Top C&W salaries to be slashed in parity move

Some of Cushman & Wakefield’s top-ranking staff are set to have their salaries slashed by as much as 10% to bring them into line with equivalent-level employees at the firm’s new owner DTZ.

Property Week has learnt that around 50 former equity partners at C&W are being forced through an “equalisation programme” designed to bring them into parity with same-level managers at DTZ.

In May, C&W was bought for $2.042bn (£1.3bn) by DTZ’s new owners TPG Capital, PAG Asia Capital and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Exor, the investment company owned by Italy’s billionaire Agnelli family, put its controlling stake in C&W up for sale earlier this year.

DTZ’s leading managers, such as executive chairman Brett White and EMEA chief executive John Forrester, are implementing the pay restructuring programme across C&W’s senior staff.

Neither DTZ nor C&W would comment on the move, but it is understood those in the firing line for pay cuts in London include: current chief executive UK Digby Flower, who will be chair of UK & Ireland in the combined group; George Roberts, current head of London markets at C&W; and Andrew Parker, head of City leasing.

Elsewhere in Europe, city and country heads, such as Koen Nevens, C&W’s managing partner for Belgium and Luxembourg, Jonathan Hallett, the head of C&W’s central European region, and Joachim Sandberg, who is managing director of C&W’s Italian business, could also see their salaries cut.

A source close to the merged group said: “While 95% of C&W’s staff are on the same deals as DTZ staff, there is an equalisation programme taking place among around 50 equity partners and directors at C&W around the world.”

Mitigating the loss in pay, those affected by the pay cuts are expected to be incentivised via the same bonus structure enjoyed by DTZ managers.

Exor, which is owned by the dynasty behind Fiat, put C&W on the market in February, having initially acquired a majority stake in the firm in 2007 for $565.4m. The deal will generate net proceeds of $1.278bn for Exor in respect of its 75% shareholding, which on a fully diluted basis represents a capital gain of £722m.

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