Studley Expands with Acquisition of Gravitas Real Estate Resources

Studley executive vice president Thomas Bogle told CPE that several existing clients wanted the firm to meet a broader array of their needs. Gravitas provides experience in lease administration as well as a background in technology and process consulting.

February 22, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Undeterred by the impact of the global financial crisis, commercial real estate services firm Studley has been strategizing plans for expansion over the last few years and now it has taken a big step in the execution of its plan with the acquisition of Gravitas Real Estate Resources Inc., a top national lease administration and lease audit services provider.

Even in the midst of a severe downturn in the commercial real estate market, Studley had visions of growth. “We are very strong and well capitalized and a couple of years ago, we thought we should look at hiring away talent and look at acquisitions,” Thomas Bogle, executive vice president with Studley, told CPE. “We had several of our existing clients say ‘We like and respect your work, but we want you to meet a broader array of our needs.’ The idea of doing lease administration had been knocking around.”

Gravitas fit the bill and the timing of Studley’s search turned out to be perfect for Gravitas, as the company, which had experienced tremendous growth, had been looking for a partner with capital to facilitate further growth.

Established in 2006, Gravitas offers clients, including a bevy of Fortune 500 companies, a comprehensive list of lease management services through various means, including technology and process consulting, transition management and outsourced lease management services. “We were looking for someone with great expertise in lease administration,” Bogle said. “We spent several months looking for a firm; we looked at four or five others around the country. Gravitas had the same culture we have. We both have built companies based on serving only real estate users. We view representing property owners as an inherent conflict of interest, and that knit us together in terms of parity of purpose.”

Gravitas is being folded into Studley’s recently formed Strategic Portfolio Solutions group, which is led by Bogle. The lease audit component of the acquired company will maintain the Gravitas brand–and all Gravitas employees will maintain their jobs. And with Studley’s European subsidiary, AOS Studley, working with the SPS group, the commercial real estate services firm now has a lease administration platform that extends to Europe. “In terms of their scope, Gravitas manages thousands of locations and records around the world, and that gives us a presence in the market that we didn’t have to this extent before.”