Company Spotlight

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Company Spotlight: CBRE

CBRE is a large-scale commercial real estate services and investment firm. It offers an extensive range of integrated services and strategic advice to its investors and occupiers, across a variety of property types and industry sectors.

These services include facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services.

CBRE is a Fortune 500 company, ranking #207 with reported revenues of $21.3 billion in 2018. It also has more than 480 worldwide offices and more than 90,000 employees.

If you look behind the facts and figures, CBRE is also a business with a solid stance on corporate responsibility. For example, in 2017, both Fortune and Forbes singled out CBRE as one of the U.S.’s best employers for diversity and inclusion. For the sixth year running, it was also recently recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies to work for.

In 2007, CBRE was reportedly the first commercial real estate services company to announce its commitment to become carbon neutral. More recently, CBRE earned a place on Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies List. The business has a clear focus on sustainability and engages with clients and owners to help implement a range of eco-friendly initiatives.

CBRE has also won a range of accolades in the CRE space. It was named as one of the ‘Most Admired’ companies in the industry by Fortune in 2019. The Lipsey Company also ranked CEBRE as the top real estate brand for an impressive 18th year in a row.

The company has a rich history in high-profile acquisitions, helping it to realize widespread global growth over the years.

CBRE recently grew its valuation business when it acquired CRE appraisal firm Florida Valuation Group. Florida Valuation specializes in eminent domain and litigation valuations across Florida and the Southeast.

The History of CBRE

CBRE traces its roots back to 1906 when the firm was set up in San Francisco by Colbert Coldwell under the name Tucker, Lynch & Coldwell. By the 1940s, it had grown into one of the largest CRE services companies on the west of the United States.

The company continued to expand its geographic coverage and service portfolio in the following years. It was owned by Sears, Roebuck in the 1980s. In 1989, operations moved from Sears to form CB Commercial, following an acquisition by the company’s staff and other parties.

In the 1990s, a series of acquisitions followed to accelerate the business’s growth and its presence on a global scale. In 1998, its acquisition of REI Limited, the international arm of Richard Ellis, led to a name change and it became CB Richard Ellis or CBRE.

The acquisition of U.K.-based property services firm Hillier Parker May & Rowden followed soon after. This made CBRE the first real estate services business with a platform capable of delivering integrated real estate services from one commonly owned and managed company across the world’s major business capitals.

In 2003, CBRE acquired the Insignia Financial Group to extend its presence in London and New York. In 2004, CBRE began trading on the New York Stock exchange and was added to the S&P 500 in 2006.

Another round of acquisitions followed over the next 10 years–notably that of Netherlands-based real estate investment management firm ING Group, which created an enterprise with roughly $90 billion of investment assets under management.

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