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Streetwise Brookfield Financial loses two top partners in New York and London

Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan at the World Financial Center in New York, Nov. 30, 2015.

Beth J. Harpaz/AP

Two of Brookfield Financial’s top partners in New York and Britain have left in the latest shakeup at the real estate brokerage, according to people familiar with the matter.

The firm, which has been rebranded as BFIN, lost Dan McNulty, who was a managing partner in New York responsible for executing advisory, structured finance and brokerage work across all commercial property in North America, said the sources who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

BFIN also lost Jonathan Milich, who was a partner in London responsible for underwriting and executing real estate deals in Britain.

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Mr. Milich had been with the firm since 2013 and Mr. McNulty since 2014, according to its website. Both did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for parent company Brookfield Asset Management said BFIN “cannot comment on specific personnel topics due to confidentiality considerations.”

The departures of Mr. McNulty and Mr. Milich come after BFIN parted ways with one of its Canadian deal makers, Leonard Abramsky. As well, BFIN also lost Nurit Altman, who had been considered one of the firm’s next generation of leaders.

The change at the top of BFIN is occurring during a critical time in the large-property market in this country. Canadian pension funds are divesting domestic properties and businesses are concerned about an economic downturn.

BFIN said its business is prospering.

“We continue to focus on growing the business in Canada and globally. We have been developing and adding to our team, with our employee base stable or growing in all markets,” said BFIN president Heinrich Hauss, according to an e-mailed statement from Brookfield Asset Management’s spokeswoman.

“We see significant prospects for the business, with a robust pipeline across brokerage, debt advisory and M&A advisory globally,” the statement said.

BFIN is part of Brookfield Business Partners, which is owned by Brookfield Asset Management. Brookfield Business classifies BFIN as “financial advisory services,” in its regulatory filings. The financial-advisory unit pulled in revenues of US$32-million in 2017, according to its most recent annual report, compared with US$64-million in the 2016 annual report.

The loss of talent at BFIN comes as commercial realtors beef up their services and banks expand further into the real estate brokerage world.

There are five major commercial real estate shops globally that work on every part of the industry from leasing buildings and selling assets to property appraisals and project management. That makes it harder for BFIN to compete for business when firms such as Cushman & Wakefield can provide services – such as leasing – that BFIN cannot.

Brookfield Asset Management holds more than US$350-billion in assets under management, according to its website. The firm owns property around the world, including 285 offices in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India and South Korea.

With a file from David Milstead

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