The light-eyed, round-headed Scott Panzer flew the coop this month, migrating from brokerage Newmark Knight Frank to what he describes as the fairer environs of rival firm Jones Lang LaSalle.
Mr. Panzer has taken a 12-member (possibly 13-member) team along for the ride, one that includes 20-year commercial veterans Deborah van der Heyden and Robert Romano, and brokers Steven Rotter and Sean Black.
“For us, Scott’s a market leader, and does a lot of corporate account work, which is a big part of our business; he’s just a really great, experienced broker,” said Peter Riguardi, president of New York Operations at JLL. “He’ll also be a great guy around the office.”
Mr. Panzer, known for his boisterous personality, said he will fit in just fine at JLL, which is reputed to have a more buttoned-down corporate culture. “It’s easier to tone me down than take someone who’s mundane and light a fire under them,” he pointed out.
Why is Mr. Panzer leaving? That’s another story entirely, and depends on whom you ask.
Mr. Panzer says Newmark couldn’t satisfy his larger ambitions. “Newmark’s global infrastructure just isn’t there to support the type of large accounts and business we pursue,” Mr. Panzer told The Observer.
Some in the industry, however, say Mr. Panzer ditched Newmark after his rival Michael Ippolito ascended this month to the chairmanship of Newmark’s Global Corporate Services.
“It certainly had an impact,” said Barry Gosin, chief executive of Newmark Knight Frank, adding, “I think at this point it was probably better for both companies that he move.”
“That’s how Newmark will try to spin it,” countered Mr. Panzer. “Mike got promoted to be head of nothing, because they have no infrastructure globally.”
Mr. Panzer, 51, lives in South Salem and calls himself the “Big Papa” of his team. He worked at Newmark since the early ’90s, ultimately as a principal and an executive vice president. During his time there, Mr. Panzer was involved in some mega-deals, among them his representation of the United Nations in its lease of the Albano Building in 2007. The terms of his Newmark contract allow Mr. Panzer to take to JLL only clients he personally brought to Newmark, according to an industry source. Mr. Panzer said his clients include Kaplan and ADP.
For its part, Newmark has no plans to poach another team to replace Mr. Panzer’s.
“We have the deepest bench at the next level of broker,” Mr. Gosin said. “And quite a few senior guys at the same level of Scott or higher.”