Commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield posted second-quarter revenue of $2.2 billion, a 29 percent surge from the same three months in 2020, with the company releasing the results at a conference where it also revealed an upcoming top management succession.
The company reported adjusted EBITDA of $219.9 million in the second quarter, up 85 percent from the year-earlier period, according to a press release.
With the results came the announcement that current chief executive and chairman Brett White will relinquish his CEO title on 1 January, succeeded by the company’s London-based global president, John Forrester.
“John is a deeply admired and respected leader both inside our firm and across our industry,” White said. “His high level of integrity, exceptional work ethic, deep client knowledge and strong global relationships, make him the obvious choice as our next CEO.”
Rebound From Pandemic
C&W’s unaudited results in the second quarter showed a $504.7 million increase in revenue from the same three-month period last year.
The results improved from 2020’s second quarter when revenue fell by $1.7 billion, down 18 percent year-on-year, according to a company report. The previous year’s decline was largely due to low brokerage activity during the COVID-19 pandemic — and partly to the company’s contributions of China property, facilities and project management businesses to the Cushman & Wakefield Vanke Service joint venture.
At the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, a “significant number” of employees at the C&W Chicago headquarters were also laid off as the company went through “strategic realignment”, Mortgage Professional America News reported.
A year later, restructuring, impairment and related charges rose 153 percent, from $5.8 million to $14.7 million, due to “actions taken in connection with the company’s strategic realignment of the business principally including severance and employment-related charges”.
White, who will remain at the company as executive chairman, sold 62,863 units of Cushman & Wakefield stock worth $1,093,816 last month.
As of July, he still held at least 1,152,415 units of Cushman & Wakefield stock, according to a statement submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
His 58-year-old successor, Forrester, joined property agency DTZ in 1988 and served as the group chief executive until the company was acquired by TPG Capital in 2014 and, a year later, merged with Cushman & Wakefield. Forrester was promoted to global president in 2017, and while based in London he worked closely with the now 61-year-old White to oversee operations and management in the firm’s global regions, including EMEA, APAC, the Americas and Greater China.
“In this time of significant innovation and transition in the commercial real estate industry, and the need for relentless focus on operational excellence, there is no question John is the ideal executive to assume the CEO position at Cushman & Wakefield,” said Timothy Dattels, a co-managing partner of TPG capital Asia who also serves as a director of Cushman & Wakefield.