Stars to Watch 2014: Sacha Zarba

Executive Vice President, CBRE Group Inc.

Greatest Accomplishments: With a client base extending across technology, financial services, law and advertising, Zarba works with quite a number of Fortune 500 companies and a who’s who of technology firms with New York City offices. In addition to LinkedIn and eBay, his tech clients include Etsy, Groupon,, ZocDoc and Mediaocean. And while his renewal and expansion for advertising agency Dentsu McGarry Bowen was huge, he also recently represented Man Investments, one of the biggest hedge funds in the world, on a relocation. On the landlord side, he advises Boston Properties Inc., Jacob Safra Real Estate and Sheldon Solow. In 2012, he became part of CBRE’s Colbert Coldwell Circle, which honors the 100 most extraordinary performers.

Best Advice Received: “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt,” advised his stepbrother and mentor, David Hollander, back in 2000.

Secrets to Success: Given the constantly evolving nature of the business, it’s necessary to think about it 24/7. “To use a cliché, it is just working hard and thinking about how to improve your game, every single day.”

Greatest Challenges: Becoming a father while still a teenager himself changed his perspective on life. “It forced me to think about things early on with a long-term horizon and long-term perspective. As it translates to business, I’ve kept that same philosophy.”

Advice to Others: Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. “I think people shy away from asking questions because they may not feel that what they are asking is appropriate. But I’ll ask the questions that are the most simplistic. If it means I’m going to get smarter or understand something with more clarity, I’m going to ask.”

What Others Say About Him: “Sacha has an ease about him that provides his clients with a calming influence during the most stressful and chaotic moments of a deal. He is a steady hand along a bumpy road,” which gives his clients confidence in his ability and the process, said David Hollander, who got Zarba into the real estate industry.

—Leah Etling

More details on the accomplishments of CPE’s 2014 Stars to Watch appeared in the January 2014 issue.