Colliers Expansion Leads into Kansas City

Colliers International continued its 10-year growth effort with the addition of Kansas City service leader The Winbury Group.

December 3, 2010
By Suzann D. Silverman, Editor-in-Chief

Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons user calebdzahnd

Colliers International continued its 10-year growth effort with the addition of Kansas City service leader The Winbury Group. The purchase of a majority interest in the 21-year-old, 100-employee firm brings Colliers to 15,000 employees in more than 480 offices in 61 countries, with nearly $2 billion in revenue.

Colliers U.S. CEO Dylan Taylor termed the addition “a perfect fit for the Colliers International platform —strategically, geographically and culturally.” He told CPE, “I’ve known the principals of The Winbury Group for many years and have done business with them in the past. I know them to be among the top professionals in the Midwest.” The Winbury Group offers transaction, consulting, property and asset management and strategic planning services . It marks the ninth company to join the global service giant, which was relaunched as a corporation this spring following years as a network of independent service firms.

In completing the corporate transformation, Colliers lost some well-known names—such as the former Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers and Colliers ABR—but retained well-known market leaders FirstService Williams (formerly GVA Williams),Meredith & Grew, FirstService PGP Valuation as well as PKF Consulting and PKF Hospitality Research.

The company has been striving to become the No. 1 global commercial real estate services firm, Taylor noted, with a focus on “so-called NFL cities, among others.” The company likes Kansas City, he said, because it “has an emerging presence as a logistics and distribution hub, something that is very important to Colliers International,” and also houses a number of global companies.

CEO Doug Frye told CPE in a May interview that organic growth, which had represented about half of its expansion, would increase to 60 to 70 percent of movement in the future, especially in such service areas as corporate solutions and consulting services. Indeed, the company formed a seniors housing business in June. But it also purchased a controlling interest in Sutton & Edwards on New York’s Long Island, and Taylor says that the company is “considering all viable options, including internal growth and quality acquisitions,” as it works toward its lofty goal. And there should be more news before long: He also said the company will likely “announce additional transactions very soon and others in the months ahead.”

Colliers’ approach to growth is to purchase a controlling interest in a company but to encourage continued ownership by the local management team. As a result, it has a 70 percent ownership stake in its businesses.