Comments (58)

Mar 19, 2019

Pretty pissed TBH. HFF was the only brokerage shop in secondary markets without any blatant conflicts of interest. Would buy from them 10/10 times.

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Mar 19, 2019

What do you mean by conflicts of interest?

Mar 19, 2019

An example could be JLL choosing a buyer that would hire them on the Agency Leasing side of the business.

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Mar 19, 2019

HFF median pay only $110k

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Mar 23, 2019

Yeah that's probably not right, unless they're including like marketing and accounting.

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Mar 28, 2019

HFF median broker pay is ~$750k (before house cut). Top guys regularly do $10m+ per year.

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Mar 19, 2019

If they weren't already the dominant player in the space they are now. Not even close

Mar 19, 2019

This is incomprehensibly wrong.

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Mar 19, 2019

Care to elaborate? HFF is consistently the number one intermediary and one of the top originators across all asset classes. JLL cap markets was already an established and respected name in the industry with one of the best platforms prior to the acquisition

Mar 19, 2019

Wonder what the repercussions are for the potential Eastdil sale. WF might be considering going the private equity acquisition route though.

Mar 20, 2019

Interesting thought, heard Eastdil had some interest from an Asian holdings company.

Mar 21, 2019

MBO from Temasek Holdings (Singapore)

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Mar 29, 2019
Mar 19, 2019

Think I got out at the right time.

-Former HFF Employee

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Mar 28, 2019

Same, was working there in 2018. There are too many young brokers reliant on the generous execution cut of the fee. There is going to be some serious drama at the junior broker level. I think many people will leave.

Mar 19, 2019

Seems like JLL is buying the people more than anything. Bringing them on and killing out more competition while making JLL that much bigger.

Can't imagine how many people at HFF are wanting out now lol.

Mar 19, 2019

Your last comment... why do you say that?

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Mar 19, 2019

Why would people at HFF want out?

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Mar 19, 2019

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.

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Mar 28, 2019

Real drama is going to occur in markets like Houston and Chicago where both firms have very strong offices.

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Mar 22, 2019

isn't that M&A 101? cut expenses while finding synergies top line.

Being a stand alone or full service shop has it's pros and cons.

Everyone talks about Eastdil but most of your wankers won't even get an interview from Eastdil.

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Mar 19, 2019

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

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Mar 19, 2019

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.

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Mar 23, 2019

Probably the same reason people hate the Patriots and Golden State and the Yankees

Mar 28, 2019

JLL's culture is much worse than HFF's. HFF does a great job of taking care of junior brokers. JLL is a group of mercenaries in many offices.

Funniest
Mar 19, 2019

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

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Mar 19, 2019

Why is that?

Mar 19, 2019

Can anyone shed some light on how this might effect their hiring practices? I'm graduating in May and cannot imagine an office looking to hire new people while adjusting to their new circumstances but, please, correct me if I'm wrong.

Mar 20, 2019

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.

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Mar 19, 2019

Assuming they are under contract i would think hiring would freeze for a few months.

Mar 19, 2019

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.

Mar 19, 2019
VolatilitySmile:

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.

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Mar 19, 2019

Agreed, important to note that Mark Gibson will be leading the capital markets platform in the Americas. JLL will keep the hitters that want to be kept and will pay them well.

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Mar 19, 2019

I bet cash heavy Berkadia starts scooping up HFF IS teams, they've been trying to build an IS business.

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Mar 19, 2019

I'd be willing to bet there is a significant chance that Eastdil and Cushman merge. If they do CBRE, JLL, and C&W will be absolutely dominant.

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Mar 19, 2019

How are they going to mesh the cultures? Eastdil and Cushamn are very differently places. I can almost guarantee the same for HFF/JLL.

Not at the top levels, but in terms of deal size, analyst programs, how they are compensated, and just overall office culture.

Mar 19, 2019

Lmao Harmon would be pissed

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Mar 23, 2019

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

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

I wonder if the analyst program will stay more like the JLL structure, or if we'll see them move to a structure more similar to HFF's? Thoughts?

Mar 19, 2019

What are the differences? I'm looking to transition to Capital Markets so I'm curious to know what the main differences are between the firms.

Mar 19, 2019

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.

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Mar 21, 2019

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...

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Mar 22, 2019

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.

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Mar 29, 2019

Wow that's a lot.

Mar 28, 2019

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.

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Mar 22, 2019

I would imagine that folks at HFF who mattered had to sign some sort of retention agreement.

Mar 22, 2019

Sure it makes JLL a lot stronger in terms of Capital Markets, but that also makes one less competitor in the marketplace. Just another sign of industry consolidation... when will Eastdil be sold??

Mar 23, 2019

I think this is expected, the industry has been consolidating for a while. I personally think that we're moving towards a 2-5 firm (realistically 2-3) environment where most of the market share is taken up by a few firms, with a number of boutiques specializing in 1-2 things.

I bet you the next firms to get swallowed up will be strong ones similar to HFF where they're fantastic at what they do, but don't quite feel diverse enough to continue to compete for business against the big 3.

I'm thinking like Walker and Dunlop (D&E), Transwestern (For Property MGMT), Cresa (Tenant Advisory), Northmarq (MF) etc.

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Mar 31, 2019

What would happen to small firms and firms such as MM and CW?

Will the majority control of the market be taken over by the merger of HFF and JLL?

No pain no game.

Mar 23, 2019

I wouldn't consider CW small anymore, after the merger, they're larger than M&M, Colliers and Newmark combined.

I believe CB and JLL have like 80-90k employees, CW 50k, Colliers 15k, NKF 15k, M&M 1k.

When I said 2-5 firms, I meant CBRE and JLL, and then CW as a third, and then Colliers and Newmark in 4th and 5th.