Colliers to split from parent amid expansion plans

The global real estate consultancy will be spun off from its parent company FirstService Corporation. It also has hired its next CEO for Asia Pacific.  

The global real estate services firm, Colliers International, will be spun off from its parent company, the Toronto-based First Service Corporation, as it looks to pursue more acquisitions and expand its commercial real estate platform.

The company will be separated into two independent publicly-traded companies: Colliers International, for commercial real estate, and First Service Corporation, which will focus on residential property management and services in North America. 

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but in a statement announcing the split, FirstService said that the transaction is being “structured as a tax-free distribution to shareholders.” 

“Over the past several years we continued to strengthen and grow our company, expanding operations internally and through acquisitions, extending our geographic reach, divesting non-core assets and undertaking a significant re-branding initiative all while maintaining a strong balance sheet and cash flows,” said Jay Hennick, the firm’s founder of chief executive officer. “Today we are taking the next bold, but logical, step in unlocking even greater value for FirstService shareholders by separating our company into two, billion-dollar public companies, Colliers International and FirstService Corporation.”

In terms of the management reshuffle, Jay Hennick will serve as the executive chairman of Colliers International as well as chairman of First Service Corporation. Scott Patterson, who is the chief operating officer, will be the new chief executive officer of FirstService Corporation while Jeremy Rakusin will be its firm’s chief financial officer. The demerged firm’s current chief financial officer, John Friedrichsen, will now assume the same role at Colliers International. 

As a standalone company, Colliers International aims to accelerate acquisition growth and diversification of service lines across all regions and also consider merger opportunities, it said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, a senior management hire has also been made in Colliers International’s Asia-Pacific team. In a separate statement, the firm announced the appointment of David Hand as chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific region. Hand replaces Piers Brunner, who resigned from his position in August last year. Dennis Yeo was the interim chief executive officer during these months.

Based in Hong Kong, Hand would be responsible for the overall operation and management of the firm’s business in the region. He will lead the business development activities across Asia Pacific with a focus on further integrating the firm’s operations across geographic markets and industry verticals.

Hand comes from the property advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle, having spent 18 years in a variety of leadership roles, including international director of capital markets. 

Citing the appointment as a key hire for Colliers International, Doug Frye, global president and chief executive officer of Colliers International, said: “He is not only a great cultural fit, but also has experience growing businesses across multiple sectors. With over 20 years’ experience in Asia, David understands the region and has strong relationship among the local and international investor and occupier communities. His collaborative approach and commitment to his clients makes him a strong asset for Colliers.”