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Insignia Hires Top Broker From Competitor

Execs: Julien J. Studley veteran Stephen L. Bay is expected to expand the firm's brokerage services group in Brentwood.


A week after Dallas-based Staubach Co. hired prominent "tenant rep" office broker Robert Chavez to lead and expand its new Los Angeles office, New York-based Insignia/ESG has lured another "rainmaker" broker away from a competitor in order to add to its local operations.

Insignia tapped Stephen L. Bay, a 14-year veteran of national tenant consulting specialist Julien J. Studley Inc., to build the company's brokerage services group in Brentwood. Joining Bay in the move from Studley to Insignia is Clay W. Hammerstein, Bay's longtime colleague.

Bay, 41, who has managed New York-based Studley's downtown L.A. office since 1990, was named executive managing director at Insignia/ESG, a subsidiary of the publicly traded Insignia Financial Group.

Hammerstein's new title is senior managing director. Brokers Kevin Bender and Robin Devereux, who work closely with Bay and Hammerstein, are also joining Insignia.

Bay is expected to attract other established brokers to Insignia.

"It was a very difficult decision to leave a great organization in Studley," said Bay, who headed the Studley team that recently helped complete one of the biggest local office-lease transactions over the last several years: Deloitte & Touche's commitment to move into 340,000 square feet at Two California Plaza atop Bunker Hill. "On the one hand I'm sad to be leaving Studley, but I'm at the point where I'm ready for a different challenge. And this is a terrific challenge."

Bay's roster of clients, which includes Oaktree Capital Management, Sidley & Austin and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, will follow him, he said.

Insignia/ESG has become a major player in commercial real estate, particularly in the brokerage and property management sectors. It was recently spun off when Insignia Financial's big apartment ownership and management operations merged into large rival Apartment Investment & Management Co., and it has aggressively expanded its commercial real estate brokerage and management operations through both acquisitions and internal growth.

Insignia/ESG has acquired several prominent brokerage operations around the country, including New York powerhouse Edward S. Gordon (ESG), Barnes Morris Pardoe & Foster in Washington, Jackson-Cross in Philadelphia, and Frain Camins & Swartchild and Goldie B. Wolfe & Co. in Chicago. Insignia has also expanded internationally with its recent acquisition of Richard Ellis Group Ltd.'s operations in Britain.

The company was expected to buy a prominent brokerage in L.A. after purchasing the local landlord services firm originally known as Tishman West Management Co. in 1994. However, after pursuing several deals, it opted to build a brokerage operation around a key team of brokers--as it had done while expanding into other markets around the country, including Atlanta.

Insignia's commercial property management portfolio in Los Angeles County is approaching 11 million square feet. It also handles the leasing responsibilities for roughly half that portfolio.

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