Avison Young to acquire WHR Property Consultants LLP

L-R: Dan Crossley, Gareth Buckley, Mike Rooney, Mark Williams

Avison Young, the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire market-leading U.K. firm WHR Property Consultants LLP (WHR), opening a new office in Manchester.

This acquisition represents Avison Young’s fifth office in the U.K, 11th office in Europe, and an additional step in the firm’s ongoing aggressive growth and expansion strategy.

Over the past nine years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to, now, 81 offices in 73 markets, and from 300 to more than 2,600 real estate professionals in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Europe.

“We are committed to rapid and intelligent growth in the U.K. as we add businesses and talent that align with Avison Young’s culture and client-centric model,” states Jason Sibthorpe, a Principal of Avison Young and Managing Director of the firm’s U.K. region. “Our approach is both disruptive and holistic, starting with client needs and business objectives – not with real estate. The acquisition of WHR is tremendously exciting and gives Avison Young significant regional presence and profile, underlining our commitment to deliver a full-service real estate platform in all of our markets. Furthermore, the new WHR team is a perfect match for us, as the members are focussed entirely on delivering added value for clients – an approach that mirrors Avison Young’s client-centric, Principal-led culture.”

WHR is a multi disciplinary commercial property consultancy firm with a wide range of offerings, including industrial and office agency, capital markets, property management, asset management, rating and professional services.

The firm was founded in 2004 by a group of Manchester-based property professionals. The goals of the partnership were to provide high-quality integrated property consultancy to customers including institutions, property companies and high-net-worth individuals. The partnership developed a strong market presence in the North West, with a focus on Manchester’s city centre, and has been involved in many high-profile property transactions within the region. The firm has provided complex professional and consultancy services over the years, including some ground-breaking appeals in the area of business rates, to a wide variety of national and international clients.

Subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close within 30 days. At which point WHR will be rebranded as Avison Young and 35 new members join from WHR. Mark Williams, Gareth Buckley, Mike Rooney and Dan Crossley will become Principals of Avison Young.

Williams also becomes Managing Director of the new Manchester office and will play a leading role in the company’s strategic expansion in the North West region while managing the day-to-day operations of the office. He will also continue to work closely with Buckley, Rooney and Crossley and collaborate with Principals across the company.

Mark Williams comments: “While we are proud of WHR’s achievements and growth to date, we do recognize that the future growth of the business will require a stronger national and, importantly, international brand. When we were approached by Avison Young, we were impressed with how closely our companies’ philosophies aligned, and felt confident that our well-established regional presence would be enhanced by joining a larger firm with strong U.K. and international client bases. We feel that this move is particularly important in the context of Manchester and the North West of England, as we are seeing real estate become an increasingly globalized commodity.”

He adds: “Crucially, we were attracted by the culture of Avison Young and the company’s structure, which enables employees and Principals to work together in partnership to grow the business with a collegial approach to decision-making. We look forward to collaborating with our new colleagues throughout the company as we serve clients on a local, national and international basis.”

Avison Young’s new office in Manchester will be located at The Lexicon, 9th floor, 10 Mount Street.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the WHR team to Avison Young and open a new office in Manchester, which will provide us with a centre of excellence in the dynamic North West marketplace and expand our footprint in the U.K.,” comments Mark Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Rose. “The new Manchester team prides itself on close relationships with clients, many of whom have relied upon the firm since its inception. This acquisition is another important milestone in the expansion of our rapidly growing U.K. operations. Avison Young will provide the new team’s clients with a countrywide service offering that spans the entire property lifecycle. In addition, we’ll provide North West clients with access to overseas markets and global resources.”

Rose continues: “The WHR team will enable us to further bolster our service offering and provide us with insight and market knowledge at a local level. Mark, Gareth, Mike and Dan are well-respected leaders within the North West commercial property industry, and their combined experience and approach to the delivery of client projects will be extremely beneficial to Avison Young as we continue to execute our strategic growth plan throughout the U.K. Moreover, the addition of 35 members will further strengthen our existing high-performing U.K. team.”