IT has come full circle for Edmund Tie & Company, which became DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) more than 16 years ago and has now been relaunched with its original name following a management buyout.
An agreement between shareholders of Edmund Tie & Company Holdings and Cushman & Wakefield was inked on Friday. Bound by contractual constraints, the value of the over 60 per cent stake in DTZ (SEA) was not disclosed.
Real estate veteran Edmund Tie, with some 40 years of experience, will continue to lead the new firm as chairman, with support from chief executive Ong Choon Fah, who also heads the firm's research and consulting departments.
The new firm will offer the full spectrum of real estate agency and advisory services in South-east Asia, with its associate agency business DTZ Property Network renamed Edmund Tie & Company Property Network.
Negotiations are also ongoing with several major international real estate services firms to give Edmund Tie & Company a global reach.
"The strategic decision to once again operate under the Edmund Tie & Company brand is motivated by our longstanding commitment to form a firm driven by a distinctly Asian business philosophy, yet offering international standards of expertise," Mr Tie said.
Edmund Tie & Company has operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The firm has 13 shareholders and 29 management executives.
Its origins date back to 1995 when Mr Tie and his senior management executives first set up the company. In 1999, the firm joined forces with Hong Kong-based CY Leung & Company and Europe-based DTZ Debenham Thorpe, thus becoming part of the global DTZ network of companies. It operated as DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA).
But things began to change again when DTZ was acquired by UGL in 2011 and in 2014, sold to a consortium led by TPG Capital.
Last year, the TPG consortium merged two other firms it acquired with DTZ - namely US commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley and Cushman & Wakefield.
"We have shared a rich history with DTZ since the alliance was formed between Edmund Tie & Company and DTZ Holdings in London over 16 years ago. However, it is now time for us to pursue new and exciting opportunities," Mr Tie said.
Edmund Tie & Company has around 500 employees, of which about 300 are based in Singapore. In addition, there are close to 1,400 salespeople under the firm's associate agency division led by Margaret Thean, who also heads the residential division.
Other senior management executives include senior adviser Yam Kah Heng; executive director Heng Hua Thong, who heads businesses in Thailand and Indochina and the hospitality management division that holds a portfolio including serviced apartment Treetops Executive Residences; and Philip Leow, who oversees the property management division.
Ms Ong, a veteran with over 25 years of experience, said: "The outcome we are striving for is in creating real value for our clients and all stakeholders. Notwithstanding the slowing economy and a muted property market, foundations are already being laid for an eventual upswing."
Following the sale, Cushman & Wakefield will continue its Singapore operations under managing director Stephen Saul.
Cushman & Wakefield Asia-Pacific CEO Stuart Roberts said: "Over the past 16 years, the companies have celebrated much success across the region. However, the time has come for both firms to pursue their own strategic priorities.
"Singapore is a key market for us and many of our core services and (it) remains a critical regional hub for our Asia-Pacific and global business," Mr Roberts said.