Rufrano Steps Down; New CEO Sant’Albano Takes the Reins

Cushman & Wakefield has named Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano its interim CEO, replacing Glenn Rufrano, who will remain with Cushman during a transition period.

Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano 

Cushman & Wakefield has named Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano its interim CEO, replacing Glenn Rufrano, the company announced Monday. Rufrano, CEO since early 2010, will remain with Cushman during a transition period, and Sant’Albano will continue to serve as chairman of C&W’s board of directors and as CEO of EMEA operations, positions he has held since March 2011 and July 2012, respectively.

Sant’Albano’s background includes a 20-year career in investment banking, most recently with Credit Suisse.

In a phone interview with Commercial Property Executive, Sant’Albano called Rufrano’s departure “absolutely amicable” and noted that Rufrano led C&W through “three strong years.”

“It’s good timing,” Sant’Albano said of the transition. “It’s from a position of strength,” as C&W is a strong business with low leverage.

He characterized his situation as interim CEO as “sort of business as usual.” His priorities, Sant’Albano said, include the search for a permanent CEO, executing the company’s current strategy, hiring and retaining staff in conjunction with that, and an ongoing search for strategic opportunities.

As to the permanent CEO, Sant’Albano told CPE that the most important characteristics include business experience, operational discipline, leadership and interpersonal skills, and “an understanding of global cultures.”

Sant’Albano is a graduate of Brown University and in 1992, after earning an MBA from Harvard Business School, he joined Bear Stearns & Co. in their Latin American Corporate Finance Group. Two years later, he joined the Mergers and Acquisitions Group of Credit Suisse First Boston in New York, where he was involved with M&A transaction in the United States, Latin America and Europe.

In 2001, Sant’Albano moved to London, where he headed M&A for the pharmaceuticals sector in Europe and then, in 2004, became COO of the European M&A Group.

From 2006 to 2009, he served as CEO of IFIL, part of IFI (Istituto Finanziario Italiano), a predecessor to Exor S.p.A., the investment company controlled by the Agnelli family, founders and long-time owners of automaker Fiat.

While at IFIL, Sant’Albano was instrumental in the acquisition of a majority stake in Cushman & Wakefield, in March 2007. He became a C&W board member at that time and in March 2011 became board chairman.