Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services company, has announced 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.”