The hire of Smith, who formerly managed CBRE’s office leasing services for Asia, is the latest in a series of senior level personnel changes by Colliers both in Asia and globally, and follows soon after David Hand took over as the company’s Asia chief.
Competition is heating up lately among the global property brokerages as real estate markets recover in many parts of the world, leading to restructuring and mergers for agents such as Colliers and its competitors.
Colliers Brings Over a Veteran Hong Kong Broker
Smith will begin his new responsibilities with Colliers in September, after spending 13 years with CBRE in Hong Kong, most recently as Managing Director for Office Agency Services Asia. The UK native also spent 12 years in the city with Jones Lang LaSalle and its predecessor, Jones Lang Wooton.
Commenting on his new role with Colliers, Smith said in at statement, “Hong Kong is a major market for the company and as a leading commercial real estate market globally, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to lead the strategic direction of the two Colliers offices in Hong Kong and Kowloon.”
In addition to his experience with CBRE and JLL, Smith is also the current chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Commercial Property professional groups for Asia and Hong Kong.
New Faces and New Structures at Colliers
The announcement regarding Smith’s new role with Colliers follows just a few weeks after David Hand took over as the company’s new CEO for Asia Pacific, and within the same month that Colliers was formally spun off from its former parent firm, FirstService, as an independent publicly-traded company.
Smith will be taking over the Hong Kong position formerly filled by Richard Kirke, who was hired by CBRE to run their Capital Markets team for Asia Pacific in October last year. Hand was brought on board from JLL to replace former Colliers Asia CEO Piers Brunner who resigned in October 2014.
Following the separation of Colliers from FirstService, the company has also made some personnel moves at the global level, with CEO Doug Frye resigning this month to make way for FirstService CEO and chairman Doug Hennick to take over the top role with the agency. At the same time the Frye for Hennick switch was announced, Colliers added president to the namecard of COO Dylan Taylor.
The repositioning at Colliers comes as the company prepares to face a new level of competition from the newly merged Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ. Colliers is currently the third-largest publicly traded real estate services firm, however, its estimated 2014 revenues of $1.6 billion will be dwarfed by the estimated $5 billion in revenues of the about to be created Cushman-DTZ combo company.