One of the Triangle's best-known names in the commercial real-estate industry is going away.
Raleigh real-estate services firm Anthony & Co. has signed a deal to become the local affiliate of Colliers International, one of the world's largest commercial real-estate services companies.
Under the agreement, Anthony & Co. will get access to Colliers' larger network of clients, services, brokers and markets. The local firm will take on the Colliers name and its signs in front of buildings and other properties across this region will begin switching in the next few weeks.
"There's some nostalgia that goes with the changing over," said Jim Anthony, 56, who ran track at Duke University in the 1970s and founded the firm in 1987. "But the international brand is so much more powerful. It really wasn't much of a question."
The deal won't involve any reductions for Anthony & Co.'s 50 employees in Raleigh and Durham. Anthony expects the new arrangement will mean expanding its brokerage and property management business, potentially by recruiting brokers from local rivals.
Anthony declined to comment on financial terms of the deal.
Under the agreement, his firm will license the Colliers name. He will remain CEO and retain ownership.
"It will allow us to serve our existing clients better" by being able to offer more services in more markets, Anthony said. That way, the firm can provide more commercial real-estate services to corporations that have offices in multiple markets.
It will also give his firm access to bigger real-estate investment opportunities.
"We're a little boutique local guy and we never got invited to the party" for some of the bigger deals, he added.
The deal gives Colliers another entry into the Triangle. In March, the former Colliers Pinkard real-estate team in Raleigh broke away to join rival Cassidy Turley.
"The window opened for us when Colliers and Cassidy Turley went through their divorce," Anthony said. "They were anxious to get their feet planted again in one of the best markets in the country."
Colliers has orchestrated similar deals this year with brokerage firms in other markets, including Chicago, Nashville and Indianapolis.
“In every instance where we’ve expanded the Colliers International platform, it was the top firms in those markets that have combined forces with us," said CEO Dylan Taylor, in a prepared statement.
The partnership wasn't forced by the "nightmarish" real-estate market of 2009, Anthony said. This year continues to bring "significant signs" of improvement but "that hasn't translated into cash flow yet."
There are signals coming from federal banking regulators and banks that they are getting ready to start selling more real-estate assets. The volume of such deals dwindled during the downturn.
"Our business is transaction-based, so that's good for us," Anthony said. "You've got to have more transaction volume before you can have recovery."
The caveat is that Anthony doesn't expect prices for commercial real-estate deals to rebound for some time.