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In order to strengthen its position for future growth, Chicago-based real estate investment trust (REIT), Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL - Analyst Report), recently announced the transition of two senior executives. The current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Americas region, Peter Roberts, will move to the post of Chief Strategy Officer. Concurrently, the company also announced Lauralee Martin as his successor effective January 1, 2013.

Peter Roberts joined Jones Lang in 1986 and held various positions as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Co-President of Tenant Representation and a key member of the Capital Markets business. He became the CEO of the Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc in 2003. During his tenure, he helped effect improvement in annual revenues of the region six-fold through transformational amalgamations and organic growth. In the third quarter 2012, revenues in the Americas region increased 15.3% y/y to $437.3 million and EBIDTA jumped 15.2% to $53 million.

On the other hand, Lauralee Martin has been associated with Jones Lang since 2002. She joined the company as the CFO and later was appointed to the additional post of Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Martin will retain her current position, along with the new responsibility, until a replacement is found. During her tenure, she strengthened the company’s Energy and Sustainability Services business and enhanced expansions. In addition, she also facilitated the formation of globally unified technology platform in order to improve productivity.

Prior to joining Jones Lang, Ms. Martin held various top executive positions at Heller Financial Inc. and GE capital – a financial services unit of General Electric Company (GE - Analyst Report). Apart from this, she has also been the director of various industry giants -- Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (KALU - Snapshot Report), HCP, Inc. (HCP - Analyst Report) and KeyCorp (KEY - Analyst Report).

We believe that Ms. Martin’s vast know-how and expertise along with her quick and decisive approach will prove beneficial for Jones Lang going forward. We expect the company to scale new heights through improved client services and operational productivity.

Jones Lang reported third quarter 2012 recurring earnings per share of $1.23, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.18 and the year ago earnings of $1.12.

Jones Lang provides corporate, financial and investment management services to corporations and other real estate owners, users, and investors worldwide. With a worldwide portfolio of approximately 2.1 billion square feet, Jones Lang is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services.

We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on Jones Lang. Also, it carries a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

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