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CBRE Group Inc. (CBG - Analyst Report), the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm in terms of 2011 revenues, announced the retirement of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Brett White, on November 30, 2012. As previously announced, Robert E. Sulentic took over the reins on December 1, 2012.

Brett White had led CBRE Group as CEO since 2005. During his seven year tenure, he contributed towards growth of client services and global capabilities of the company. His major achievement includes the acquisition of ‘ING Real Estate Investment Management’ (ING REIM) business in 2011, a major revenue driver to date.  

CBRE Group has now completed the integration of the acquired business in its existing Global Investment Management (GIM) segment. Thus, we think that White has positioned the company as necessary to boost its long term strategy of providing premium client services, and thereby, enhance the global real estate services brand.

Robert E. Sulentic joined CBRE Group in 2006 with the acquisition of Trammell Crow Company, where he had served as CEO. He was appointed President of CBRE Group in 2009 and will retain his current position, along with the new responsibility.  Sulentic also joined the Board of Directors and Global Operating Committee of CBRE Group. Alongside, he is on the Board of Directors of an office product manufacturing retailer - Staples, Inc. (SPLS - Analyst Report).

We believe that Sulentic’s vast know-how and expertise will prove beneficial for CBRE Group. We expect the company to reach new heights in terms of ongoing client services improvement and portfolio expansions.

As a point of reference, one of CBRE Group’s peers – Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL - Analyst Report) – recently announced the transition of two senior executives. Peter Roberts, the current CEO of the Americas region, will move to the post of Chief Strategy Officer effective January 1, 2013. Concurrently, the company announced Lauralee Martin as his successor.

CBRE Group is the global market leader in commercial real estate brokerage and advisory services for property leasing and sales, forecasting, valuations, origination and servicing of commercial mortgage loans, as well as project and real estate investment management. The company’s extensive knowledge of domestic and international real estate markets enables it to operate as a single-source provider of real estate solutions.

CBRE Group, however, reported relatively unimpressive results in the third quarter of 2012, with earnings missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents, as the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and a slow growth trajectory in Asia held back its momentum.

We have a long-term Neutral recommendation on CBRE Group. It carries a short-term Zacks #5 Rank (Strong Sell).

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