Mark Schnuck, President of NAI DESCO announced that David Wittenauer has won the much sought after Floyd L. Sweeney Sales Associate of the Year Award for 2014. This award goes to one of the company’s 25 associates who has the highest production for that year. Mr. Schnuck commended David on his exceptional contribution to the firm, his clients and the local Illinois real estate market. He noted that these contributions embody the values the company has put forth.
Mr. Wittenauer is the managing broker of the O’Fallon, Illinois office and one of the vice presidents of NAI DESCO. He has over 20 years of experience in the local real estate market and specializes in retail, office and investment properties.
NAI DESCO covers the Southern Illinois, and Central and Eastern Missouri markets. It’s a leading commercial real estate firm and part of the NAI Global. NAI Global is a network of independently owned and operated real estate companies across the globe. The network was founded in 1978 and was acquired by C-III Capital Partners in 2012 under the leadership of their Chairman and CEO Andrew Farkas. Mr. Farkas is also the CEO and Founder of Anubis Advisors, a real estate advisory business, and is a hugely influential businessman in the real estate industry.
NAI DESCO was founded in 2000 when local, established brokers partnered with the Schnuck family and an independent firm was formed. They currently have three office locations and 25 agents. Their sister company, The DESCO Group, is an investment, construction and property management company and manages over $700 million in assets. These two companies work together to offer a comprehensive suite of services.
NAI Global announced its coveted Member of the Year award at its recent NAI Global Convention in Las Vegas in February. The top international acclaim went to NAI Harcourts in New Zealand. The member company was established in 2009 and has grown exponentially since then, and now is in charge of 61 locations in New Zealand and an additional 14 in Australia. The CEO of NAI Harcourts, Hayden Duncan, commented that the award reflects the growth they have seen in the past year.
Mr. Duncan’s reasoning for their success reflects the NAI Global attitude that locally owned member companies have a knowledge and expertise of their surrounding area that larger chain companies don’t. Couple that with an international network of support and you have a recipe for success. Hayley Duncan is overwhelmed at receiving this accolade, which goes to the member company that most accurately meets characteristics such as to positively represent the NAI brand name, to work closely with other member companies within the network, to drive business and to provide leadership within NAI Global.
NAI Harcourts was previously known as Harcourts International which was established in 1888 in New Zealand. Harcourts International joined with NAI Global to become NAI Harcourts in 2009.
NAI Global is an international network of wholly-owned independent member companies and is the fourth largest commercial real estate services firm internationally. NAI Global was acquired by C-III Capital Partners, LLC in 2012. Andrew Farkas is the CEO and Chairman of C-III and is also CEO of Anubis Advisors, a real estate advisory business that also deals with asset management and distressed debt acquisitions.
Latter & Blum is a commercial real estate firm based out of Louisiana who, due to a recent merger, has added a new office to its ever expanding operations. NAI Lake Charles will become NAI/Latter & Blum and will serve as their southwest Louisiana office, and add nine new agents to the firm.
This acquisition marks the fifth expansion in two years, making Latter & Blum the only private commercial real estate firm covering the central, southwest and Gulf Coast of Louisiana. The Chairman and CEO of Latter & Blum, Bob Merrick believes the addition of a commercial office in Lake Charles will open up more referral opportunities for their agents in New Orleans on both the commercial and residential fronts. NAI Lake Charles follows the firm’s acquisition of ERA Moffett Realty Inc. in August, a residential real-estate firm. This will also allow them to maintain their high level of service, while meeting the demands of the on-going industrial expansion in the state. Latter & Blum has a network that spans from Texas to Mississippi. This collection of companies includes CJ Brown Realtors and Noles-Frye Realty in Baton Rouge and Alexandria respectively.
The Latter & Blum offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Houma and Alexandria, as well as the newly added NAI Lake Charles office, are all existing members of the NAI Global network of independently owned commercial real estate firms. NAI Global has over 350 offices worldwide and is managed network of firms, owned by C-III Capital Partners, since an acquisition in 2011 led by C-III’s CEO Andrew Farkas.
