The former director of tourism of Mass. tries to sell RI

Wall turned her attention south in December when she was hired as the state’s marketing director. She had led the Massachusetts Bureau of Travel and Tourism under the governor Deval Patrick. But governor charlie baker replaced it with Rich Sweetiewho then left in October.

Wall’s hiring reflects a much larger plan that Gina Raimondo launched last year during his first year as governor to turn his state around. the Commerce Corp. in the fall tapped the PR Havas team, led by CEO North America Marianne Salzman, to embark on a statewide campaign. The statewide marketing budget has grown to $5 million this year from less than $500,000, largely relying on hotel taxes that had gone to the state’s general fund. .

Wall and Salzman say there’s a new energy under Raimondo that’s galvanizing the entire state. Plus, there’s the small-town vibe to the place, something they consider a key selling point. “If you know three people,” Wall said, “you’ll meet them.”

JOHN CHESTO

No more musical chairs in Boston’s brokerage sector

It’s time for another round of musical chairs in Boston’s commercial real estate industry.

Large brokerage firm Cushman and Wakefield Monday said he hired a top team from his rival Secure Eastdilthe latest in a series of talent raids that have rocked the local real estate industry in recent months.

Capital Markets Brokers Pierre-Joseph, Brian Barnett, and Steffen Panzone will jump from Eastdil to Cushman, helping rebuild a building sales team that was wiped out last fall when veteran broker Rob Griffin and dozens of his colleagues decamped to Newmark Knight Grubb Frank. This in turn came after Cushman & Wakefield merged with DTZwhich brought together many — and perhaps too many — of the region’s best brokers under one roof.

Rivals JLL, CBRE, and Necklaces also swept to pick up talent amid the turmoil.

The uproar reflects the desire of all these national companies to get a slice of Boston’s hot real estate market. Office buildings and hotels have sold for record prices over the past two years, putting a premium on brokers who make these deals. The Eastdil team is no exception. Joseph, Barnett and Panzone participated in the biggest construction deal of 2015: the $1.3 billion sale of 500 Boyston and 222 Berkeley in the back bay.

“We are thrilled to add this first team to our office,” said Joe Fallon, the New England market leader for Cushman. “Peter and his team have close relationships with clients and are a great cultural fit with our team.”

TIM LOGAN

Ex-Affiliated Managers CFO returns to asset management

This is the first presidential race in more than a decade in which Crate Darrell did not have a front row seat. That’s probably just as well: Crate is a bit busy these days. Among other things, he is launching a business that could compete with his former employer, Affiliate Managers Group.

Crate is well known in local political circles for his involvement in the GOP, including a roughly four-year term as state Republican party chairman and then two terms as state treasurer. Mitt Romney presidential campaigns. But he is also known in business circles for his almost 13 years as chief financial officer at AMGa financial company that was based in Beverly but has since moved its headquarters to Florida under the leadership of the CEO by Sean Healey leadership.

Crate launched his own investment company, based in Beverly Eastern Capital, in 2009. He then left AMG in 2011. But his non-compete agreement only expired earlier this year, which prevented him from using Easterly to start a rival business. With that step taken, he launched a subsidiary about a month ago to invest in smaller independent asset management companies, taking minority stakes and helping them with marketing and other services. So far, Crate says, his company has raised around $100 million from institutional investors for the venture, called Eastern Partners.

Easterly Capital already has two other businesses: a trust that invests in federally owned real estate and an affiliate formed to invest in a financial services company of your choice. Crate’s management team includes David Codyone of the first partners of Fortress Investment Group.

Crate is watching this year’s presidential race, but he doesn’t seem to miss being part of the action.

“It’s going to be a wild ride ahead,” Crate says. “[But] I have my hands full to build these businesses. It’s more than a full-time job.

JOHN CHESTO


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