Breaking News: C&W to Buy Cousins’ Third-Party Client Services Group

Cushman & Wakefield will buy Cousins Properties Inc. third-party Client Services Group, located in Atlanta and Dallas.

President and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield Glenn Rufrano

By Anna Spiewak, News Editor

Attention Cousins Properties Inc.: There’s a new boss in town. Cushman & Wakefield Inc. will be signing the checks of some Cousins employees soon.

The commercial real estate services firm entered into a strategic agreement to acquire the REIT’s Atlanta- and Dallas-based third-party client services business.

Known as the Client Services Group (CSG), the business unit provides third-party services to owners of Class A office buildings in Atlanta and Dallas, including leasing, property management and project management services.

Under the contract, as many as 128 professionals will transition from Cousins to Cushman & Wakefield, providing immediate enhanced capabilities to clients supported by the firm’s Investor Services and Leasing groups in two geographically significant areas of focus as part of the company’s strategic growth plan.

“This move marks a key milestone as we begin the next phase of our strategic growth plan. Integrating such a quality group into our platform enables C&W to continue to balance our service mix across our global platform and provide consistent quality service to our clients,” said Glenn Rufrano, president & CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, in an early-morning release.

CSG’s property management, landlord leasing and management services will be merged into Cushman & Wakefield’s Investor Services division, which is part of the firm’s Corporate Occupier and Investor Services (CIS) group and is a main priority in the firm’s growth plan. CIS currently manages nearly 16,000 properties totaling more than 800 million square feet worldwide, and has recently won major assignments with such firms as Aegon, Clarion Partners and AEW.

“We are very excited about this transaction — we really consider it a partnership — and view this as a win-win for Cousins, C&W and most important, our clients,” said Larry Gellerstedt, president & CEO of Cousins Properties. “This not only ensures that our clients will be part of a broad global platform and can leverage all of the benefits that come with it, but is also consistent with Cousins’ strategic goal of simplification and a heightened focus on our core business.”

Cousins Properties will continue to own and operate its fee business that is not associated with the third-party Client Services Group.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary conditions and minor third-party consents.

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