Investment banking giant Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette has hired veteran Los Angeles brokers J.D. Cook, Gary Weiss and Jeffrey Strnad to operate the new Western regional office of DLJ's "boutique" real estate services subsidiary.
New York-based DLJ Realty Services assists the firm's clients in such functions as tenant lease representation, strategic real estate planning, project management and mortgage consulting, said President George Twill. The Los Angeles office may be the first of other regional outposts, he said.
Cook, Weiss and Strnad will take over several Western assignments as they finish up assignments for clients of their former companies. Twill said he hopes many of those clients will cross over to DLJ.
Cook has been managing director of Cushman Realty Corp.'s Westside office since it opened in the mid-1980s. His clients have included Taco Bell Corp., Andersen Consulting, Quarterdeck, Bear Stearns, Ernst & Young, Knapp Communications/Conde Nast and Virgin Entertainment.
Weiss, previously a senior managing director with Julien J. Studley Inc., negotiated office lease transactions totaling more than 2.3 million square feet since joining Studley in 1987. His clients have included Activision, Univisa, Sony Pictures, Aurora National Life, Prudential Securities, Cineplex Odeon, Deloitte & Touche, Cantor Fitzgerald and Duff & Phelps.
Strnad was Jones Lang LaSalle's Southern California regional leasing director, overseeing 19 million square feet of commercial property. He also has been involved in Jones Lang LaSalle's regional advisory activities, assisting with real estate investments that the firm has managed on behalf of such clients as Davis Cos., GE Capital, Prudential and Transamerica.
Twill said DLJ Realty Services isn't interested in creating a traditional brokerage group. Instead, the Los Angeles team will handle assignments collectively rather than competing with other brokerages--or one another--for clients or real estate deals.
Twill also said he wouldn't be part of recent bidding wars that have seen top brokers command signing bonuses stretching into seven digits. "I'd rather bring in junior people [if I had to] than throw out million-dollar bonuses," he said.
DLJ's investment banking operations "give us the ability to talk to people on a different level" from traditional commercial real estate services firms, Weiss said. "We now work for a company that gives us an opportunity to get in front of a lot of [key] people; that's the main reason we see this as an incredible opportunity."
DLJ has 8,000 employees in 14 U.S. cities and 11 abroad.