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CHICAGO-Anthony DiBiase has been elevated to the position of chief operating officer of US Equities Realty, after 15 years with the company. Most recently an executive director and SVP with the commercial real estate firm, DiBiase will now oversee all of its US and Latin American operations. A primary focus of his new role will be his work with US Equities’ executive committee on developing and implementing long-term business strategy.

“We think this is going to be a big year for US Equities,” DiBiase tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s a tough economy but we’re continuing to fight hard and we feel we’re in a pretty good position to service current and future clients. The entire market is very complicated right now, but luckily, we’re not a business were we have to make any drastic changes and because of that, we don’t have to redefine ourselves.”

DiBiase says US Equities has always maintained a fairly lean staffing level, and for that reason, the company has only had to lay off two employees as a result of the economy, in combination with other factors.

“We’re trying to mitigate the losing of jobs, and most of the changes we’ve needed to make, we’ve made already,” he says. “We hope not to lose any more jobs at all, but the economy will dictate that.”

No different than any other commercial real estate company, US Equities has seen a significant change in activity in recent months, but it’s not all been negative. “We’ve cut back the level of business we were expecting and development projects have slowed down a little bit,” he says. “However, on another front, another area of our business, asset management, has increased already since the beginning of the year.”

Since Jan. 1, US Equities has already been awarded two receivership assignments, where in the court appoints the firm to manage properties that have been taken over by a lender. DiBiase foresees more assignments of this nature coming to the company in the coming months.

“The bank doesn’t always have the expertise to manage the building, so that business usually increases in a time of economic downturn,” he says.

In fact, DiBiase says he sees opportunity in the challenging market. In his past experience in economic downturns, in 2001-2002 when he was working for the company in Latin America, the firm actually grew.

“In rough economies, companies often look to outsource things including real estate services,” he says. “We’re continuing to look for new business opportunities in this market, and this could end up being a good time for us.” Among other areas, DiBiase says US Equities hopes to expand its involvement in management, consulting and development of student housing.

DiBiase’s past experience includes work with Tanguay-Burke-Stratton as a senior property manager, and Farbman/Stein Management Company, where he started his career in real estate.

“Since joining U.S. Equities more than 15 years ago, Tony has demonstrated his leadership in virtually every facet of our business,” said Bob Wislow, US Equities chairman and CEO. “With Tony’s keen business acumen, commercial real estate expertise and understanding and appreciation of our firm’s client-focused, entrepreneurial drive, we’re confident in his ability to effectively help lead US Equities’ growth and operations across the US and Latin America.”

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