Team will expand investment and agency business-line coverage in South East market
LONDON, June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services company, announced today that highly regarded office property specialists Piers Leigh, Chris Barrs and Tom Bridgman have joined the firm in London.
Effective immediately, Barrs, Leigh and Bridgman become Principals of Avison Young and will focus on agency and investment, particularly the South East market. They will be based in the firm's West End office but will serve clients throughout the Greater London marketplace. All three join Avison Young from Capita Real Estate in London, where Leigh and Barrs were both directors and ran the office agency team while Bridgman served as a divisional director of investment.
"We couldn't be more pleased that Tom, Chris and Piers have decided to join Avison Young as we continue to expand our full-service platform in London and across the U.K.," comments Rose. "They are a proven and effective team, particularly with respect to serving the dynamic South East office investment and agency market."
Rose continues: "To achieve long-term growth in the U.K. and globally, it is essential that we have proven industry leaders working for us in the London office market. Given their extensive backgrounds and deep market knowledge, Piers, Tom and Chris have developed the kind of office investment and leasing expertise that all clients expect. The team's presence in London will be critical when it comes to assisting clients with their local, national and international office portfolios – especially those clients with properties in the South East."
Leigh brings 16 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young while Barrs and Bridgman have worked in the industry for 10 and nine years, respectively. Before moving to Capita, both Barrs and Leigh were directors at Jones Lang LaSalle (formerly King Sturge) in London, while Bridgman was an associate with Gerald Eve.
"Having known Chris, Tom and Piers for a number of years, I have developed a great deal of respect for the way that they do business," notes Nick Cook, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the firm's London offices. "They will be tremendous assets in helping us expand our office investment and agency business-line coverage in the U.K. Their focus on the South East will be a clear differentiator for us when serving investors, landlords and tenants alike."
Avison Young entered the U.K. market in April 2014 when it acquired London-based commercial real estate services firm Haywards LLP and opened new offices in the London West End and Thames Valley. The London-area locations represented Avison Young's first offices outside of North America and a milestone step in the firm's ongoing aggressive global growth and expansion strategy. In December 2015, the firm opened an office in the City of London. In January 2016, Avison Young further widened its U.K. footprint by expanding to the Midlands with the opening of an office in Coventry through the acquisition of North Rae Sanders.
Bridgman says Avison Young's emphasis on partnership and collaboration helped him, Barrs and Leigh open the next chapter in their careers.
"I'm delighted to be part of Avison Young's Principal-led culture and collaborative business model with Piers and Chris," says Bridgman. "I am particularly excited to join a company that has no traditional silos or a one-size-fits-all approach to client service. I also welcome the opportunity to collaborate with our new colleagues in Europe, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico."
"By joining Avison Young, we will have the opportunity to provide creative solutions to clients on a daily basis while offering the benefits of a global brand and an international network of office property experts," notes Leigh. "I saw this as an exciting opportunity to join a rapidly growing organization as a Principal, and leverage my experience to play an integral role in further expanding the firm's London operations."
Adds Barrs: "It is exciting to be joining such a talented group of people who have assembled at Avison Young over the past couple of years. The firm, with its highly collaborative approach to doing business and entrepreneurial mentality, will allow us to provide clients with a full range of services. We enthusiastically look forward to serving our existing clients and future Avison Young clients in the marketplace."
Piers Leigh brings 16 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young, most recently as head of office agency with Capita Real Estate in London, where he led a transactional team of five. Before moving to Capita in 2014, he spent 14 years with Jones Lang LaSalle, formerly King Sturge, where he successfully grew the team in terms of revenue and staff.
Leigh's notable recent deals include: advising on the recent pre-let acquisition of the 90,000-square-foot (sf) Copyright Building in Central London and the 25,000-sf acquisition of the second floor at V3 in Basingstoke in 2016 for Capita Plc. Leigh also advised on the purchase of Avaya House (B1000 and B2000), Cathedral Hill in Guildford for Europa Capital and Ediston; and 3 Longwalk Stockley Park on behalf of CCLA in 2015. He has provided office agency advice on high-profile South East schemes such as the 350,000-sf Heights in Weybridge, the nine-acre mixed-use development at Ruskin Square in Croydon, and the 570,000-sf office element currently being delivered at CB1 in Cambridge.
Leigh is a member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, the British Council for Offices, the Office Agents Society, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Tom Bridgman brings nine years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young. He was most recently a divisional director of investment at Capita in London. During his tenure at Capita, he was involved in the purchases of 54 Clarendon Road, Watford; Victoria Circus, Southend; Avaya House, Guildford; and M&S Stockley Park.
Prior to joining Capita in 2015, Bridgman served as an associate with Gerald Eve (2007 to 2015), where he negotiated the acquisitions of the Pianoworks and Goldvale House, both for LaSalle Investment Management, within three months of each other. Bridgman is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and is a registered valuer.
Chris Barrs brings 10 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young, most recently as a director with Capita in London. Prior to joining Capita in 2014, he spent four years as a director with Jones Lang LaSalle in London. Among his recent career highlights, Barrs advised Patron Capital & APAM on the purchase and subsequent leasing of Arlington Business Park in Theale; the purchase of 5 Arlington Square in Bracknell for CCLA; and the acquisition of Reading Bridge House for Capita Plc.
In addition, he has been involved with some of the largest and most high-profile office schemes in the South East, having worked in an advisory, leasing or investment capacity on Green Park, Winnersh Triangle, Stockley Park, IQ Slough, Royal Pavilion, Maxis and Arlington Square. Barrs is a member of the Office Agents Society, where he has been serving as regional Chair since 2014, and the British Council for Offices.
Over the past seven years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to 77 offices and from 300 to more than 2,200 real estate professionals in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Europe.
Avison Young is the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 2,200 real estate professionals in 77 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.
Please click on links to view and download photos of Piers Leigh, Chris Barrs and Tom Bridgman:
For further information/comment/photos:
- Sherry Quan, Principal and Global Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: 604.647.5098; cell: 604.726.0959
- Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: 416.673.4028
- Nick Cook, Principal and Managing Director, London, Avison Young: +44 (0)20 7041 9999
- Piers Leigh, Principal, London, Avison Young: +44 (0)7967 726301
- Chris Barrs, Principal, London, Avison Young: +44 (0)7779 010839
Avison Young was a winner of Canada's Best Managed Companies program in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and requalified in 2015 to maintain its status as a Best Managed Gold company
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SOURCE Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)