Executive of the Year Spotlight: Bob Sulentic

Nearing $11 billion in 2015, CBRE's annual revenue has grown by nearly 70 percent since Sulentic became CEO in 2012.
Bob Sulentic (pictured) received Honorable Mention for the 2016 Service Executive of the Year award.

Bob Sulentic (pictured) received Honorable Mention for the 2016 Service Executive of the Year award.

This article is one in a series of short profiles highlighting recipients of CPE’s Executives of the Year awards. Celebrating its 20th year, the program recognizes the contributions of commercial real estate’s top executives across all major business sectors and asset types.

First-place winners and honorable mention awardees are chosen by a confidential vote of the CPE 100, an invited group of industry leaders.

Today’s installment acknowledges the rapid growth achieved by CBRE since the addition of President & CEO Bob Sulentic.

Honorable Mention: Service Executive of the Year

Bob Sulentic, President & CEO, CBRE Group Inc.

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Years as CEO: 4

CBRE by the numbers: CBRE employs 70,000 professionals in more than 400 offices in 68 countries. The company has 5.2 billion square feet of assets under management, worth $89 billion. In 2015, the company’s combined revenue was $11 billion.

Growth spurts: CBRE has grown rapidly under Bob Sulentic’s executive leadership. Approaching $11 billion in 2015, CBRE’s annual revenue has grown by nearly 70 percent since Sulentic became CEO in 2012. Excluding affiliates, headcount has risen more than 50 percent. Property under management has increased 58 percent in three years, reaching 5.2 billion square feet last year. Lease and sale transaction value jumped 63 percent over the same time period, topping $310 billion in 2015.

Accumulating competencies: During Sulentic’s time as CEO, CBRE has completed more than 30 acquisitions valued at $2.3 billion, among them one of the industry’s largest M&A deals of the past decade, last year’s $1.475 billion acquisition of Johnson Controls’ Global Workplace Solutions business. The acquisition helped to fortify the company’s global prestige as a provider of facilities and project management, strategic consulting and transactions to corporate building occupants.

2016 highlights: In March, Boston-based Berkeley Investments summoned CBRE to be the exclusive leasing agent for a three-building, office/flex portfolio comprising 310,000 square feet. The following month, a Florida-based capital markets division of CBRE secured a $60.8 million loan to refinance Brickell City Tower, a 33-story, 288,314 square-foot office tower in Miami. In July, CBRE was appointed to take over leasing of a seven-building, 384,090-square-foot office portfolio in Richmond. During the same month, the company’s capital markets’ debt and structured finance team corralled $250 million in financing for a 14 million-square-foot, prime industrial portfolio containing 140 Class A distribution properties in core markets throughout the U.S.

Collegial culture: Sulentic’s reign has earned CBRE recognition for its strong culture. Earlier this year, Forbes ranked the company the 15th best employer in the U.S., based largely on its collaborative, tech-savvy and environmentally-responsible work environment.