Cushman & Wakefield’s European CEO plots new life as investment manager

Paul Bacon, the long-serving chief executive officer of the world’s largest private property services firm, is to relinquish his post to the firm’s chairman, Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano, as he eyes launching his own investment management firm.

Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano will become chief executive officer for the European, Middle Eastern and African operations of the world’s largest private-held property services firm Cushman & Wakefield. The firm announced today that Sant’ Albano would replace current incumbent Paul Bacon as of 1 July.

Bacon leaves after 28 years at Cushman & Wakefield. Upon his departure in early 2013, he is expected to launch an investment management business, based in Milan, according to a report by UK commercial property magazine Property Week.

London-based Sant’Albano also is chairman of the board of Cushman & Wakefield, a role he was promoted to in March 2011, and is responsible for the “strategic oversight and stewardship” of the firm globally. He previously was chief executive officer of EXOR, which owns a “major” stake in Cushman & Wakefield that it acquired in March 2007.

Glenn Rufrano, global president and chief executive officer of Cushman &Wakefield, said of Bacon: “Paul has led our EMEA operations during one of the most challenging periods for the real estate industry and has made an outstanding contribution to the firm during his long career.”

Bacon himself said: “I now look to realise my long-held ambition of establishing my own business and to work as a principal at this stage in my career.”

For its part, Cushman & Wakefield does operate a real estate investment management division, but it has yet to grow it to a size that would allow it to compete with listed-rivals CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle, which own CBRE Global Investors and LaSalle Investment Management respectively.