Avison Young opens new office in Mexico City

Fast-growing commercial real estate services firm opens first office in Mexico;
Guillermo Sepulveda becomes Principal and Managing Director, 10 members join

TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today the opening of a newly formed office in Mexico City.

The new office represents Avison Young's first location in Mexico, the first North American office outside of Canada and the U.S., and an additional step in the firm's ongoing aggressive growth and expansion strategy.

Over the past six and a half years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to, now, 73 offices in 65 markets and from 300 to more than 2,000 real estate professionals in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Europe.

Effective immediately, 10 members join the new office. Guillermo Sepulveda becomes a Principal of Avison Young and a Managing Director of the Mexico City office. Working with other Avison Young Principals, he will partner to execute on the growth and development of Avison Young's presence in Mexico, and service new and existing clients.

Sepulveda brings more than 25 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young, most recently as President for Mexico and Latin America at DTZ, which recently acquired and became Cushman & Wakefield.

In addition, Emile Sarraf becomes a Principal of Avison Young and a Senior Vice-President in the Mexico City office. He brings more than 30 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young, most recently as Chief Operating Officer for Mexico and Latin America at DTZ. Seven other team members from the former DTZ Mexico office also join Avison Young, and Sepulveda and Sarraf will look to grow the new office rapidly with additional seasoned professionals.

"We're extremely pleased to be expanding into the highly dynamic Mexico marketplace and to have Guillermo, Emile and their experienced team on board," comments Rose. "By expanding into Mexico, Avison Young will now be able to cover all of North America, providing a full slate of commercial real estate services to clients in Mexico, Canada and the U.S. This added capability will allow Avison Young to service its growing clientele in one of the world's most economically dynamic regions, create immediate synergies and complete more cross-border transactions, particularly with our nearby clients in California and Texas."

Rose continues: "You can't fully service multinational clients in North America without the Mexican piece of the puzzle. With the way our clients are set up, they need local experts who know how to deliver consistent results regardless of the location. In this sense, Mexico becomes highly strategic for us, and also offers the opportunity for more transactions involving our clients in the U.K. and Germany. Furthermore, Guillermo, Emile and their team have the experience in Mexico that we need – and the positive long-term client and business relationships that we covet."

Also joining Avison Young are: Tania Sanchez, Director of Marketing and Research, Mexico; Christian Cuevas and Claudia Sanchez, Associates; Sergio Ruiz, Senior Project Manager; Gaspar Bautista, MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) Specialist; and Alma Martinez and Juana Martinez, Administrative Coordinators.

Rose adds: "The Mexico City location is the first of several new Avison Young offices to come in Mexico, which we believe has potential for considerable commercial real estate market growth. We will stick to our highly successful model of growing rapidly in major markets with the right teams, as Guillermo and Emile lead the way and offer the highest possible level of service. Thanks to their help, we have already completed much of the homework necessary to identify the right potential partners in Mexico and, more importantly, the best people capable of providing the right real estate solutions for our clients. We're not simply going after more revenues and deals."

Avison Young's new office in Mexico City is located in the Santa Fe suburb to the west of the city. With an inventory of more than 13 million square feet (msf), Santa Fe represents the largest office submarket in Latin America.

"We are truly excited about the opportunity to join the Avison Young family and look forward to executing the firm's business plan in Mexico," says Sepulveda. "Although our team received multiple offers to join other real estate services organizations – a clear sign that we had the core skills and knowledge necessary to help a firm expand rapidly in Mexico and the rest of Latin America – we were looking not only for a platform and brand, but also for a culture that would suit our way of conducting business. We also wanted a partner that shared our vision of how a smaller platform can successfully compete with the larger firms. Avison's Young Principal-led, collaborative business model and culture offered the perfect fit for us."

Today's announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young opening new offices in San Antonio on October 8; Hartford, CT on September 22; and Nashville and Knoxville, TN on September 2.

"Our team spent a lot of time searching for the right new partner, but from the initial meeting with Mark Rose and his team, we knew that we had found a winner in Avison Young," adds Sarraf. "Our move to Avison Young will greatly benefit our existing and new clients as well as our current and future employees. We're looking forward to making the Avison Young brand known and positioning it throughout Mexico and, eventually, the rest of Latin America as we provide growth opportunities for our clients and our new company. We also look forward to working with our new partners and colleagues in Canada, the U.S., U.K. and Germany, and participating in the growth that the firm will continue to experience in the future."

