Los Angeles office and will report to Western Regional head Rob Stiles. Both MacDonnell and O’Connor were previously based at the firm’s San Francisco office and will focus on real estate finance for all asset types in the Southern California region. Michael Ryan, executive director, will transfer to the Atlanta office from the firm’s Washington, DC office. Ryan will focus on debt and equity finance for all property types, though it is expected that there will be a high level of multi-family transactions since the Atlanta region is one of the firm’s strongest in apartment brokerage services.

CWSG has had a presence in both markets and recently placed more than $1 billion in debt and equity financing on Los Angeles’ west side alone—including the financings of the Beverly Hilton Hotel and Montage Hotel & Residences. In Atlanta, the firm has previously arranged capital transactions involving two office buildings in Roswell, GA on behalf of Rubicon Investments and the acquisition financing for AXA Advisors‘ headquarters in Alpharetta, GA.

“This expansion into these major markets further advances our strategic plan of integrating our real estate investment banking platform with the vast array of brokerage and advisory services of Cushman & Wakefield,” MacManus says. “In an increasingly challenging environment for real estate investors, this expansion will provide our clients with comprehensive solutions for their capital structure and investment needs while strengthening our competitive position in Los Angeles and Atlanta.”

CWSG ‘s president and principal Steven Kohn says that Atlanta is “a major growth market,” and is home to many major institutional and off-shore investors who have need for the services the company offers. Kohn further notes that being physically located in the market “will enhance our ability to deliver these services more efficiently.” In a similar vein, Western Regional head, Stiles, says that “Southern California has developed into such a strong market for CWSG that it now requires a direct presence on the ground to augment the servicing from our San Francisco base.”

CWSG has plans to place investment banking teams in additional markets throughout the US in the near future. The next regions the firm plans to focus on include Texas and South Florida with Denver and Phoenix also under consideration. A CWSG source did not return queries regarding specific expansion areas in Texas or South Florida by deadline.

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