For nearly a quarter century, Larry Richey has been steeped in Tampa business and its commercial real estate market as the head of brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield's office.
As Cushman & Wakefield has grown — the firm is now among the world's three largest commercial real estate services providers — so have Richey's responsibilities and standing.
Since August 2014, he has been the company's top executive in Florida, overseeing six offices from Jacksonville to Miami. The job marked a promotion from Central Florida market leader, which included Tampa and Orlando, a position he'd held since 1991.
And with the early September completion of a merger with rival DTZ — a move that creates a company with $5 billion in annual revenue and transaction volume of more than $190 billion worldwide — Richey's role and stature are expected to expand even more.
Cushman & Wakefield announced Sept. 2 that Richey would continue to lead operations in the Sunshine State following the merger.
Richey contends privately held Cushman & Wakefield, with clients such as Verizon and Jabil, is uniquely positioned to take advantage of changing trends in business and commercial real estate thanks in part to its size and experience.
“Our history and our brand are impressive, but more importantly, we're populated by professionals who respect each other and work well together,” Richey says. “Clients know us to be better than our competitors. We're a relationship business that provides a suite of services, and we have geographic and platform breadth. And, we listen and can adjust our services to an individual clients' needs.”
Experience and passion count, too, Richey says.
“It's why people stay here,” he adds. “Many of our brokers have been here 25 years or more. And we work harder than your average broker, I think. We do that because we've found it pays off. But perhaps most importantly, people know we care, and that I care.”
In addition to his work at the firm, Richey has chaired the former Committee of 100 in Tampa, moving the group out from the region's chamber of commerce; been part of the Hillsborough Economic Development Committee's executive committee; worked to craft real estate programs at his alma mater Florida State University as well as at the University of
Florida and University of South Florida; chaired the Tampa Downtown Partnership; and helped form the group Friends of the Riverwalk.
“I know Larry to be an excellent leader,” says Dan Woodward, a vice president and Tampa division chief for Highwoods Properties Inc., one of the region's largest commercial landlords. “His character is top notch, he understands the business and the trends and where the industry is going.”
“He was my competition, but I respected him,” says Ray Sandelli, a CRE Consultants managing partner in Fort Myers who used to lead brokerage CBRE Inc. in Tampa. “He's professional in every sense, both in business and community affairs, and I think that's the best thing you can say about somebody.”