Avison Young has appointed a new leader to drive its expansion plans in Europe.

Having recently acquired UK firm GVA, the firm’s former CEO Gerry Hughes has been appointed Avison Young’s president, Europe, to focus on developing and delivering Avison Young’s aggressive growth plans in continental Europe and Ireland.

“This is an exciting time for our business,” said AY’s chair and CEO Mark E. Rose. “Our growth plan is strategic and long-term. We aim to amplify our operations through the recruitment of individuals and acquisition of teams and whole businesses, as well as continue to expand geographically.”

He added that the GVA merger has given Avison Young an excellent gateway to develop its continental Europe platform which already includes offices in Germany, Poland, and Romania.

Avison Young added more than 100 principals as a result of the tie-up with GVA. It brings the firm’s worldwide principals to 600 and the firm now has approximately 5,000 real estate professionals in 120 offices in 20 countries.

For Hughes, the opportunity to spearhead the European expansion of the business is a dream gig.

“This is an opportunity that I have long looked forward to – to help build a market-leading real estate advisory platform across Europe,” he said. “What we have achieved at GVA over the last few years, combined with the partnership and business philosophy of Avison Young, provides the template for a European business with a real sense of social purpose aligned.”

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