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CHICAGO-UGL Equis, based here, has been hired to manage Zurich Financial Services’ portfolio of more than 400 locations, comprising 8.4 million sf, across North America. UGL Equis, a global corporate real estate firm, will oversee transaction management, brokerage, portfolio management and planning, project management and legal services and lease administrative services, including rent payment, for the insurance-based financial services provider. Zurich’s portfolio consists mostly of office space, with a small amount of warehouse facilities, which together represent 5.2 million sf of leased space as well as 3.2 million sf of properties the company owns.

The properties range from a few thousand sf to half a million sf, says Fred Waldman, an SVP in UGL’s Corporate Asset Management division. Waldman declined to disclose the amount his company will receive. “They wanted…to consolidate service offerings for consistency throughout their organization,” Waldman says. “They’re looking to gain efficiencies in expertise and productivity.”

Waldman says the primary objectives of UGL Equis’ in its work for Zurich will be to streamline the firm’s real estate operations, minimize its costs and increase space efficiency. “We have expertise in all the core areas, and focus on representing the tenants rather than representing the property owners,” Waldman says. “We’re extremely excited about working with a global organization with the capabilities of Zurich and adding our expertise to help assist them in meeting workplace, business and cost objective that they have in the coming years.”

Zurich was founded in 1872, and now employs 60,000 people in more than 170 countries. The firm is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. CB Richard Ellis will handle Zurich’s European properties. Zurich’s domestic goal is to continue its work as a commercial property-casualty insurance provider serving the global corporate, large corporate, middle market, specialties and programs sectors.

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