CBRE Poaches Eastdil Broker as Wells Fargo Weighs Unit Sale

(Bloomberg) -- CBRE Group Inc. has hired Doug Middleton, a New York City real estate broker at Eastdil Secured, as parent Wells Fargo & Co. weighs a sale of the unit.

Middleton, 34, joins next Tuesday as executive vice president of New York City capital markets and will focus on office and residential properties, he said in an interview. He will report to the group’s chairs, Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan, who have been expanding the team to increase deal capacity.

“This widens our ability to really go after anything from the $50 million to the $5 billion,” said Stacom, who is marketing Manhattan’s Chrysler Building as the trophy’s owners search for a buyer. “I kind of look at this as the final cornerstone of what I was looking to build out as a deeper capital-markets team.”

Eastdil has lost a number of dealmakers in recent years. Broker Doug Harmon, who has worked on some of New York’s biggest transactions including Google’s $2.4 billion purchase of Chelsea Market last year, left in 2016 for Cushman & Wakefield. His colleagues Adam Spies and Kevin Donner went with him. Now, two decades after buying Eastdil, Wells Fargo has been considering a sale of the unit, a person briefed on the matter said in July. The bank has said it’s been exercising discipline in commercial real estate amid rising competition for loans.

A spokeswoman for Eastdil didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Middleton’s departure. A spokesman for Wells Fargo declined to comment on the bank’s plans for the unit.

Middleton, who is originally from Southern California, started at Eastdil as an analyst in 2010 and worked his way up to director of investment sales. He met Stacom in 2017 when the two were working on the $520 million sale of the office tower at 1440 Broadway in Manhattan. Middleton would most likely take on a leadership role if Stacom or Shanahan were to step aside, though neither of them has plans to leave the firm, a CBRE spokesman said.

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