Anubis Advisors was founded in March 2010 by Andrew Farkas, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Island Capital Group LLC. ICG is a real estate merchant banking and asset management firm that operates internationally but has its primary location in New York City. Anubis acts as an advisory company to ICG, ICG’s portfolio companies and others, on issues such as distressed debt acquisition, real estate and asset management.
The services provided by Anubis include strategic planning, M&A, restructuring, executive management and some financial services. Anubis’ management team consists of professionals, including Mr. Farkas as acting CEO, who were responsible for the continued development and expansion of Insignia Financial Group, Inc. which was one of the top three global real estate firms between 1991 and 2003.
One of Anubis’ clients within the portfolio of ICG companies is C-III Capital Partners LLC and its subsidiary C-III Asset Management LLC. C-III provides creative solutions to equity and debt problems within the real estate market, while its asset management team service a portfolio of almost $120 billion of commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS). Anubis’ role is to assist C-III in their integration of a principle capital deployment and M&A strategy within their existing operations, in the hopes of acquiring more CMBS fund managers and incremental CMBS, among other servicing operations. Under the direction of Anubis, C-III also intends to further pursue third-party servicing relationships and expand into new lines of business that correspond with current business operations.
NAI Global, a commercial real-estate services network linked to Andrew Farkas, has agreed to a deal with EVO Real Estate Group based in New York. This network has 165 firms connected across 204 cities worldwide. Through this deal, EVO will become the New York office of the network.
C-III Capital Partners, under the direction of CEO Andrew Farkas, purchased NAI in 2012. NAI provides brokerage among other services to external clients as well as all of Farkas’ ever expanding collection of real-estate businesses. There has been one noticeable hole in the network in New York, which many consider to be the most important real-estate market in the world.
EVO will be instrumental in bridging this gap as they are native to the city and currently manage around 3.5 million square feet of commercial property. The president of NAI Global, Jay Olshonsky, remarked that they were thrilled to now have a strong presence in New York.
Mr. Farkas is well known for his acquisition of Edward S. Gordon Co. in 1996, which he sold in 2003 to CB Richard Ellis for $415 million. This is just one of many real-estate and brokerage empires that Farkas has built over the years.
Current trends in the brokerage industry have shown larger firms moving away from the network structure preferred by NAI, but instead are moving towards ownership of all of their individual member offices. When C-III initially acquired the NAI network, they owned the New York member office, but in a strategic move they decided to replace the newly acquired office within the network, along with a few other offices owned by NAI, with wholly owned companies independent of the network. The network is estimated to reach a combined revenue total of $1 billion in 2014.
Winoker Realty Co. was a well-known New York based real-estate firm who made headlines in 2012 when their president, David Winoker, died tragically in a sky-diving accident. In 2013 the firm was sold to two former employees, father and daughter duo Ira Fishman and Dana Moskowitz, by the deceased’s widow. The firm quickly rebranded as EVO Real Estate Group, with the name being chosen to reflect the desired evolution the firm would undertake.
This new deal between EVO and NAI Global will enable EVO to expand and develop due to the shared information between member firms, according to Mr. Fishman. An example of this might be if EVO had a client in New York, who was also looking to lease out another building in a different state, EVO could link up with the network member office in that state and the fees and commissions would be divided up between the two member firms. Mr. Fishman is said to be excited about the concept as he has never been part of a network like this before.
Mr. Farkas’ vast collection of businesses uses the NAI Global network for brokerage services among others. The president of NAI Global insists this is because the network is continually proving that they offer the best service, not because of the ties with Mr. Farkas. The reason they feel they stand out is because each of the individual firms in the network are experts in their respective regions. This means that firms in the network can refer clients to other member firms with the confidence that they will provide the same standard of care and expertise as each other. According to Mr. Olshonsky, firms within a network that are independently owned have more of an incentive to make sure that their clients, local or referred, are getting the best service.