Charles Leitner will join real estate money manager CBRE Global Investors as global CEO on Nov. 11, said Daniel Queenan, global CEO of CBRE’s real estate investments business.
“Talent is a key pillar of our initiatives at CBRE overall,” Mr. Queenan said.
CBRE executives wanted someone with global leadership and operations experience. Mr. Leitner had both, Mr. Queenan said. He added that the change was, in part, due to a succession plan that gave CBRE executives time for a “very patient search.”
Mr. Leitner will report to Mr. Queenan. He will be based in New York.
“I am jumping into a team with a lot of experience and diversity,” Mr. Leitner said.
Mr. Leitner added that as global CEO, he is going to help the firm build a presence in New York. He will also continue to look for synergies among CBRE’s public and private real estate and infrastructure businesses.
Mr. Leitner will succeed T. Ritson Ferguson, who will step down as global CEO of CBRE Global Investors but retain the position as CEO of CBRE’s real asset securities business, CBRE Clarion Securities. Mr. Ferguson co-founded CBRE Clarion Securities in 1991. Joseph Smith, president and co-CIO of CBRE Clarion Securities, will continue to run the day-to-day business.
“As CEO, I work with Joe Smith on the overall strategy,” including incorporating infrastructure into investment offerings both in the securities and private sides of the business, Mr. Ferguson said.
Mr. Ferguson will also continue to serve on the board of CBRE’s infrastructure business, CBRE Caledon, Mr. Ferguson said. He said the decision for him to step down as global CEO was mutual.
During his stint leading CBRE Global Investors for five years, first as global CIO and then global CEO, Mr. Ferguson said he was most proud of how he helped “coordinate the business in a less-siloed, cohesive way.”
“All the while we emphasized performance,” he added.
Mr. Leitner was president and CEO of real estate manager Berkshire Group. Berkshire spokesman John Dobroski could not be immediately reached for further information.