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NEWPORT BEACH, CA-Ray Wirta, the former CEO of CB Richard Ellis who stepped down form that post in June of 2005 but remained on the company’s board, has returned to the Koll Co. as CEO. Wirta formerly spent 14 years with the Koll Co., including the last five years of his tenure there as president of the Newport Beach-based real estate acquisition, development and management firm. CBRE says that in his new position at Koll, Wirta remains a member of the CBRE board.

Koll Co. founder and managing principal Donald M. Koll said in a statement that Wirta will report directly to him and become part of the company’s executive management team, which also consists of Koll and managing principals Jerry Yahr and Bryan McGowan.Wirta has remained active in commercial real estate since stepping down from the CEO post at CBRE in 2005 when current CEO Brett White assumed the title. Wirta and partner Harold Hofer founded an online investment vehicle called Nexregen and also a Newport Beach-based investment firm called ROCA Real Estate Securities Fund to invest in REITs and other real estate-related investments.

The Koll Co., in partnership with the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho, owns more than 6.67 million square feet of existing multi-tenant, light industrial and suburban/garden office space in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado and Utah. The portfolio is managed by the Koll Co., which, in joint venture with institutional investors, has an additional 600,000 square feet of commercial space under development in Southern California and also is developing Hacienda, an oceanfront community of 239 full-ownership homes in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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