Comments (58)

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Mar 19, 2019 - 2:47pm

I bet a lot of the senior folks are pretty jazzed considering they've bee sitting on/handcuffed to that stock for a while... will be a massive liquidity event for a lot of the senior folks there who helped grow that platform.

This is going to be a dynamic that plays out market by market and team by team; really hard to deal in absolutes and generalities with something like this. For example HFF's Austin MF team will be fine (JLL's team there is garbage) and their Atlanta office team will be fine, but maybe HFF's multifamily teams in DC or Atlanta should be a little concerned or maybe the teams join forces or whatever it could go a million ways and it will likely be handled person by person.

Mar 19, 2019 - 10:13am

Not sure why there is so much anti-JLL sentiment here. I think this is a fantastic combination of companies.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Mar 19, 2019 - 4:53pm

I think it's either fantastic or awful depending on the market. As others have mentioned, there are some markets where this will fill a lot of gaps for JLL, and some that will over-saturate as a result. If you have two big office teams, for example, in a market (or even in adjacent/tangentially related markets), it's highly unlikely that (if a pitch opportunity/RFP request comes through) they'd invite multiple teams from the same firm to compete. So basically you'd have more mouths to feed out of one fee if the teams decide to work together (best case scenario from JLL's perspective with respect to retaining talent/aggregate fee production), or you'd have one team pissed/would be looking elsewhere almost immediately so they'd have the ability to pitch the deal as part of a different firm/platform.

"Who am I? I'm the guy that does his job. You must be the other guy."
Mar 19, 2019 - 10:47am

Excellent. My life plans have been derailed and I need to reassess my future career.

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Mar 19, 2019 - 12:00pm

There is really no way of knowing how either side will react. I'd assume it will be business as usual until the acquisition has closed, but each side could put a pause on hiring for capital markets at least. I wouldn't be too worried for someone starting out. If anything, more analysts could be needed once everything is finalized.

Mar 19, 2019 - 11:48am


I'd expect that many of the big dogs at HFF won't stick around. They've been bitterly battling their counterparts at JLL for decades to obtain listings.

Except I'm sure in some markets, the "big dogs" were part of the reason for the acquisition and they will probably be compensated nicely to stick around.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Mar 23, 2019 - 10:33am

I agree it would have made sense for CW to acquire Eastdil, but they already bought their top team, so it would be kind of weird to do that at this point. Cushman doesn't really need to bolster their IS platform much more than it is at this point. JLL was really starting to lag behind CW and CBRE is IS and this is just what they needed to put themselves at the top of the game.

Mar 25, 2019 - 8:25pm

Lol, yes, Cushman should buy a capital markets business at the top of the cycle that has a lot of redundancy with its existing capital markets business - not to mention they paid a very high price for the top Eastdil team a couple of years ago - while they are already way overlevered and still dealing with integration issues from past deals.

Mar 19, 2019 - 3:46pm

So I used to work at HFF. I also used to work at another brokerage not named JLL (but similar to)

My initial reaction, which I think has been stated, is that the cultures of these firms are not exactly the best fit. That being said, Mark Gibson being given the head post will smooth this merge. HFF has been so successful because it is a very open platform internally. Many brokerages simply cannot replicate what HFF has done because it isn't in their DNA.

It will be interesting to see if Mark can recreate the successes of HFF at a larger scale.

The real move would have been an EDS/HFF merger. I know EDS is on the block so couldn't have been a reality unless HFF stepped up.

I will say (again someone mentioned this), lessening the competitive field always favors certain capital markets participants. This merger follows the REPE trend: the biggest and baddest are taking over.

Mar 21, 2019 - 10:56pm

This acquiaition makes no sense. JLL is buying HFF at a peak valuation late in the cycle and the value of the business is based purely on the people, many of which will leave — either to start their own shop or to join a competitor. HFF is already saturated with brokers in some markets (ie HFF dallas and houston already have plenty of brokers) and no respectable broker wants to deal with the bureaucracy and bullshit that would undoubtedly come with working with a shop that large.

If JLL really wanted to grow their capital markets platform, they should have just set aside $500mm to lure 50 or so top performing broker groups at $10mm a pop.

Great deal for hff though and I can understand why they agreed to sell. Big cash out for some of the people that own a lot of stock...

Mar 22, 2019 - 2:30am

shut up. top brokers are on contracts for 5 to 10 years. understand the business before you speak. they just can't leave because the sun in shinning.

generally want happens in brokerage is junior guys pay a "bribe" to senior guys if they are on their team. after about 3 years, those junior guys jump to a bigger shop to start a new vertical so they are no longer paying a double promote.

NO ONE CAN COMPETE WITH EASTDIL.... they get perfect score SAT or GMAT candidates who are smart as fuck and are real estate consultants... you can't beat that shit and their pitch is just too fucking gangsta. reason they win deals right and left over $100M.

Mar 28, 2019 - 4:22pm

We beat Eastdil on our last 5-6 engagements on 2 continents. Not really all that impressed by them.

They only do layups. HFF is much better at arranging full stack/structured transactions IMO.

I had a flair for languages. But I soon discovered that what talks best is dollars, dinars, drachmas, rubles, rupees and pounds fucking sterling.
Mar 23, 2019 - 10:52am
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