James M. Underhill
James M. Underhill
Jim is the CEO of Cresa, the largest commercial real estate tenant advisory firm in the world. The company has offices in over 70 cities worldwide, and is known for client advocacy, thought leadership, and a special culture from being a 100% employee owned company.
Jim’s focus as CEO is on expanding the firm’s capabilities in key markets, growing its global footprint, and continuing investment in its advisory and service line capabilities.
Jim previously was the CEO, Americas, with Cushman & Wakefield, the largest privately held real estate services firm in the world. Primary services included leasing, capital markets sales and finance, property management, and consulting. As CEO he was responsible for an operating budget in excess of $1.2 billion and over 10,000 employees. His geographic responsibilities spanned from Canada to South America, and covered over 54 owned offices, and over 50 additional Alliance offices.
Prior to his role at Cushman & Wakefield, Jim was the Founder and President of The Staubach Company – Northeast, which he grew to have offices in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, and Boston. During his tenure at this firm he negotiated transactions with a combined value in excess of one billion dollars involving over three million square feet of office and mixed use space. Jim personally handled World Headquarters assignments for Booz Allen & Hamilton, MCI, The Nature Conservancy, and The World Wildlife Fund, among others. The Staubach Company was later sold to Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL), one the largest global commercial real estate services and investment management companies.
Jim began his real estate career with The Trammell Crow Company, at the time the largest office building developer in the United States. While with Trammell Crow he developed more than 1.5 million square feet of Class A office space and was responsible for acquisition initiatives in both Northern Virginia, and subsequently the Dallas suburban market, where he was named a Partner in the firm.
Jim received his MBA degree from Harvard Business School and has taught at Harvard College. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Washington & Lee University, where he recently served on the Williams Business School Board. He has served on the Boards of numerous charitable organizations, including Junior Achievement (Chairman), The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts (Vice Chairman), Neediest Kids, the National Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. He is a member of the World Presidents Organization (WPO), and the Economic Club of Washington and was previously a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.