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Bret Bunnett Named C&W’s Acting Regional Managing Director

The longtime industry leader previously served as regional managing principal of DTZ, which acquired Cushman & Wakefield in a $2 billion deal that was finalized in September.
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Bret Bunnett
Bret Bunnett

Cushman & Wakefield has named veteran real estate executive Bret Bunnett acting regional managing director of its Dallas-Fort Worth office. He’ll oversee things in North Texas until a permanent director is named.

Steve Everbach, who previously held the post, recently left to become a regional president with Colliers International.

Bunnett is a longtime industry leader and previously served as regional managing principal of DTZ, which acquired Cushman & Wakefield in a $2 billion deal that was finalized in September. The merger created one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the world, with a combined total revenue of $5 billion and 43,000 employees. The combined companies now operate singularly as Cushman & Wakefield.

Bunnett will work closely with West Region President Mike Smith on the search for a permanent regional managing director. In this exclusive Q&A, he talks about how the merger is shaking out, and what lies ahead.

D Real Estate Daily: So, how are things going so far?

Bret Bunnett: Things are going great. We’re about 90 days into the merger, and teams are working together and collaborating well. I’ve been very impressed with people in the legacy Cushman & Wakefield group. I’ve known them for years—I came to Dallas 30 years ago—but I’ve really been impressed by the organization and team members, working with them now on a day-to-day basis.

DRED: How do the two firms align locally?

Bunnett: It’s a very complimentary fit. If you look at service lines, we’re immediately stronger in agency leasing, capital markets, tenant representation—a complete platform of integrated solutions, provided by very experienced, talented, knowledgeable professionals. It was clearly the right move for the organization, and it positions us well for the future.

DRED: Are you guys still in two separate offices?

Bunnett: Yes, on Sherry Lane in Preston Center and Rosewood Court in Uptown. We’re in the intermediate phase of search for new space, and we’re going to build out some very collaborative space for the future. We’re looking for about 35,000 to 40,000 square feet in a location in a vibrant area that provides the right amenities and experience for our professionals. Bringing everyone under one roof will just create even more energy and lead to more collaboration and be part of the foundation of the future. We’re moving at a rapid pace to make some decisions on where that space will be, and hope to be in that new space in four or five months.

DRED: What has been the market reaction to the merger?

Bunnett: It has been very positive. Clients have welcomed the move. It really just enhances the services we’re able to provide throughout, and on a global basis. Both firms have a rich background of serving clients at the highest level, and the merger has only heightened that, with more capacity, resources, and team members. And I think clients recognize the strength of the brand.

DRED: What role does Dallas market play in overall operations for Cushman & Wakefield?

Bunnett: Dallas is a major market for the firm, and one that Cushman & Wakefield is extremely dedicated to growing, both organically and by recruiting top talent. Just look at what has occurred in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the significant growth we’re seeing and in-migration and absorption of office, industrial, and retail space. This is a growth market for the industry and a growth market for Cushman & Wakefield. The company is really going to invest in this location in a significant way, both today and in the future.

DRED: So what’s your first order of business?

Bunnett: First and foremost, it’s to ensure that we continue to serve clients at the highest level. We’ve been doing this day in and day out throughout the integration, and as the teams work together and get to know one another and collaborate, they’ll pursue opportunities together. So that will only continue. Second, is to get under one roof. That is important. And then it’s just to continue to grow and develop.

DRED: Are you actively recruiting?

Bunnett: Yes, and with the expanded platform, I’m very excited about the opportunity to bring more top talent into the organization. We’re not at capacity in terms of our ability to add staff to service lines. Considering Cushman & Wakefield’s strong reputation and brand in the market, we are seeing a lot of interest from professionals in the area. Most times you reach out to others, but other times they reach out to you. We’re experiencing both.

DRED: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Bunnett: Just that we are very confident about the future of this firm. From day one, there has been tremendous enthusiasm for the future. We’re at a time in the market that is going to provide additional opportunities for our firm and people. With the combined organization in Dallas, we are seeing more opportunities that we ever have.

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