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NEW YORK CITY-Michael Ippolito has been appointed chairman of Newmark Knight Frank global corporate services, which has been revamped to reflect what Ippolito says is a “more client-centric” approach. The retooled platform has been up and running on a trial basis for about six months, Ippolito tells GlobeSt.com. “We pilot-tested it with our current accounts before we came out and announced it,” he says.

Servicing corporate accounts is not new to NKF; in common with virtually all the major real estate companies it has provided this platform for several years. “Through feedback from corporations, we were told their needs weren’t really being met by the industry and that we really need to get to the next generation of outsourcing,” Ippolito says.

Ten or 15 years ago, “you had Outsourcing 1.0, which was the lower-end functions,” says Ippolito. “About five years ago, they wanted to get more strategic advice from their outsource partner, and so you had 2.0. That was the focus: ‘how can you help us become smarter and better?’ That hasn’t happened at the level it should have. We really need to get to 3.0, which is a true partnership between the corporate client and the outsource partner so that the clients are getting the appropriate strategic advice, especially in this economy where there’s such a focus on reducing costs.” Such a partnership, he says, integrates the provider’s services globally.

“What we’ve done is to put together a global board, which I’m chairing, of the people who are focused on all aspects of corporate services,” Ippolito says. “So there are different disciplines represented on that board.” It enables NKF to focus on the corporate client’s requirements globally, whereas at other companies it’s a matter of filtering the services through the heads of different lines and different regions, “each with their own P&Ls,” he adds.

A teamwork approach to corporate services means the outsourcing provider “has a seat at the table” and works with the corporate client to devise strategy rather than making recommendations from outside. “If you don’t understand the business function and how to align that with the real estate function, it doesn’t work,” Ippolito says.

Following a “well received” test run with the new platform, NKF has been retained by Avaya, Inc., a leading telecommunications company occupying approximately eight million square feet globally, as its fully integrated outsourced partner, Ippolito says in a release. He has been with NKF since 1991, most recently as EVP and principal.

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