Internationally, let’s begin with Asia. There’s a little less certainty
and perhaps a slowdown in GDP, but I’m still optimistic that Asia as
a continent will continue to outperform. In the Eurozone, we’re
seeing a predictable adjustment, and clearly the Eurozone is walking through what happened in the US. They’re trying to create a
common governance, with Germany driving that bus, and trying to
understand how they will go forward to deal with differences in
economies and cultures. I believe the euro will continue to go forward as the common denominator, and while there may be some
folks that will fall out, there’s no question about the long-term survival of the euro.
There has been some lack of visibility in the Eurozone that has
created some challenges for CEOs. Just as there was no quick solution to overleveraging in the US, so there’s no quick solution in the
Eurozone. That will take time to work through.
In the US, we’ve been through the worst of it, and the current
lack of visibility has to do, to some extent, with what’s happening
in the Eurozone, the EMEA and Asia. That creates a little bit of
consternation and exposure for US global businesses trying to
parse through. And you can’t talk about the US without talking
about the unknown as it relates to the debt ceiling and some of
the regulations needing further clarity, so that financial institutions understand where they need to hold their reserves and
where the do’s and don’ts are in regulatory control. But I expect
pent-up demand in 2013. The year will improve as it progresses.
Around the world, we continue to see a recovery that focuses
on the gateway cities. In the US, more than half of total dollars
invested have gone to just six gateway cities. However, we’re now
beginning to see interest in other industry-driven cities, such as
Seattle and Houston, where people see a strong potential for
BUBNY: You’re also one of the leading figures in the leasing
environment. What are your clients telling you at the
MOSLER: I would characterize my client base as a broad mix
between institutional and entrepreneurial, and while they’re
beginning to get more clarity in the euro area, which means that
there isn’t a quick solution, their concerns in the US are focused
on some of the things I discussed before. There’s a very high priority on what’s going to happen in Washington. When areas like
Dodd-Frank become clearer and when they know where they must
go, they can begin to understand where they can grow their businesses and how they will grow their businesses. That, in part, is
what’s causing the slowdown in decision-making. People are
unclear and unwilling to take risk until they have a bit more clarity.
There’s no chief executive who can risk increasing his or her
expenses and growing the business until he or she can predict how
to grow the revenue model.
The good news in all this is that companies have gone through
it and have adjusted their expense base. Most are working
through profit and some have seen the most significant profits in
the history of their business. That gives you a little depth to work
with as you formulate a plan for the future.
BUBNY: Within Cushman & Wakefield, you’ve long been seen
as a mentor and role model to younger up-and-coming team
members. How does this fit in with what you see as your role
within the company?
MOSLER: I’ve always enjoyed working as part of a team. I can’t
think of an assignment that I’ve won or a deal that I’ve executed
where I was the single individual involved. The world in which we
work today is complex, and to win assignments you have to bring
tremendous resources to bear. One of the reasons I wanted to stay
with Cushman & Wakefield after my time as CEO is that I feel we
have the best global platform. We don’t profess to be the biggest,
but we do profess to be the best when it comes to people,
resources and our presence in the key global markets.
For me, working with a team means bringing people like
Michael Rotchford of our investment banking team to the table,
or working with a young person like Ethan Silverstein, who has
the energy to be out there every day to canvas the types of tenants
that we want to pursue. It means I get to work with a plethora of
extraordinary people like Josh Kuriloff.
To win complex assignments, you have to bring different people of different skills and different backgrounds. The senior
teams partner together to pursue the most challenging and interesting assignments. Every transaction we do has to be sensitive to
the balance-sheet needs of our clients and their objectives. To
have the kind of resources that we have and the investment the
company has made in these areas are the primary reasons I stayed
on for the next challenge as chairman of global brokerage. I felt
we had the resources in place for me to succeed.
BUBNY: Outside of C&W, you’re quite active in organizations
such as the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum. Give us a
sense of how volunteering and being part of the community
is a key part of being in this industry in general and C&W
MOSLER: Among people who are long-term players here, we’ve always
had a commitment to the communities in which we live and work.
Essentially, the practice of the firm is: give back in many different ways. As
young people, you don’t have to give back monetarily, but you do have to
be well-rounded. We want them to participate with their time, and as they
mature, we want them to become leaders in these organizations, be it their
church or any of the extraordinary charities that are out there.
For me, it has always been part of what I consider to be the C&W
culture. The people who stay here and succeed here understand that
it’s part of the company’s credo. And Glenn has continued that. From
CEO to CEO, the expectation has always been that you think of more
than just yourself. We want to be looked at as a leader in the charitable
side of the equation, just as we are seen as a leader in real estate. ◆