JLL’s Changing of the Guard

Christian Ulbrich, a company veteran who has served as president since June, will succeed longtime CEO Colin Dyer on Oct. 1.

By Keith Loria

Christian Ulbrich, who will become JLL's CEO on Oct. 1.
Christian Ulbrich, who will become JLL’s CEO on Oct. 1.

Chicago—A change at the top is around the corner at JLL. The global services firm announced on Tuesday that CEO Colin Dyer will step down on Sept. 30 after a dozen years with the company. Christian Ulbrich, the company veteran who has served as the firm’s president since June, will succeed Dyer the next day. JLL first announced the separation of the president and CEO roles back in February. William Blair & Co. Analyst Brandon Dobell conjectured at the time that the CEO role might be the next stop for Ulbrich. As it turns out, he was right.

“JLL has a fantastic corporate culture of teamwork, ethics and excellence,” Ulbrich told Commercial Property Executive. “I am honored to be chosen to lead our talented people in today’s rapidly transforming world of digital business models, providing new opportunities for truly strategic client relationships.”

Dyer will stay on through 2016, guiding JLL’s data, information and analytics priorities. He will also continue to serve on the company’s board through next spring.

“Working closely with Christian since he joined JLL, I know firsthand his deep understanding of global real estate dynamics and ability to lead across wide and diverse geographies,” Dyer said in a prepared release. “With his guidance and our strong management team, JLL will continue to grow and prosper.”

Under Dyer’s leadership, JLL’s revenues grew more than five times to about $6 billion through organic growth, 80-plus acquisitions worldwide and the addition of more than 100 offices and 30 countries to its geographic footprint.

CEO Colin Dyer will step down next month after 12 years at JLL.
CEO Colin Dyer will step down next month after 12 years at JLL.

In his new dual role, Ulbrich will be responsible for the overall leadership of the firm’s strategic direction and growth. In addition, he will chair JLL’s Global Executive Board, the most senior internal management committee, on which he has served for eight years.

“Colin’s impact on JLL has been significant. He has steered the evolution into a truly global company and consistently exemplified JLL’s culture of excellence, ethics and teamwork for employees, clients and shareholders,” Ulbrich commented in the statement. “In my new role, I intend to build on the platform of profitable and resilient growth that we have maintained in the last 12 years; continue our commitment to integrity, diversity and sustainability; and underscore our leadership position in the digital revolution.”

Ulbrich has been part of JLL since 2005 when he came aboard as managing director of JLL Germany. He was appointed CEO of the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa unit in 2009 and served in that role until becoming president this year. During his tenure, the firm’s EMEA operations nearly tripled their revenue and added such services as the Tetris design and fit-out subsidiary and residential consultancy.

Before joining JLL, Ulbrich served as CEO of the HIH group of companies headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, and held various positions within German and international banks. He is a member of the board of directors of Vonovia SE, Germany’s largest residential real estate company, and holds a Diplom Kaufmann degree in Business Administration from the University of Hamburg.