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Kasselman to Lead Newmark Grubb Knight Frank National Industrial Practice

Lauded Op2mize founder to galvanize North American industrial platform from Chicago

CHICAGO, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) has hired Geoffrey M. Kasselman, SIOR, LEED AP, as an executive managing director in Chicago to lead the firm's national industrial practice. The 26-year industry veteran and co-founder of commercial real estate advisory firm Op2mize will enhance NGKF's industrial brokerage capabilities across North America and accelerate its expansion to meet evolving client needs.

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"Geoff's systematic approach to real estate goes beyond traditional bricks and mortar, by identifying and implementing customized client-centric solutions that improve operating efficiencies and reduce related expenses," said Michael Sheinkop, executive vice president, regional managing director. "NGKF's clients and professionals alike will benefit from his dynamic 'total cost' approach and other progressive efforts in the industrial sector."

Since 2004, Mr. Kasselman served as president and CEO of Op2mize, where he provided comprehensive transaction and advisory services together with best practices in sustainability and technology. Previously, he founded and directed Studley's Industrial Services Group as senior managing director, and also spent 10 years at Insignia/FC&S, rising to the position of managing director and vice president. His distinguished career includes more than 1,000 transactions valued at over $1 billion, working with firms such as PepsiAmericas, Marriott Distribution Services, DHL, Cardinal Health, Charles Schwab, UPS Properties, IDI, CenterPoint Properties, Prologis, and Liberty Property Trust, among many others along the way.

"I take great pride in helping companies unlock hidden value and drive enterprise performance across their portfolios," said Mr. Kasselman. "NGKF's robust platform provides the ideal infrastructure and expertise from which to deliver a complete package of services including advanced strategies in industrial real estate. At the same time, we share a deep mutual respect for the entrepreneurial nature of the brokerage business, and the opportunity to work for a global, full-service firm that shares my passion for unconditional client advocacy and collaboration was extremely appealing."

He continued, "The firm's commitment to growing specialty practice groups that address such pivotal areas as supply chain logistics, air cargo/air freight, rail, food and beverage, manufacturing, and land development, with additional emphasis on optimal energy demand/supply considerations, data management strategies, and digitally enhanced marketing efforts is paramount to our unique brand of brokerage. The synergies we recognize with retailers, manufacturers, distributors and other users, owners and operators of industrial spaces are essential for galvanizing the NGKF industrial brokers together with the clients we serve throughout North America."

NGKF Global Corporate Services Chairman Michael Ippolito stated, "One of many NGKF competitive differentiators is the discipline to integrate brokerage with corporate services, in support of each client's business objectives from a fiscal, operational and organizational perspective. The ability to execute in an everchanging global economy, has led us to win many new corporate assignments in the industrial space. Geoff's wealth of knowledge and direct experience across the industrial spectrum will lend to our winning more prized engagements like Cummins Inc. He understands the intricacies of our platform and the value proposition we offer our clients."

Mr. Kasselman is currently a member of National Real Estate Investor's Sustainability Board of Advisors. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including being named to Realcomm's 'Top 35 People to Watch' list five times. In 2013, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) received the prestigious Digie Award for its Global Media platform, which was created and delivered under his guidance as SIOR's Digital Media and Communications Chair. In 2011, the Chicago Association of Realtors awarded him the Commercial Forum Platinum awards for Sales Volume and Lease Square Footage, and in 2010 the Illinois Real Estate Journal presented him with its Excellence Award. He also has received the 'Most Creative Transaction of the Year' and 'Largest Dollar Volume Industrial Transaction' awards from SIOR/Chicago, and was a five-time finalist for NAIOP 'Transaction of the Year' and a finalist for the Chicago Sun-Times Industrial Broker of the Year. He is a past president of SIOR/Chicago and the Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers (AIRE).

Mr. Kasselman earned a bachelor's degree in general studies from the University of Michigan, and is a published author and a nationally recognized speaker on an array of topics that relate to the intersection of commercial real estate, sustainability and technology.

About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is one of the world's leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with its affiliates and London-based partner Knight Frank, NGKF employs more than 12,000 professionals, operating from more than 320 offices in established and emerging property markets on five continents.

With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF's strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. Its integrated services platform includes leasing advisory, global corporate services, investment sales and capital markets, consulting, program and project management, property and facilities management, and valuation services. A major force in the real estate marketplace, NGKF serves the local and global property requirements of tenants, landlords, investors and developers worldwide. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.

NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP), a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the wholesale financial and real estate markets. For further information, visit www.bgcpartners.com.

CONTACT: Mira Matic, 973.461.9005, mira@miramaticpr.com 

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