Cushman & Wakefield heeds the maxim: "Buy land -- they aren't making any more." With more than 240 offices in about 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 EXOR, which is controlled by Italy's Agnelli family, which boast the largest holdings on the Italian exchange.
Then named IFIL, EXOR acquired a 71.5% stake in Cushman & Wakefield in 2007 from Rockefeller Group. Cushman & Wakefield management and employees retained the remaining 28.5% share. EXOR, one of the major investment holding companies in Europe, manages other investments beside Cushman & Wakefield that include Fiat, Sequana Capital, and others.
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.
Primarily US-centric, the company's business has expanded to Europe, Canada, Asia Pacific, Mexico, the Middle East and Africa, and South America. Worldwide its employees span more than 240 offices throughout nearly 60 countries.
Cushman & Wakefield has been growing its business at a time when fellow firms in the real estate industry are scaling back. It focuses 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
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.
The commercial real estate industry began to recover in 2010 and Cushman & Wakefield's performance improved. As the company cut costs and reduced debt, it also reported strong revenue growth across all service lines and world regions. That is compared to 2009 when sales fell more than 15% and the company reported a loss of $127 million. The bounce was attributed to pent up demand in the commercial real estate industry and an increased availability of capital. Cushman & Wakefield is banking on even more improvement in the future.
Cushman & Wakefield was founded in 1917 by J. Clydesdale Cushman and Bernard Wakefield.