Included in the raft of changes that accompanied the Riguardi announcement were the appointments of Robert Flippin as managing director; David Arena as chief strategy officer for global client services; Ed Riguardi
as leasing and management consultant; and Edward DiTolla, Michael Gerla, Craig Panzirer and Cynthia Wasserberger as senior vice presidents of leasing and management.
and crew then went about creating a downtown office, populated by Frank Cento, John Wheeler and Christopher Krantz.
...Mr. Riguardi, formerly vice chairman and principal of Colliers ABR, is unrattled.
tells me, the new direction of JLL will make its mark on the local real-estate industry.
: We want the individual -- all of the individual members of this office -- to become market leaders.And market leadership is determined by being immersed in this business.That's our first objective. GlobeSt.com
: How do you go about that? Riguardi: By being extremely active locally, by being a part of the Real Estate Board and other local organizations, by getting out in front of the building owner and tenants and helping them deal with the issues that face them.
Through these methodologies, we establish ourselves as a firm that's sought after, not only for transactional work but also for all sorts of advice and opinions. GlobeSt.com
: The implication, of course, is that JLL wasn't doing that sufficiently prior to your arrival. Riguardi
: I'm not telling any secrets when I say that I think that was one of the reasons they were attracted to me.They were looking for someone who could change that mindset. GlobeSt.com
: Of course, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs.How do you get everyone fired up about your vision? Riguardi
: To me, it's more a matter of pointing people in a different direction than it is breaking anything.The people we have are talented and knowledgeable, but we've directed their focus more locally and directed their energies to the more visible business with heavier competition. GlobeSt.com
: Business such as? Riguardi
: We have some of the bigger clients around.We represent Bank of America
in more than half of the country and outside the U.S.And we're helping them strategize some important issues here in New York.We continue to do work for Merrill Lynch
, and we recently did a major deal with Microsoft. [As GlobeSt.com reported on April 1, JLL represented the software maker in its 100,000-square-foot lease at 1290 Ave. of the Americas.Insignia/ESG spoke for Deutsche Bank
, which was assigning the lease.] We were also recently appointed downtown managing and leasing agent for DEGI [the German real-estate fund].In addition, we've grown our facility and property management by close to 20 million square feet since I started in September.
: There are some big differences.The JLL platform has a greater reach, more depth and a stronger group of clients.I think that was an attempt to move that firm more to be like our firm.But we're already our firm.We don't want to change that.We are trying to create a little more of a sales mindset, and we want to change the process approach to a strategy and negotiation approach.But we are a very successful, strong company.
: Everyone can claim integrated services, but here's the difference: We have depth in every sector, whether its project management, facilities management, property management, investment sales, hotels or transactions.We have people in every one of those businesses. GlobeSt.com
: Is actual demand for integrated services growing or is the real-estate community simply catching on to what's been out there for years? Riguardi
: The need for the integrated-service platform is increasing.Staffs in corporate real estate have been reduced dramatically over the years, forcing very senior people on those staffs to spend a great deal of time servicing the user groups within their organizations.More than ever, they need people who can implement strategies and handle all the things they need to do to keep their businesses running. GlobeSt.com
: You mentioned your depth of personnel.How many people do you have in New York?
: We have 250 people on staff at our New York headquarters. GlobeSt.com
: JLL made news lately with some massive layoffs.Yet you've made some significant hires.Balance the two for me. Riguardi
: The firm is publicly traded, and we obviously have a responsibility to our shareholders.There was a cut but, it was not a big cut in New York, maybe one or two.But our gains have been significant.
: Largely, it's occurred in the firms that offer the widest scope of services.If you look at the scorecard and see where the major names have ended up, they've landed either at JLL, C&W
or CB/Insignia.The smart players are saying, "I'm good at what I do but I might not be good enough to secure and control business."They recognize that they need a platform where they can offer services on more than just a local basis. GlobeSt.com
: You mentioned Insignia/ESG.What do you make of the merger and the trend toward consolidations in general?
: That's a testament to our platform.The renowned, ultimate transaction organization -- Insignia -- has seen the need to clap onto a firm that has a better, international platform of service.Insignia is formidable competition and will continue to be in the new situation.But such consolidations speak to what is the future, and the future looks a lot like our platform.
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