James Solomon joins Avison Young as Managing Director, U.S. Capital Markets

Jan 11, 2010, 09:00 ET from Avison Young (Canada) Inc.

Industry veteran to provide leadership on U.S. transaction advisory services, debt financing and investment sales for Canadian-based commercial real estate firm

CHICAGO, IL, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ - Earl Webb, President, U.S. Operations, Avison Young, announced today that industry veteran James Solomon has been appointed Managing Director, U.S. Capital Markets.

Avison Young is Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company with U.S. offices in Chicago, IL and Washington, DC.

Solomon brings 23 years of institutional and private market real estate experience to Avison Young. Acting as an advisor or principal, he has been responsible for investment, financing or sale of over $5 billion of office, industrial, retail, multi-family and hospitality real estate. These transactions include single asset acquisitions, equity joint ventures, portfolio acquisitions and distressed debt investments.

Based in Avison Young's Chicago office, Solomon will drive the growth and development of Avison Young's transaction advisory, debt finance and investment sales efforts in the U.S. Reporting to Webb, Solomon will work with the management team to expand Avison Young's real estate transaction presence in major U.S. property markets. He also becomes a Principal of Avison Young.

"Jim Solomon is one of the most respected executives in our business and we are very pleased to have someone of his stature join Avison Young," comments Webb. "With his experience and wisdom, gained in his more than 20 years in the industry, Jim will bring great value to the future growth of the Avison Young organization. We look forward to working with him as we continue to grow our company nationally. His appointment is part of a continuing trend at Avison Young to expand our network of office, industrial, retail and investment groups in order to provide the highest calibre of real estate services to our local and national clients."

Fuelled by the success of its Canadian operation, Avison Young has been pursuing an active acquisition and expansion strategy over the past year. In 2009, the company opened its first U.S. office in Chicago, IL, followed by Washington, DC. New offices in Lethbridge, Alberta and North Toronto in Ontario also began operations in the last two months, and the company has been continually adding key talent in its existing markets.

"I am excited to be part of Avison Young's expansion plans and look forward to assisting the management team in becoming a pre-eminent real estate services firm in the U.S. and internationally," says Solomon. "I have the exceptional benefit of team-building with Earl Webb, and along with our Canadian colleagues we will strive to provide best-in-class real estate investment and advisory services. My role is to assist the company's clients with capital markets services, whether investment advisory, mortgage banking or investment sales. We believe our use of intellectual capital, historic track record and industry relationships will provide a competitive advantage for the benefit of our clients."

Solomon began his professional real estate career in 1987 in New York City, working at First Winthrop, Inc., an institutional property company, and then Eastdil Realty, Inc. (now Eastdil Secured). In 1994, Solomon became a principal and senior management member at Quantum Realty Fund, a closed-end $750-million equity real estate investment fund founded by George Soros. Immediately following the majority sale of Quantum Realty to Goldman Sachs, Solomon joined Trizec Properties Inc., a U.S. REIT, and was jointly responsible for the company's U.S. asset growth to over 40 million square feet in seven U.S. property markets.

In 2001, Solomon founded Robert James Holdings Ltd., a Chicago-based real estate investment and advisory firm that has completed over $300 million in transactions as investment sponsor, managing principal and advisor. Its investment subsidiary, Ravinia Capital Group, was also active in acquiring office and industrial properties along with joint venture investors.

Solomon holds a Bachelor of Science in International Economics from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and a Masters in Business Administration from University of Pennsylvania's The Wharton School. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers, Mortgage Bankers Association and various community organizations.

Founded in 1978, Avison Young is Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company and the only national, Canadian-owned, principal-managed real estate brokerage firm in the country. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and ranked among Canada's leading national commercial real estate organizations, Avison Young is a full-service commercial real estate company comprising more than 500 real estate professionals in 15 offices across Canada and in the U.S. The company provides value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management and financial services to owners and users of commercial, industrial and multi-residential real estate properties.

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