Cushman & Wakefield Names Glenn Rufrano as CEO

Cushman & Wakefield has named real estate veteran Glenn Rufrano, formerly of Australia-based Centro Properties, as president and CEO.

February 2, 2010
By Allison Landa, News Editor

Commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has named real estate veteran Glenn Rufrano as president and chief executive officer. Rufrano, who succeeds Bruce Mosler, is slated to join the firm on March 22 and will be based in New York.

“Cushman & Wakefield is one of the most recognized and respected commercial real estate services firms in the world, and I am looking forward to contributing to its growth,” Rufrano said in a statement.

Rufrano comes to the firm from the Australia-based Centro Properties Group, which purchased U.S. shopping-center owner New Plan Excel Realty Trust for $3.7 million in April 2007. Rufrano was head of New Plan Excel at that time and according to Reuters was given credit for repositioning the firm in preparation for the sale.

However, it wasn’t long before Centro fell into turmoil. In December 2007, it found itself not able to repay $3.4 billion of short-term debt. Centro has also had difficulty raising equity due to concerns that shareholders would take control of the funds due to legal actions against the firm.

When Rufrano took over in January 2008, he was charged with turning around Centro and did so in 18 months, convincing banks to roll over nearly $5 billion in debt. At that time, he decided he would hang up his hat and not renew his contract. He told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper that family obligations were bringing him home to the U.S.

Earlier this year, Centro appointed non-executive director Robert Tsenin to replace Rufrano. Tsenin has more than three decades of experience in real estate, the company said in a statement.

Rufrano has hardly stayed idle after leaving Centro. In July 2009 he was named to the board of General Growth Properties, which filed for bankruptcy in April 2009.

“We are delighted that Glenn will join Cushman & Wakefield as President and CEO,” Cushman & Wakefield board member Carlo Barel di Sant’ Albano said in a statement. “His extensive real estate experience and management background make him the ideal leader to grow the company and further expand the brand worldwide.”

Cushman & Wakefield has 15,000 employees working in 231 offices throughout 58 countries. It offers services in four distinct categories: transaction services, capital markets, client solutions, and consulting services.