JLL Buys Leading Workplace Tech and Management Firm

The latest acquisition comes just days after JLL announced that it was acquiring Merritt & Harris Inc.

By Gail Kalinoski

Traci Doane, BRG president & CEO
Traci Doane, BRG president & CEO

Chicago—Looking to boost its growing Corporate Real Estate technology offerings, JLL has agreed to acquire BRG, a Dallas-based leader in workplace technology consulting, implementation and space management services.

The latest in a series of acquisitions for JLL, it comes just days after the commercial real estate services firm announced it was adding Merritt & Harris Inc., to its Project and Development Services roster. The New York City-based company is the first in the nation created to represent real estate lending and investment industries during new construction, renovation, acquisition and development. Other PDS firms added in recent months include project and construction management services firm Martin Potts & Associates and Big Red Rooster, a retail design and branding company.

Since the beginning of 2015, JLL has been building the company through acquisition. While the firm did not say how much it is paying for BRG or Merritt & Harris, it said it has announced or closed on 39 transactions with a combined value of more than $1.2 billion in that time period.

BRG has become a recognized expert in the CRE technology field so it makes sense that JLL would bring it under its umbrella as it expands its own CRE technology offerings and services to its clients.

“Solutions to the productivity demands placed on CRE leaders have become increasingly harder to deliver,” Greg O’Brien, JLL CEO, Americas, said in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to arm our clients with better data and new insights to help them make informed, strategic business decisions. Acquiring BRG helps get us there faster, with experts who have more than 20 years of experience working with Fortune 500 clients.”

BRG, run by President and CEO Traci Doane, helps companies implement new technology systems, optimize underperforming existing technology platforms and understand how to better integrate tools to deliver workplace strategies.

John Forrest, JLL Global & Americas CEO, Corporate Solutions, said the acquisition of BRG will bring JLL to “a whole new level” in delivering CRE technology solutions to its clients.

“The BRG and JLL combination allows us to architect and implement the broad range of solutions spanning full-scale IWMS (integrated workplace management systems), specialist software applications for specific functions and combinations of both,” Forrest said in a prepared statement. “Bringing all of that together through RED, our state-of-the-art data and analytics platform, we will offer clients flexibility and choice for wherever they are on their technology journeys.”

Once the deal closes next month, Doane will lead a newly created Technology Solutions team as president of the group. The team will offer both standalone and integrated solutions with JLL’s other core service areas, including facility management, project management and capital works, integrated portfolio management and brokerage services.

“We believe new and better use of CRE technology is critical to unlocking higher levels of corporate real estate performance,” Doane said.