The Los Angeles office of Cushman & Wakefield has recruited a team of five brokers and corporate real estate consultants from Lee & Associates in what Cushman & Wakefield calls "the first in a number of strategic acquisitions" of talent.
Headed by Jeff Woolf, formerly president of the Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks offices of Lee, the new team also includes Lawrence H. Rappoport, Allan Seelig, Robert D. Erickson and C. Douglas Wolfley.
The hiring of Woolf and his team, who are based downtown, is one step in an "aggressive recruitment plan for Southern California," said Brad Cox, senior managing director at Cushman & Wakefield.
The hiring of Woolf's team is also is the latest move in the sometimes extremely competitive arena of recruiting and retaining top commercial real estate brokers.
New York-based real estate brokerage giant Insignia/ESG created a stir in the local brokerage community last year when it recruited top brokers from other firms to build its office here, sometimes paying signing bonuses of up to $1 million.
More recently, Colliers Seeley recruited nine top brokers from Cushman & Wakefield, Lee, CB Richard Ellis and Cushman Realty Corp. as one of a series of moves in its bid to expand and raise the company's profile.
Brokers who specialize in representing corporate clients are facing increasing pressure to align themselves with large service providers because Corporate America "is thinning out the number of vendors that it will utilize to transact real estate business," Woolf said.