DTZ switch to Cushman sows market confusion

The marriage of two large real estate firms and the name change prompted by the merger has caused some confusion in the market.

DTZ completed its $2 billion takeover of Cushman & Wakefield earlier this month, creating one of the world’s largest real estate services companies, with $5 billion in revenue, 43,000 employees and more than 4.3 billion square feet under management.

The new firm took on the more recognizable Cushman & Wakefield name. For the local office that was DTZ, and Cassidy Turley before that, it’s the second name change in the past year.

“I’m sure it creates a little bit of confusion,” said Jeff Henry, managing partner of the local Cushman office. “But with all the consolidation that has gone on, we are still strongly committed to Indianapolis.”

jeff_henry_mug Jeff Henry

Locally, Cushman & Wakefield has 33 licensed brokers and is the second-largest commercial real estate brokerage in the city next to CBRE, which has 36 brokers, according to IBJ’s latest statistics.

The firm switched monikers from Cassidy Turley to DTZ at the end of last year and officially became Cushman & Wakefield on Sept. 2.

The latest switchover is complicated by Cushman’s existing presence in Indianapolis.

Locally based Summit Realty Group has been part of the Cushman & Wakefield alliance since 2002 but has agreed to terminate the affiliation.

Summit, which had used the Cushman & Wakefield name in its branding, said in an emailed statement that the loss of the Cushman alliance affords it the opportunity to evaluate the best way to serve clients and continue its strong growth.

Summit is led by co-managing partners Matt Langfeldt and Brian Zurawski. With 29 brokers, it is the fourth-largest commercial real estate firm in the city, according to IBJ statistics.

“Based on our robust position in the marketplace, we’ve been very pleased with the interest level from global brands in partnering with our firm,” Langfeldt said in the statement. “We expect to have an exciting announcement in the very near future as to our partner moving forward.”
The wave of consolidation began with Washington, D.C.-based Cassidy Turley’s agreeing in September 2014 to be acquired by Texas-based TPG Capital, which also bought Chicago-based DTZ. and combined the businesses under the DTZ name.

But Cassidy Turley’s run as DTZ didn’t last long.  

DTZ, backed by TPG and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund, announced in May that it would acquire New York-based Cushman & Wakefield, creating a more formidable rival to heavyweights CBRE Group Inc. and Jones Lang LaSalle.

“I don’t know that we expected to go from DTZ to Cushman that quickly,” Henry said. “But the strategy we had was, ‘How do we domestically get more entrenched in the major markets?’”

Cushman has a wider domestic presence than DTZ, which is known more internationally, he said.

Henry has been at the helm of the local office since 2000, when the firm was known as Colliers Turley Martin Tucker.

As the local Cushman office adapts to its new name, it's also searching for a successor to Henry, who plans to retire at the end of the year.

The 69-year-old started his real estate career in 1973 in the commercial division of F.C. Tucker Co. Inc., followed by stops at local developers Duke Realty Corp. and Lauth Group Inc.

Henry even hung his own shingle, J.L. Henry Co., and worked solo for seven years before returning to Tucker in 1998 under its then-new moniker, Colliers Turley Martin Tucker.

After spending 42 years in commercial real estate, Henry said it’s “time to take it easy.”

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