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December 10, 2014

Brokerage Kidder Mathews to open an East Bay office

Silicon Valley Business Journal

Marc Stiles

Commercial real estate firm Kidder Mathews is ramping up its growth plans in California.

The Seattle-based brokerage said it would open an office in the East Bay in the first quarter of next year, as well as its first Southern California office, in San Diego, on Jan. 15

The announcement comes as the Seattle-based brokerage hires Jim Bowles, a veteran leader in the Puget Sound area's commercial real estate industry, to help Kidder Mathews get bigger in California. Bowles, who previously held leadership positions at Colliers, Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE, will be president of the company's brokerage services division.

"One of his big charges is to help us grow throughout the West Coast," said Reed Payne, Kidder's executive vice president of brokerage for Northern California, who is based in San Jose. "That includes the Bay Area as well."

The East Bay office will be in or near Oakland, said Kidder CEO Jeff Lyon.

The 450-employee company has doubled its size and revenue in the last 10 or so years, largely by expanding to Northern California, where it already has three offices, in San Francisco, Redwood Shores and San Jose.

The company has 74 brokers in the Bay Area and expects to hire 10 to 15 brokers in the full-service East Bay office. The company already has a property management office in Pleasanton, which manages 415,000 square feet in the greater Bay Area.

"We are continually looking at adding good agents in all our offices," Reed said, noting that the company recently recruited Tyler Hooper, an 11-year real estate veteran.

Companywide, there are a total of nine offices, and Kidder is projecting revenue of $90 million this year, up more than 8 percent over last year, said Lyon.

Kidder is the fourth large real estate services company that Bowles has helped lead, and Kidder CEO Jeff Lyon said Bowles "has got the grand slam now."

In addition to hiring Bowles, Kidder is expanding the leadership role of company President and Chief Operating Officer Gordon Buchan, who will now also serve as the company's chief financial officer.

The move comes as part of management's succession plan for the company.

"Not that I'm going anywhere," said Lyon, who is 62. Kidder is a privately held brokerage known for using commission structures and a nontraditional corporate structure to land top-producing brokers.

Lyon said that Kidder's long-term growth strategy is to be a West Coast company.

"To bring in Jim is really significant for us because of the breadth of his experience," he added.

Bowles, 58, has worked in the industry since 1978. He led another large brokerage, CBRE, for 13 years until resigning at the end of June. He previously worked at Colliers International and Cushman & Wakefield.

For the full story, go to Silicon Valley Business Journal.

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