The Commercial Observer: So, my first question is …
Mr. Boisi: ‘What’s the name of your new company?’
You got it. What is the name of your new company?
Our new brand in New York and the rest of the nation is Cassidy Turley.
Give me a bit of background.
Back 15 months ago, roughly September of 2008, four Colliers firms negotiated a merger agreement, and those four firms came together and over the past 15 months have been quietly negotiating with additional firms to expand our footprint. We’ve created now, with eight firms, a new company by the name of Cassidy Turley.
Why, especially during a recession, are you pursuing such a huge expansion?
What we did was, we wanted to build our own platform, build our own company that we could own and control and move away from a network structure, which we’re currently in at Colliers. This provides us with the ability to create our own brand strategy, our own vision for the company. It’s an independently owned firm that has 360 shareholders. We now have 2,800 associates. We now manage 420 million square feet of space nationwide, and we have revenues that exceed $400 million. So out of the box we’re now a national firm that is probably about the fourth largest in the country. We’re also in the process of negotiating with an international partner to further expand our capabilities internationally. We’ll be announcing that in a month.
Are there geographical gaps the expansion will help fill?
The original transaction with the four companies comprised the East Coast and the Midwest. What we were missing, quite frankly, was the Western region. And our association with BRE in San Diego, which is a former Grubb & Ellis entity; our association with BT Commercial in San Francisco, which is a former NAI company; and our association with BRE in Phoenix, which is also a former Grubb & Ellis firm-we’ve now added 24 offices on the West Coast and around 500 brokers. We now have a total of around 800 to 900 brokers nationwide.
Do you think the new handle will confuse people? It confuses me.
Frankly, any new brand is going to be a challenge to bring to a marketplace. We, quite frankly, have an additional challenge in that it’s possible and more than probable that somebody will be called Colliers International in the New York marketplace when here, before, we were Colliers ABR. However, you know, this has sort of been done before. Frankly, there have been a lot of name changes over the years. Edward S. Gordon became Insignia, and Insignia became CBRE. And Jones Lang LaSalle has now got Staubach, so, frankly, corporate America is used to it.
Cassidy Turley is going to be a new brand for the country, and, frankly, I think investors in real estate are ready for a new brand in the United States and internationally. You know, it’s been the same three or four public companies that you always hear about, and I think it’s time for that to change, and I think we’re going to break into that category pretty quickly, especially given the immediate size we have become on a national basis.