Global giant Jones Lang LaSalle snaps up single-office W.A. Ellis

American-based real estate giant JLL – better known as Jones Lang LaSalle and for its commercial property activities – has acquired one of London’s best known residential agents.

It is the single-office independent W.A. Ellis whose tiny street frontage in Knightsbridge is easy to walk past – although it belies the size of the operation behind.

The deal has set the London estate agency market buzzing.

Describing the deal as a merger, JLL says that it strengthens its residential capacity in the central London market.

W.A Ellis becomes part of the JLL group with immediate effect, but will continue to operate from its office in Brompton Road under its own brand “for a period of time”.

Andrew Frost, head of residential for JLL, will continue to lead the residential business in the UK.

Lucy Morton, W.A. Ellis partner in charge of lettings who is a former ARLA president, joins the JLL board to lead the agency business. Frost and Morton are pictured together below.

Richard Barber, head of residential sales at W.A. Ellis, is said to be taking up a key role with the JLL agency business.

Guy Grainger, JLL chief executive officer for the UK, said: “The obvious strategic and cultural fit between the residential business at JLL and W.A.Ellis makes this a logical and attractive proposition for both firms.

“We are marrying a well-established and highly respected agency business with a global platform and this is a decision that fits with our wider strategy, making it a sensible and forward-thinking partnership for all involved.

“We consider ourselves very lucky to be joining forces with such an established estate agency player in the prime central London market. This merger is a key decision for our business and we wholeheartedly believe an essential move to take it to the next level.”

W.A. Ellis has been going since 1868.

JLL’s roots go back to 1783 when it was founded in London, becoming known as Jones Lang Wootton.

Today, it employs over 30,000 people in 750 locations in 60 countries. In the UK, it has seven offices in London, two in Manchester and one in Leeds. It acquired King Sturge in 2011 for £197m to become the UK’s biggest commercial agent.

It shortened its name from Jones Lang LaSalle in March.

A spokesperson said of the deal that they could not disclose the price or other details, but that no individuals had left either firm as a result.

She added: “Both parties very much view this as a merger where complementary skills are coming together to create a leading prime estate agency business.”

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2 Comments

  1. JAM01

    Well done WA Ellis. I have met a number of members of the company on previous occasions and they are very professional. Shows there is no need for multiple High Street offices either – they have just one – yet they are a big operation with partnerships throughout the country!

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  2. marc

    This could pave the way for smaller central London agencies to be swallowed up like http://fraserbond.co.uk/

    Not sure if i consider it a good thing…

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