Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF), continuing in its effort to grow its global full-service platform pillared on best-in-class talent in all respective business lines, has hired Helene Jacobson, MAI, Steve DuPlantis, MAI, Ken Audette and Jason Hutchins to senior positions within the firm’s valuation and advisory practice.
The service line expansion comes on the heels of hiring Valuation & Advisory President John D. Busi, MAI, FRICS, one of the most globally respected figures in property valuation. “With John’s leadership, we are redefining the valuation business,” said Barry M. Gosin, chief executive officer of NGKF. “Through strategic acquisition of first-class firms and recruitment of the industry’s top professionals, NGKF is building a multi-dimensional practice that leverages technology and capital markets intelligence harnessed by our growing platform.”
“We have reimagined the format of a traditional valuation practice so we can devote more capital and more resources to the appraisers,” said Busi. “The structure of the leadership roles at NGKF will focus on expanding our business relationships, client care and strategic initiatives. Our goal is to have more revenue “fall” to the assignment executers and more capital to invest in technology platforms that will enhance productivity. Appraisal fees have been on an unprecedented decade-long decline. At the same time, valuation companies have been weighed down with organization formats that cannot deliver a value proposition to the appraisers who propel the business. Whether you are a geographic manager, a specialty manager, a technology leader or an operational head, you need to be serving the people who produce your appraisals. Our first round of hires are individuals that have supported appraisers through tireless business development, state-of-the-art platform creation, strategic operating structures, and relentless devotion to enhancing and improving the brand.”
Jacobson joins NGKF as co-leader of U.S. Valuation and Advisory. Prior to NGKF, Jacobson spent nearly two and a half decades at CBRE, where she managed the firm’s Tri-State Area valuation operation. Her role included staffing, quality control, business development, portfolio coordination and marketing. She developed one of the most extensive client rosters in the industry and worked with leading financial institutions, private equity and CMBS firms and insurers across the globe. “As a former competitor, Helene’s reputation for delivering on what was promised, care and oversight for every assignment managed, and consistent delivery of new business to her respective staff made her a formidable peer,” noted Busi. “Helene is one of the most highly regarded leaders in the industry and her work ethic and passion to create the very best practice in this industry is unparalleled in the current market.”
Co-leading the U.S. practice, DuPlantis joins Busi and Jacobson to round out the leadership triumvirate. With over two decades at CBRE, where he led the valuation practice in the South Central U.S., DuPlantis transcended the typical constraints of an appraisal manager to become one of the industry’s top business development professionals and led CBRE’s efforts for most of his career. He was also instrumental in redefining execution strategies and worked closely with the technology staff to engineer platform enhancements. “I didn’t need anyone to tell me what a “force” Steve was in the industry because I experienced it firsthand,” said Busi. “His ability to cover clients and treat each of them as if they were his only one is a gift that very few client relationship professionals possess. What was most compelling to me, however, was that while both Steve and Helene were managing an incredible flow of business, they were immersed in the care and support of the people that reported to them. Their appointments have set the standard for future NGKF hires.”
Audette will serve as senior managing director of finance and operations for NGKF Valuation & Advisory. Prior to joining NGKF, he worked at Cushman & Wakefield for over 17 years, most recently as chief financial officer of North America. “Ken’s appointment is a critical strategic position within our new practice as we focus on major investments in infrastructure, mergers and acquisitions, and talent on-boarding,” stated Busi. “Most CFOs and COOs sit over the business they operate with an eye for harmonizing numbers. Ken became a student of the valuation profession and has actually taken the full “load” of Appraisal Institute-sponsored courses to comprehensively understand all facets of the business. I am thrilled to have Ken as part of our leadership team to help fulfill the strategic vision for our new valuation and advisory organization.”
Hutchins joins NGKF as senior managing director of Valuation & Advisory technology strategies. He served the past 20 years as the founder and director of CBRE’s Valuation & Advisory Technology Support team based in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he was responsible for the development, training and support of the firm’s desktop technology platform. Hutchins also worked closely with CBRE’s Information Technology Group to deliver the industry’s first truly global valuation assignment management and comparable property database system. Prior to joining CBRE, Hutchins had a six-year career as a valuation associate with the Gerald A. Teel Company in Houston, followed by one year with HFF, Inc. as a production analyst and portfolio servicing underwriter. “His background as both a valuation professional and a technology specialist will provide a foundational starting point in creating the next generation of appraisal execution tools,” said Busi. “Jason has already assembled and on-boarded an elite team of developers, template/report writers and technicians that will roll out a state-of-the-art execution platform in the coming months.”
“Looking at the valuation business model through a different lens was the prompt that led to my move to NGKF,” said Busi. “To understand where we need to go, we have to recognize where we’ve been. We are bringing together professionals and firms that had been in place for decades before coming to NGKF. We are creating an amalgam of all of this diverse history. At an art gallery, a few years ago, my wife and I stood in front of a carefully crafted landscape and asked the 75-year-old artist how long it took her to paint it. Indignant and annoyed, she snapped back, “75 years.” Every color selected, every splash on her palette, every brushstroke, every idea, was the by-product of her 75 years of evolution as a painter. That is what we want to reflect in the design and development of the NGKF Valuation & Advisory platform - decades of right and wrong turns that yielded lessons learned and created muscle memory to build a new practice from a foundation of experience and imagination.”
About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 14,100 professionals operate from more than 400 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.
With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.
NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit http://www.bgcpartners.com/.