When firms merge what pushes out top producers (HFF/JLL)

What pushes out these top producers like Aaron Appel or head of IS at JLL after HFF merger? I get Appel could've started his own shop with the amount of business he's doing, but for other guys why do they decide to leave vs fight for spots against top HFF producers taking their spots. Anyone have insight into general reasons, not specifically anyone at JLL or HFF.

Comments (3)

Sep 5, 2019

Its all a control thing at the end of the day. JLL's model was heavily focused on the individuals relationships with clients rather than the firms. Cross collaboration (which is heavy on the HFF side) was virtually nonexistent at JLL, or if it happened, there would be an all out fee war at the close of the deal. In that model, seems like only a few succeed. HFF lives and breathes in the space of collaboration. Some guys don't want to work on deals with others for fear of losing clients, getting strong-armed out of fee's, etc, so you'll see them leave and go to other brokerage heavy models that allow them to control the client entirely. HFF guys are trained from the analyst level up and in some cases, are given deals to run with from upper management. Easy to build a book of business when it funnels down to you, but that's not always the case either... To round out, generally, guys know where their strengths are and how they match up. Not gonna stick around if you have tons of client cross over, and are no longer the "big dog" in the office. Easy to leave and take what/who you can to another shop where your ego stays in tact. For example, the whole HFF hotels group left because they just cant compete with JLL's group. Appel likely left because he wasn't going to be in charge of NYC DCM anymore, other will leave because of new comp structure, lack of opportunity in the market, or just because they're to green to compete with some more seasoned producers.

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Sep 5, 2019

It's very simple - the top producers at both firms share the same big institutional clients and had a similar piece of the fee pie at their respective firms. There is no scenario for either top producer where they don't take a hit to their earning potential if both parties stay.

Sep 8, 2019
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