CBRE Adds Exec to Lead Multi-Family Sales

CBRE has tapped former RREEF executive Brian McAuliffe as co-head of its giant multi-family platform.

McAuliffe will split the responsibility of running the CBRE Multi-Housing Group with Peter Donovan, currently the sole head. His hiring will enable Donovan to focus on agency originations and debt placement. McAuliffe, who starts in January, will oversee investment sales. Both are senior managing directors reporting to Chris Ludeman, president of CBRE Capital Markets.

CBRE had been looking to add a co-head of the apartment group for close to two years, hoping it would enable the firm to increase its already dominant share of the U.S. apartment market.

For McAuliffe, the move is a return to familiar ground. He spent 22 years at CBRE as a multi-family specialist, based in Chicago, and was a perennial top producer. He held the title of vice chairman the most-senior for a broker when he left in 2005 to join RREEF as managing director.

At RREEF, McAuliffe rose to head of transactions, overseeing both acquisitions and dispositions. He was among two dozen RREEF executives let go in October as part of a broader downsizing and restructuring of the Deutsche Bank advisory unit.

McAuliffe will continue to be based in Chicago as he oversees the multi-family groups investment-sales operations, including its institutional and private-capital teams. Hes also expected to launch several initiatives intended to boost CBREs already-dominant market share in the sector. Donovan, who works out of Boston, will focus on financing, including CBREs HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac businesses.

CBRE has a great beachhead on the investment-sales and debt sides of the multi-housing business, said Ludeman. That said, we believe there is substantial headroom for growth with a more-intense focus on these interdependent businesses.

Since Real Estate Alert began compiling apartment brokerage rankings seven years ago, CBRE has finished first every year, with market shares of over 30% in several of those years. Last year, CBRE brokered $6.1 billion of multi-family deals valued at $25 million or more for a 22% share within the category, outdistancing No. 2 HFF by over $1.1 billion. The firm originated or brokered about $8 billion in multi-family mortgages in 2011, up from about $5.5 billion in 2010.

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