Rufrano New President and CEO at Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield announced this morning that Glenn Rufrano has been named President and CEO of the company. Rufrano, who will also be appointed to the company's board of directors, will join the firm March 22 following the completion of his tenure as CEO of Centro Properties Group.

Rufrano has had quite a run this past decade or so. He became CEO of New Plan Excel in 2000 when that firm was struggling a bit and through a series of shrewd dispositions and acquisitions and restructuring of its operations turned it into one of the largest and most successful shopping center REITs in the U.S. He spun that success into a deal where New Plan was absorbed by Australian limited property trust Centro Properties Group in early 2007. That acquisition--as well as the credit crunch--eventually got Centro into hot water because of the debt it took out in growing quickly.

In 2008, Rufrano was named Centro's CEO and was successfully able to reach agreements with creditors that have enabled the firm to focus on operations. It's in a much better place today. Rufrano was also tapped to serve on General Growth's board of directors to help in its bankruptcy.

You also got the sense that Rufrano, after spending a lot of time in Australia the last couple of years, was looking to return home. He already has a replacement lined up at Centro. And he made some comments at a panel at the ICSC New York National Conference and Dealmaking that made it sound like he was ready to make a move. I thought he might become even more involved in General Growth. The move over to heading a large brokerage is an interesting twist. But so far, Rufrano has compiled a stellar track record.

Rufrano replaces Bruce Mosler, who became Cushman's co-chairman of the board on January 1, 2010.

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