Six top brokers from Harrison & Bates are joining a rival commercial real estate brokerage.
The six — including David M. Williams, the president and CEO of Harrison & Bates; and Steve Gentil, the firm’s chairman who has been a broker since 1980 — are joining Henrico County-based Commonwealth Commercial Partners.
Five of the six will become senior vice presidents of Commonwealth Commercial and one will be a sales and leasing associate. They will join the company June 1.
Besides Williams and Gentil, joining Commonwealth Commercial are Chip Louthan, Bruce Milam and Kit Tyler as senior vice presidents and Colton Konvicka as a sales and leasing associate.
“They are an established brand in the industry,” Mark Claud, the founder and CEO of Commonwealth Commercial, said about the new brokers.
Claud said the expertise, reputation and service of the six brokers fit with the culture at Commonwealth Commercial.
“They are very well thought of and well known,” he said. “They have good reputations and good work ethics and high professional standards.”
Hiring Williams and Louthan will help improve Commonwealth Commercial’s exposure to industrial sales and leasing clients, Claud said. “They will be a nice addition to that team,” he said.
The moves come as Harrison & Bates announced earlier this month that it is winding down its commercial real estate brokerage business after operating in the Richmond region for more than a century. The company will stop providing any new transactional brokerage services to clients after May 31.
Harrison & Bates decided to wind down after losing its national affiliation with Colliers International Group Inc. as of Dec. 31. It returned to its roots as an independent commercial real estate brokerage under the Harrison & Bates name.
But since then, Harrison & Bates lost seven commercial real estate brokers and closed its Hampton Roads office.
The company had a total of 22 employees, including 13 commercial real estate brokers, as of two weeks ago. In December, it had nearly 50 employees, with about 27 of them serving as brokers in the Richmond and Hampton Roads regions.
After May 31, Harrison & Bates will continue providing some fiduciary and accounting functions, like collecting rents for clients. Company leaders have said they expect only three to five employees will remain.
Williams, the CEO at Harrison & Bates since 2004, said he thought taking a job at Commonwealth Commercial was the right decision, adding that he and the others were excited to join one of the fastest growing commercial real estate firms in the Southeast.
“We couldn’t be more comfortable about their company,” Williams said. “We knew it well and we watched it grow. The culture there was a great fit for us.”
Gentil, who said earlier this month that he was retiring from the business, will join Commonwealth Commercial on a reduced schedule. “He won’t be quite as active but he’s energized to continue with the practice,” Williams said.
Commonwealth Commercial, founded in 1996, is a growing commercial real estate firm with 13 additional offices in Hampton Roads; Nashville, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Greensboro, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Houston; Reading, Pa.; and St. Louis.