Cresa Execs Promise Global Growth in 2015

June 9, 2015

BOSTON—Last week international brokerage firm Cresa announced some changes in its executive suite. The firm, which strictly represents tenants, is embarking on an expansion platform that will see it open eight new offices in Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand this spring. chatted with newly appointed CEO Richard RhodesMatthew Feeney, chairman, and COO Judi Hilton about the company’s goals moving forward as well as their thoughts on the health of the commercial real estate market. This is the first of a two-part series based on discussions with the Cresa executives. With the leadership changes is this the beginning of a new era for Cresa or do you plan on following the blueprint of those that came before you.

Rhodes: “We had a good blueprint and we have continued to grow both from a revenue perspective and from a personnel perspective, but I would say that the people at the table here agree that it is always a new era for us. Our platform itself is not groundbreaking but different and unique because we just represent the user. There is no one left on a global basis that does what we do. So for us everyday is new and different.”

Cresa CEO Richard Rhodes I understand you are looking to open eight offices in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand this spring. Is that correct?

Hilton: “That is correct. We are constantly working on it. We need to be in the markets where our clients need service so a lot of it is meeting the demands as they are coming up with our clients…” Can you provide more specifics on these office openings?

Hilton: “Coming up in the near future we will be announcing an office opening in Budapest. While I am not sure what the order will be, in New Zealand and Australia there will not be just one office in the country, it will be multiple offices in a region, so some of our relationships and some of the announcements we are making will be regional-based. Hong Kong (office opening) will be coming out shortly and we continue to work to solve China, which will be further down the road, but again multiple locations in one country.”

Matthew Feeney, Cresa chairman Do you have any planned new offices in the United States?

Rhodes: “Right now we are pursuing prospects in San Jose, Portland and Seattle. I would put those as our top three new initiatives for growth domestically.”

Hilton: “We also will be shortly announcing a new office in Tampa, which we internally launched in a soft launch that will be publicly announced I believe next week (week of June 8). The press release is going out next week but it is already active and open.” Cresa has stated that 2014 was the best revenue year in its history. Can you provide more specifics?

Feeney: Revenues increased by over 20% year-over-year. What contributed to this dramatic increase in revenue?

Feeney: There were a combination of things. We added an entire service line with our industrial practice, which accounted for a portion of that revenue. We are heavily focused on the industrial industry. We also have added people, and with people come additional revenue. (The company added 229 new hires in 2014). We are also seeing increased interest in being tenant-only and there is certainly an adoption of that philosophy going on in the world.

Cresa COO Judi Hilton

Rhodes: The fact that Cresa is planting Cresa-branded flags across the world is a testament to the momentum that our platform is gaining. The idea that you need to get objective advice on your commercial real estate, whether it is leasing or owning, third-party conflict-free from a landlord’s perspective is resonating both with clients and with recruits. So that 229 new hires, many of those were lateral recruits from our competitors. How many workers do you employ companywide?

Hilton: Right now we are just under the 1,000 mark. We will be breaking the 1,000 mark with some of these new offices.

Editor’s Note: The company currently operates more than 55 offices in the United States and Canada and another eight internationally.

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