By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor
Butler Burgher Group has acquired Leitner Group Inc., which will serve as its New York City office. The purchase creates the fastest-growing independent valuation and consulting firm in the U.S.
“We needed a strong presence in New York City to position the firm for the financial services and lending industry,” Diane Butler, BBG’s CEO, told Commercial Property Executive. “Our company continues to be focused on growth and our independent, unbiased approach. The independence really makes BBG unique, and we are the best choice in providing unbiased valuations on CRE. We are singularly focused on due diligence to support the industry.”
For the time being, the New York office will operate as “Leitner Group, now part of BBG,” with plans eventually to transition over to just “BBG.” Joel Leitner, Leitner Group’s founder, will continue to lead the New York office, working closely with Susan Kominski, BBG’s senior managing director for the Eastern region.
“Joel has a great reputation in New York and as such has tremendous respect by participants in this major market,” Butler said. “This move fills in the map for us. Having a major presence in New York City with a firm of Joel’s caliber and presence allows us to take advantage of all of the lending activity, which is centered there.”
The affiliation provides the Leitner Group with a national footprint as well as BBG’s branding and advanced technology platform, and strengthens both firms’ capacity to take on large portfolio assignments. Additionally, the firms’ shared independent status makes for an ideal affiliation that benefits clients first and foremost.
“The growth in real estate transactions and lending for CRE overall makes this very attractive. The industry is definitely forecast to be robust over the next two to three years, with CMBS maturities at their highest point and overall demand for financing in CRE assets,” Butler said. “Together, we bring greater capabilities to service the CRE industry, especially on large portfolios.”
Currently, BBG ranks among the five largest valuation and consulting firms, with 21 offices nationwide. The New York office executes appraisals across all commercial sectors, including office, retail, multi-family and industrial, with special expertise in portfolio projects.