History misc

A few key milestones

Merger with WPM Groep

In 2016 Colliers International acquires WPM Groep, founded in 1987, leading property and asset management specialist in the Netherlands. The addition of WPM Groep NV further strengthens Colliers’ existing property and asset management platform and enhances operations in the EMEA.

Launch Retail Services and merger with AOS Group

In 2014 Colliers acquires AOS Groep, one of Europe’s leading real estate and workplace consulting firms. The acquisition provides Colliers with a significant new base of operations in France and Belgium and augments existing operations in The Netherlands, the UK, Spain, Switzerland and Morocco.

Colliers merges with Urban Properties

In 2013 Colliers acquires Urban Properties, an established boutique advisor in asset management, property management and project management in The Netherlands. This acquisition means that Colliers International will now offer clients - including, banks and funds - asset management, property management and project management services.  

British and Irish companies united

In 2012, First Service Corporation announced the successful acquisition of Colliers International in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, whereupon some ninety per cent of Colliers International assets are now controlled by a single entity.

Boer Hartog Hooft joins the team

In 2010, Amsterdam’s oldest real estate brokerage Boer Hartog Hooft (established in 1893), one of the most prominent Dutch companies within the commercial property sector, joined Colliers International. As part of a global organization, the Amsterdam office became able to offer an even higher level of service. Colliers International Rotterdam followed in 2012.

A fresh and powerful brand

The brand Colliers International was united in 2010 when all partner companies decided to operate under a single name, with a common mission and shared values. As part of a clear and transparent organizational structure, the offices have since reported directly to one of six regional CEOs (for Asia, Australia, Canada, EMEA, Latin America and the USA).

A strong financial partner

In 2004, First Service Corporation acquired a financial interest in CMN Inc., the former Colliers Macaulay Nicolls arm of Colliers International. This enabled the organization to extend its outreach yet further, and to offer clients a range of additional services such as project management, hospitality advice, valuations and appraisals. CMN went on to become the majority shareholder in Colliers International.

Colliers’ first office in the Netherlands

In 2000, Colliers International opened its first office in the Netherlands at the World Trade Center in Amsterdam. This was soon followed by another in Eindhoven. 

Everest expedition

On 23 May 1997 two Canadian mountaineers, Alan Hobson and Jamie Clarke, reached the summit of Mount Everest. It was their third attempt, sponsored by Colliers International offices in all parts of the world. This expedition is seen as an important step in the unification of our team, many of whom travelled to the base camp to show their support for the climbers.

Old Logo
Trendsetter in services

In 1984, Colliers and Macaulay Nicolls Maitland joined forces to become the first regional real estate company with global ambitions. Having first adopted the name Colliers Macaulay Nicolls, the organization later became known as Colliers International. CEO John McLernon oversaw the expansion of the network to include many international partners.

Expansion under new management

In 1977, John McLernon took the helm of Macaulay Nicolls Maitland as its fourth CEO. Over the next 25 years, he oversaw the company’s growth from a relatively small provincial brokerage in Vancouver and Calgary, with an annual turnover of 1.5 million dollars, to become a multinational which in 2011 achieved a turnover of some 1.8 billion dollars.

The Colliers brand

The name Colliers comes from Australia, where three real estate brokers – Robert McCuaig, Bill McHarg and George Duncan - joined forces in 1976. They chose the name as a tribute to their much-respected mentor, Ronald Collier.


Alexander Jacobus Hooft became a real estate broker in 1928 and spent many years working for his father-in-law, Johannes Jozef Vroom. In 1934, Vroom’s company became an ‘association’.

Strength through partnership

In 1904, sixteen-year-old Ronald Maitland, then a junior clerk at the Royal Bank of Canada, joined the staff of Macaulay Nicolls. He was made a partner in 1922. In 1927 the company reported an annual profit of 57,000 dollars. Largely due to prudent financial management and a wide range of specialist services (including maritime insurance), Macaulay Nicolls Maitland was now the only surviving real estate company in Vancouver.

A new company in a new city

The roots of the organization can be traced back to 1898 when Macaulay Nicolls, a brokerage specializing in estate management and insurance, was founded in Vancouver, Canada. At that time, Vancouver had some fifty real estate companies: they outnumbered grocery stores! When co-owner J.P. Nicolls opened an account with the Royal Bank of Canada, the account number was simply ‘8’.

Did You Know?

Colliers was one of the first global companies to expand operations in Asia, Central Europe and Latin America. We're committed to providing our clients with access to emerging markets around the world.

What unites and defines us

Throughout our history, the core values of service, expertise, community and fun have shaped our approach to new partnerships, selecting our team and growing our company.

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