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The move appeared to catch many who follow mergers and acquisitions activity among real estate services firms by surprise. BGC had not to date made a move to enter CRE brokerage on its own account. However, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., BGC’s majority shareholder, has been an early entrant back into the nascent commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market, beginning with the hiring of several executives from Credit Suisse in 2009. Howard W. Lutnick, chairman and CEO of BGC, also serves as chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald.
“This is the beginning of a dramatic new footprint in commercial real estate by BGC, and the definitive starting point of BGC’s strategy to grow in this sector,” Lutnick said in a statement. “In financial services brokerage over the last five years, we have added more than 1,000 brokers, grown revenues to over $1.3 billion, massively invested in our world-class proprietary technology, and increased our distributable earnings margin hundreds of basis points. We will use the same strategies to position Newmark for dramatic growth.”