Five Trammell Crow Leaders Form Own Firm

Article excerpt

AUSTIN -- The leaders of Austin's biggest commercial real estate company -- including its regional president -- will leave the company March 1 with plans to start their own firm.

Bryce Miller, Jeff Newberg, Andy Pastor, David Roche and Kirk Rudy -- five of the seven principals at Trammell Crow's Austin office -- plan to start an as-yet-unnamed real estate development and acquisition company specializing in retail, office and industrial properties.

Trammell Crow principal Stan Erwin, who has been with the company for 14 years, will take over as Austin city leader. "We're in great hands," said Trammell Crow Chairman J. McDonald Williams, who was in Austin Monday. "We've got a great team in place." Rudy, the company's Austin city leader and managing director, said it was the entrepreneurial spirit that led to the decision to leave, not any weakness at Trammell Crow. The five executives are departing Trammell Crow after the best year in the company's history -- both nationwide and in Austin. The local office, which has 125 employees, has consistently been among the five most profitable of the 34 cities where Trammell Crow does business. "Trammell Crow and the Austin office have a rich history of incubating and fostering entrepreneurship," Rudy said. "It's our turn to determine if we can create a real estate firm on our own." The timing also was right financially for them to branch out on their own. Trammell Crow went public in November 1997, raising $90 million to fund the company's growth. The Austin leadership group -- all original shareholders -- collectively will take in excess of half a million shares of Trammell Crow stock. At Monday's close of $22.25 a share, that's more than $11 million -- money that will help fund their new business. …

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