With a population of approximately 21 million, Mexico City, including the Federal District and its surrounding area, comprises the largest urban agglomeration in the Western Hemisphere and the eighth largest on the globe. The Mexico City office real estate market is the most active in Latin America with a total inventory of 50.5 msf, plus an additional 13 msf currently under construction and an average annual absorption of approximately 5.3 million msf.

The Greater Mexico City GDP represented approximately one-fifth of Mexico's total GDP of $1.283 trillion in 2014, according to the World Bank, which also projects that Mexico will be the eighth largest economy in the world by 2050. The Federal District produces 21.8% of Mexico's GDP, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The OECD forecasts that Mexico's population will grow 13% by 2030, driving demand for goods and services. This growth will continue to have a direct impact on real estate.


Guillermo Sepulveda 
Guillermo Sepulveda brings more than 25 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young. He was most recently President of Stratto, which he founded in 2007 and then affiliated with DTZ in April 2014, when he opened the first DTZ office in Mexico and planned the company's growth strategy for Brazil, Chile and Colombia while serving on the firm's Americas executive committee. While with DTZ, Sepulveda was responsible for supervising, completing and consulting on transactions for companies and institutions such as Brazil's second-largest bank Bradesco, Mexican bank Investa, Heartland Food Products, Lloyds of London, Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA), Oracle, Nextel (now AT&T) and CHEP, among others.

During his real estate career, which has been spent entirely in Latin America, Sepulveda has completed more than US$1 billion worth of transactions and projects spanning 20 msf of commercial space, along with investment transactions valued in excess of $100 million. In the process, he has provided clients with a variety of services in the areas of transactions, project and facility management, investment sales and consulting. During his career, he has played key management roles with such real estate services companies as Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE, Coldwell Banker Commercial and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the latter of which he was a key player in the firm's growth in Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Sepulveda holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from Universidad LaSalle in Mexico City, and conducted a semester of architectural studies at the University of Arizona.

Emile Sarraf
Emile Sarraf brings more than 30 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young, most recently as Chief Operating Officer for Latin America at DTZ. Prior to joining DTZ, Sarraf had an alliance with Coldwell Banker Commercial, where after nearly 20 years of meeting Guillermo Sepulveda, the two reconnected and jointly launched DTZ operations in Mexico in April 2014. While at DTZ Mexico, Sarraf was responsible for financial, legal, accounting and asset services, and provided consulting services for Eaton in Brazil and Nextel (now AT&T) in Mexico City, among other multinational firms.

Before moving into brokerage operations, Sarraf worked on the client side of the business for more than 20 years, 11 of them as head of real estate with Grupo Salinas, which he continues to serve today as an outside consultant. Sarraf has also served multinational clients such as Citibank, GE, and American Express in the areas of corporate services and purchasing. During his career, Sarraf has managed more than 3,000 facilities totaling approximately 40 msf, and has completed more than US$100 million worth of dispositions. He holds civil engineering and management degrees from IBERO in Mexico City and St. Joseph University in Lebanon, respectively.

Avison Young is the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 2,000 real estate professionals in 73 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

• Editors/Reporters
Please click on links to vie and download photos of Guillermo Sepulveda and Emile Sarraf:
http://www.avisonyoung.com/sites/default/files/content-files/Media_Room/Temp/Emile_Sarraf-and-Guillermo_Sepulveda.jpg Emile Sarraf (LEFT) and Guillermo Sepulveda (RIGHT)

For further information/comment/photos:

  • Sherry Quan, Principal, Global Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: 604.647.5098; cell: 604.726.0959
  • Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: 416.673.4028
  • Guillermo Sepulveda, Principal and Managing Director, Mexico City, Avison Young: +52 155.4088.4166
  • Emile Sarraf, Principal and Senior Vice-President, Mexico City, Avison Young: +52 155.5500.3703


Avison Young was a winner of Canada's Best Managed Companies program in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and has demonstrated its commitment to the program and successfully reapplied for the designation as a Gold Standard winner in 2014. 

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SOURCE Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)

For further information: Media Relations: Sherry Quan, 604.647.5098 or 604.726.0959, sherry.quan@avisonyoung.com


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