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NAI, Commercial Real Estate Solutions form joint venture.

NAI, one of the largest networks of independently-owned commercial real estate firms, and Commercial Real Estate Solutions, LLC, which manages the franchise sales, training and servicing of The Prudential Commercial Services Network (Prudential Commercial Services), announced the formation of a joint venture to expand both networks and extend their client service capabilities.

NAI, based in Highstown, N.J., has 150 member firms serving corporate, institutional and individual clients in 300 markets around the world. With 3,500 professionals, NM closed $25 billion in commercial real estate sales and leases in 2001. Prudential Commercial Services, with 33 franchised offices and more than 700 sales professionals in the U.S. and Canada, is the commercial division of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company.

The joint venture creates NM Commercial Real Estate Solutions, LLC, a new company that will be owned equally by NM and Commercial Real Estate Solutions, LLC (CRES).

Jeffrey M. Finn, president and chief operating officer of NAI, will be chairman and chief executive officer of the new venture. Mark Donahue, president and chief executive officer of CRES, will serve as vice chairman and president of the venture. Financial terms were not disclosed.

While the networks will remain independent, as a result of the new venture, NM and Prudential Commercial Services will refer business planning resources, local-office systems development, broker-owner training and coaching programs, and technology applications including online office management and transaction management.

"We believe this joint venture will establish a new level of client service in commercial real estate brokerage. The arrangement allows brokers from both networks to expand their capabilities and transaction volume," said Finn. "The new venture creates a shared commercial real estate services platform with unmatched reach and resources, while allowing both networks and their brokers to maintain their independence, yet share resources to compete even more effectively in their respective markets. We expect this relationship to open up new corporate and institutional business opportunities."

Among NAI's existing corporate and multi-market clients are Airborne Express, Alcoa, Inc., Hertz Corp., International Paper Company, The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. and the United States Postal Service.

Donohue added, "Today's announcement marks the formation of a working partnership to form a service platform and infrastructure model that will accelerate the growth of NM and Prudential Commercial Services while assuring the highest quality standards and systems." Donahue was formerly president of CB Partners, the division of CB Richard Ellis responsible for building and managing a brokerage affiliate network. He is joined at CRES by Mike Fitz-Gerald, a former regional manager and board member of CB Richard Ellis, and Rick Chichester, a former "Manager of the Year" at CB Richard Ellis in Southern California.

As a result of the new venture, both NAI and CRES expect to see their transaction volume increase significantly, as each network's brokers leverage one another's resources and relationships to secure new business and to expand existing client relationships. The new entity is highly focused on delivering worldclass global real estate solutions to both existing and new clients.

In terms of client service capabilities, the new venture extends NAI's reach into a host of secondary and tertiary markets where Prudential Commercial Services has a strong presence. Similarly, the new venture extends Prudential Commercial Services' reach into hundreds of new markets around the world, enabling its brokers to deliver expanded client services, including corporate advisory and transaction services in conjunction with NAI.

Both companies said the platform created by the venture will draw interest from potential new members, partners, brokers and clients.

As part of the joint venture, CRES will assist NM by providing strategic market growth consultation, training and certified local brokerage systems to help member firms increase market share. NAI will bring global management infrastructure and services to the venture. Among the technology applications to be shared are NAI's award-winning online transaction management systems. The systems will be customized for the individual needs of each organization. Strategic market planning and advanced business planning, along with an aggressive professional development program, will be provided to brokers in both networks tailored to their individual needs and the strategic development plans of the two independent networks.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 9, 2002
Words:691
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