Roberts CSO, Martin CEO
- Nov 27, 2012
Positioning itself for further growth, Jones Lang LaSalle has made two key leadership changes, promoting Peter Roberts to a newly created Chief Strategy Officer post and moving COO and CFO Lauralee Martin up to Roberts’s current job of Chief Executive Officer, Americas.
Both changes will take effect in January. Martin will continue as chief financial officer as well until a replacement is found.
“Peter has played a leading role in making Jones Lang LaSalle the premier commercial real estate brand in the Americas,” company CEO Colin Dyer said of Roberts, who has been with the firm since 1986. “In the newly created role of Chief Strategy Officer, he will combine his real estate expertise, client-first perspective and critical thinking to help implement our growth strategy for the future.”
Roberts has been CEO of the Americas for 10 years, during which time annual revenues grew six-fold in the region, officials said. He has also been a member of the firm’s Global Executive Committee, which guides JLL’s global strategy.
Asked whether that experience would be helpful to his new position, Roberts told Commercial Property Executive, “No question that sitting on the committee and being part of developing our direction around the globe has been great preparation.”
Roberts, who was a key member of the firm’s Capital Markets business and has held numerous top leadership posts at JLL including COO, CFO and co-president of tenant representation, said the new job was a “natural evolution of a number of growth opportunities we have in front of us.”
“It’s an exciting time to be in the business and we want to be pro-active driving our strategy and taking advantage of those opportunities,” he said. “We want to create focus around pursuing those opportunities.”
Martin joined JLL in 2002 as CFO and added COO to her duties in 2005. Among her achievements, company officials pointed to the investment grade balance sheet Martin has maintained during her tenure as CFO. She also built the firm’s industry-leading Energy and Sustainability Services business, helped structure acquisitions across the world, and contributed to the development of a globally unified technology platform.
“Lauralee’s combined experience, and her quick and decisive approach, makes her uniquely qualified to lead the Americas into a period of further rapid revenue growth,” Dyer said. “At a time when our business is increasingly characterized by the need for clarity and speed, she will focus the Americas on driving client services, increasing productivity and investing in our people.”
Martin told CPE today that she was excited to be back on the business side of the firm. Prior to joining JLL, Martin led the real estate businesses at Heller Financial, Inc. and General Electric Capital Corp.
She noted that the Americas has been the fastest growing of all the firm’s businesses across globe. Martin said one of JLL’s strengths is that it can provide local markets the kind of services it offers through a global platform.
“We believe today that we are the leading service provider in terms of best practices, best capabilities, best people,” said Martin. “We are going to continue to drive that to the next level.”
Martin added that she expects to continue building the Leasing, Capital Markets and Corporate Solutions businesses.
Roberts also noted the importance of the Corporate Solutions group, which helps corporations improve cost, efficiency and performance in their national, regional or global real estate portfolios by creating outsourcing partnerships to manage and execute a range of occupier services. He said more companies are looking to outsource their real estate needs to a firm like Jones Lang LaSalle so they focus on growing their core businesses.
“It is incredibly opportunistic for us,” Roberts said. “Our client base is looking to compete in a global economy.”
Companies that have hired or extended Corporate Solutions contracts with JLL this year include Volvo, Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline and Logica, a United Kingdom-based business consulting and technology company.
JLL also announced this week several promotions within the Americas Corporate Solutions division. Chris Browne was named Director, Corporate Solutions Operations, a new leadership role within the group. Browne had been Director of Integrated Facilities Management, a job that has been given to Chris Pesek.
In his previous role as Director of IFM, Browne provided strategic oversight of more than 80 client accounts and managed the launch of IntelliCommand and IFM On-Demand platforms.
“Chris, a great innovator and client-focused professional, will be the architect of how we deliver service and improve our clients’ and our own productivity through a focus on talent and technology,” said Tod Lickerman, CEO, Americas Corporate Solutions.
Pesek, who has served in several client-service roles at JLL over the past 10 years, “will build on Chris Browne’s prior success in this role delivering innovative new services and operational excellence to our integrated management facilities clients,” said Elaine Melonides, Managing Director of Service Lines.