Paul J. Massey, Jr., Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

Paul J. Massey, Jr.

A Vision for
New York

Editors’ Note

Paul Massey graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1983. After graduation, he began his career at Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services in Midtown Manhattan as head of the market research department, then as an investment sales broker. Together with Partner Robert A. Knakal, whom he met at Coldwell, he founded Massey Knakal Realty Services, becoming Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the firm’s Executive Committee. In December 2014, Cushman & Wakefield acquired Massey Knakal and Massey was appointed to his current post. Paul Massey is now a candidate for Mayor of New York City in the 2017 race.

Company Brief

Cushman & Wakefield (cushmanwakefield.com) is a leading global real estate services firm that helps clients transform the way people work, shop, and live. Their 43,000 employees in more than 60 countries help investors optimize the value of their real estate by combining their global perspective and deep local knowledge with an impressive platform of real estate solutions. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest commercial real estate services firms with revenue of $5 billion across core services of agency leasing, asset services, capital markets, facility services (C&W Services), global occupier services, investment & asset management (DTZ Investors), project & development services, tenant representation, and valuation & advisory.

What has allowed Massey Knakal to consistently work so well and what were some important reasons for becoming involved with Cushman & Wakefield?

Massey Knakal was highly disciplined in terms of its focus on geographies and what we call a territory system. We had people burrowed into submarkets and a sharing mechanism so the agents could execute together as a team. It was a big competitive advantage.

We were also only seller representatives, which takes a lot of discipline, but the clients absolutely love it, so we had a disciplined strategy but we also had a culture of collegiality and fun – work hard but play hard.

There has been talk about your focus on running for Mayor of New York City. What makes you feel the timing could be right for this opportunity?

We had 20 years of great leadership that culminated with Mayor Bloomberg. It was a great run for New York City with strong leadership, but now we are headed in the wrong direction.

I fell in love with the city as soon as I came here from Boston in 1983. My two oldest kids are now living and working here full time and our whole family loves New York. This city gave me everything and I see a chance to deliver leadership that works with a real strategy to make housing affordable, to radically improve our schools, and to keep our streets safe.

The job of running New York is a CEO job, but a CEO gets nothing done by him or herself. I’d look to build a team of great managers that I know has the capacity to get things done.

I believe it’s a huge advantage for New Yorkers to have a mayor with an understanding of the way business gets done. For starters, businesses create the jobs, so understanding the challenges and opportunities they face is critical for a mayor. Second, business instills a managerial discipline that is crucial to running the City well and making this a great place to live.