Local CBRE office loses leader to another real estate firm

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John Merrill, managing director of CBRE Group Inc.’s local office, has left the city's largest commercial real estate brokerage to join Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP.

HFF on Wednesday announced the arrival of Merrill, 53, who will co-lead its Indianapolis operations. Merrill told IBJ  the opportunity to return to his commercial investment roots proved too attractive to pass up.

“It was a very difficult decision [to leave CBRE] because of all the great people and the great resources they have there,” he said. “However, HFF has got a great platform for the investment sales business and it’s a little smaller of an organization."

Merrill came to CBRE in 1996 to establish its local commercial investment properties group and closed more than $2.5 billion in sales throughout the Midwest. He had led the Indianapolis office since 2010.

Merrill started his new job on Monday and is leading the local HFF office with David Keller, who has known Merrill for several years.

“John has been the person we have focused on and pursued for quite some time,” Keller said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to the contributions and growth he will bring to our Indianapolis and Midwest investment sales platform.”

Based in Pittsburgh, HFF has 22 offices nationwide and provides commercial real estate and capital markets services to the commercial real estate industry. Los Angeles-based CBRE is the largest real estate investment manager in the country. With 36 local brokers, it’s the Indianapolis area’s largest brokerage, according to the most recent IBJ statistics.

Before joining CBRE, Merrill spent time at Duke Realty Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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