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Cushman & Wakefield Announces New EMEA Leadership

  • Appoints new Global President, Chief Executive Officer, EMEA, and Head of UK & Ireland

Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield today announces changes to its EMEA leadership to underline its commitment to leading change in the real estate industry two years on from its global merger with DTZ.

Chief Executive EMEA John Forrester has been named as Global President. Colin Wilson becomes Chief Executive Officer, EMEA, with George Roberts appointed Head of UK & Ireland. All roles are effective from 1 December 2017.

As Global President Forrester will have day-to-day operational and management oversight of the firm’s four global regions of the Americas, EMEA, APAC, and Greater China. He will also be responsible for developing the firm’s range of services to satisfy clients’ evolving needs. The global role, working closely with CEO Brett White, will be based in London.

Pre-merger, Forrester served as Chief Executive EMEA at DTZ, which he joined in 1988. He also acted as Group Chief Executive of DTZ Holdings plc and led the formal sale process to UGL in 2011. Under his leadership, Cushman & Wakefield’s EMEA business has been strengthened by strategic appointments and acquisitions – including Cogest Retail (Italy), DTZ Zadelhoff (Netherlands) and ADMOS (Belgium & Luxembourg).

Brett White, CEO, said: “We have been growing on all fronts, making strategic acquisitions, adding services and taking market share. Now is the time to ensure we have the right people in place to drive us forwards for the next phase of our growth. John is a remarkable leader who has run large, complex organisations, has extensive knowledge of global real estate markets and is a trusted advisor to leading global occupiers and investors. He is ideally placed to ensure our regional businesses work together effectively to capitalise on the increasingly global nature of client requirements and opportunities.”

John Forrester, Global President, said: “It is an honour to take on this role. We are a very different organisation to the one we were at merger, yet as we’ve grown we’ve remained entrepreneurial and action-orientated. That’s important as the industry is changing fast. We must lead that charge while maintaining our constant focus on providing the best advice to our amazing clients in every major market and service line around the world.

“Colin and George embody this client-first focus as outstanding market leaders who have become outstanding business leaders. They have the skills and experience to grow our EMEA and UK & Ireland operations for the benefit of our clients and our great people.”

Wilson joined DTZ in 1996, leading Central London investment and national investment teams before being made Head of UK & Ireland in 2012. Since the merger he has built out the UK & Ireland business, adding new capabilities to meet changing client demands, and served on the EMEA leadership board. An ambassador for increased diversity and inclusion in the industry, he launched Inspire, Cushman & Wakefield’s new UK diversity and inclusion initiative last year.

Colin Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, EMEA, said: “I’m excited to be taking forward our superb EMEA business, in which the similarities across our markets increasingly outweigh any differences. This era of political, economic and technological uncertainty presents significant opportunities for our business which is ideally structured to provide strategic advice to clients moving capital, services or employees across borders.”

Wilson will be supported in his role by Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano who continues as EMEA Chairman.

Roberts previously led the London Markets division, comprising occupier representation, leasing, capital markets, residential and development teams. He has overseen the growth of the division, with the team being at the centre of some of London’s most iconic projects this year.

Prior to heading London Markets, Roberts was central to growing Cushman & Wakefield’s award-winning occupier representation team. The team has advised on some of London’s signature pre-lettings in recent years.

George Roberts, Head of UK & Ireland, said: “I am looking forward to working closely with our leaders and talented colleagues across the UK and Ireland, and supporting them in delivering the forward-looking and insightful advice that our clients demand in what we all know is a fast-changing world.”

Digby Flower continues as Chairman UK & Ireland, playing a key role in driving the overall business as well as building key relationships as one of London’s and the UK’s pre-eminent real estate advisers and personalities.


Richard Coleman

Head of EMEA Communications

London, United Kingdom

Phone +44 203 296 4326

Contact me