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MacManus helping C&W navigate finance markets: Tom MacManus, executive vice president, Cushman & Wakefield.

When Tom MacManus joined Cushman & Wakefield at the beginning of the year, it was to help head up what then, to put it generously, could have been called a burgeoning business for the firm.

Named executive vice president of the company's Debt & Equity Finance Practice, MacManus was to play a key role in boosting C&W's profile in real estate banking, an area of service in which the company could be said to have been lagging other large real estate services firms.

Previously an executive vice president at the commercial mortgage giant GMAC, MacManus should have perhaps been more than a subtle sign of the initiative C&W was beginning to take in becoming a major participant in structured real estate finance.

"I joined in large because of the kind of big things that C&W was planning to do," MacManus said. "And I think that the company wanted me because it recognized that I have a lot of experience in the industry and that I share the firm's vision to see this business grow and prosper."

MacManus envisioned, in the months following his appointment, the firm's growth to come through both the expansion of its own operations and the acquisition of other companies with an attractive share of the market.

MacManus said that he used the former method in C&W's Chicago offices, making a key hire in recent months that has boosted business there.

But C&W recently demonstrated how the shrewd purchase of a competitor could provide perhaps the most effective and immediate impact.

Three weeks ago, the company announced that it will be acquiring a majority stake in Sonnenblick Goldman, a well-known name in the real estate industry for its focus on debt and equity placement, its skill in arranging joint venture partnerships, and as a sales broker and arranger of financing for hospitality and resort properties.

The deal brings C&W, which has long been a leading office leasing and investment sales brokerage, instant credibility and a network of relationships in the financing side of the business.

"This has certainly boosted the business in a way that otherwise couldn't have been accomplished so quickly," MacManus said.

"We're getting a group of top people that will really fill the niche for us and give us greater market penetration."

Thrust suddenly into the center of what is likely one of the largest ever additions to the firm (C&W has not revealed the acquisition's cost or the size of the stake it has in Sonnenblick Goldman), MacManus is suddenly in charge of a much larger financing arm than he was when he first joined six months ago.

Although sources at C&W say that Sonnenblick Goldman's top management will continue to operate the company after the acquisition is completed (C&W expects to close on the transaction in a month), MacManus indicated that he will be a key executive in the new merged company created through the transaction.

According to MacManus, one of the advantageous aspects of expanding the company's ability to arrange debt placement and financing is that it will be able to leverage the firm's existing services for crossover business. Competitors like Eastdil Secured, for instance, have utilized the close relationship between investment sales and structured finance to become top players in both.

While it's not hard to imagine how a broker who sells a real estate investor an asset can then use that relationship to also arrange the necessary financing for the transaction, MacManus said that C&W will be able to feed its financing arm from other service lines as well.

"For our brokerage operations, when we do a lease, that can be the circumstance in which a landlord will then want to refinance their property based on the strong credit from that tenant and how that cash flow will increase the value of their building," MacManus said.

"Now we have the resources to handle that for them."
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Title Annotation:PROFILE OF THE WEEK
Comment:MacManus helping C&W navigate finance markets: Tom MacManus, executive vice president, Cushman & Wakefield.(PROFILE OF THE WEEK)
Author:Geiger, Daniel
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 20, 2007
Previous Article:Massey Knakal Realty.
Next Article:Around town: events seminars meetings talks.

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