Cushman & Wakefield heeds the maxim: "Buy land -- they aren't making any more." With more than 250 offices in some 60 countries, it serves the real estate needs of corporations and financial institutions globally. It specializes in office, industrial, and retail real estate. In addition to property management and brokerage services, Cushman & Wakefield also provides research and analysis on markets, while also helping owners and investors optimize their portfolios and manage their supply chains. Worldwide, the company has more than $4 billion in assets under management. Cushman & Wakefield is owned by one of Europe's largest investment firms, EXOR, which is controlled by Italy's Agnelli family.
The Americas accounted for nearly three-quarters of Cushman & Wakefield's revenue in 2012, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa (20%), and Asia Pacific bringing in the rest. Historically US-centric, the New York-based company has expanded to Europe, Canada, Asia Pacific, Mexico, the Middle East and Africa, and South America.
Its Sonnenbeck-Goldman unit offers real estate investment banking and is part of the company's Global Capital Markets platform. The firm is the exclusive leasing and sales agent for some of the world's most notable buildings, including the $3.1 billion One World Trade Center in New York (inked in early 2011) and Heron Tower in London.
Despite weakness in Europe and other select markets, Cushman & Wakefield reported $2.05 billion in revenue in 2012, a 5% increase versus 2011 and the second-highest level in the firm's history. Net income increased $28 million to more than $43 million over the same period. The Americas outperformed other geographies with revenue up $21.2 million, or 11%. Indeed, the Americas contributed the majority of the firm's revenue in 2012.
Cushman & Wakefield has been growing its business at a time when fellow firms in the real estate industry are scaling back. The firm continues to grow its Specialty Practice Groups, including health care, data center, and legal sector advisory, as well as its financial consulting and business consulting groups. It's also focusing on markets in Europe (where it operates as Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker) and the Asia Pacific region, which has more easily bounced back from the global economic recession.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In June 2013 Cushman & Wakefield agreed to acquire the Singapore-based project management firm Project Solution Group (PSG) to strengthen its business in Asia and build its project management capabilities. Notable property purchases in 2013 include 30 Crown Place in The City of London, which the firm purchased in May in partnership with Samsung SRA Asset Management.
The company has extended its reach into Indonesia, Vietnam, and Australia with an eye on further expanding in the Philippines and Taiwan. In 2011 Cushman & Wakefield boosted its facilities management services business when it acquired full ownership of Corporate Occupier Solutions, the former joint venture with EC Harris that serves clients in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. In the Americas Cushman & Wakefield has made moves in Mexico and Brazil. Banking on the continued growth of warehousing and transportation industries in the region, the company purchased the outstanding shares of its Cushman & Wakefield Mexico partner. Cushman & Wakefield further boosted its US business with the mid-2012 acquisition of Cousins Properties' third-party client services operations in Atlanta and Dallas.
Italy's EXOR S.p.A. owns about 69% of Cushman & Wakefield. Then named IFIL, EXOR bought control of Cushman & Wakefield in 2007 from Rockefeller Group. Cushman & Wakefield management and employees retained the rest.
Cushman & Wakefield was founded in New York in 1917 by J. Clydesdale Cushman and Bernard Wakefield.