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HOUSTON-Darrell Betts, who left Grubb & Ellis Co. in spring 2008 to take on the chief investment officer post with Thompson National Properties LLC, has switched roles once again. On April 2, the real estate veteran became executive director of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.’s Capital Markets Group in what he says was an amicable parting from his former employer.

“During the past year, to spend time with Tony (Thompson), one of the brightest minds in real estate, has been a great opportunity,” Betts tells GlobeSt.com. Ultimately, Betts missed the brokerage side of the business.

“The opportunity arose to come to Cushman & Wakefield, and I’ll look forward to working with Thompson National Properties in the future,” Betts says. “They’ll continue to be one of the most active buyers in the U.S. in the years to come.” Betts says that TNP’s acquisitions efforts, which he had overseen from a Houston office, will now be overseen from the company’s Irvine, CA headquarters.

Cushman & Wakefield of Texas’ executive vice president and co-managing director Scott Wegman says Bettman had approached him about a possible alliance. However, “that was only a matter of hours before we got to him,” Wegman says. “In short, we’re excited. Given Darrell’s background as a top-producing broker and chief of acquisitions, he has a key understanding of the needs of buyers and sellers.”

Betts will be working with C&W executive director David Chuoke and his team on preparing clients for a recovery he believes will begin by the end of 2009. Even with the slow economy, “we’re already closing on our first RFP, and will hopefully be announcing listings here in the near term,” Betts comments.

Wegman says Betts’ addition to the team will help galvanize the company’s path and goals. He explains that Betts, who had been at Cushman & Wakefield briefly in the early 1990s before joining Grubb & Ellis’ Houston office, was excited about the depth of Cushman & Wakefield’s platform, as well as the company’s brokers’ experience.

Betts acknowledges that he’s looking forward to working with Chuoke and that the company’s platform, especially with its international reach, appealed to him, especially as he’s looking ahead to a potential economic rebound in late 2010. “With that ahead of us, the chance to get in with one of the best international real estate companies was just too good to pass up,” he adds.

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