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Colliers International in partnership with RICS introduce real estate’s first truly international graduate scheme


Leading global real estate services and investment management, Colliers International, in partnership with RICS today announced that they are to launch real estates’ first truly international graduate scheme.

"Our EMEA Graduate Programme will allow us to accelerate our ability to grow a pipeline of talent that is truly international in their thought process, increase cross border collaboration and strengthen relationships in different countries. Ultimately it will improve our ability to provide a seamless service across the region to our clients.” said Chris McLernon, Colliers’ EMEA CEO. “This is one in a series of investments we are making as part of our successful EMEA People Transformation Programme and a great opportunity to partner with RICS. Both Colliers and RICS share a desire to develop grass roots talent and support and recognise the strategic value the next generation can bring to the sector.”

Colliers’ EMEA Graduate Scheme aims to attract, recruit and develop graduates and give them opportunity to work in six markets -  UK, France, Germany, Poland Denmark and the UAE – whilst they train to achieve their MRICS designation; an internationally recognised qualification in real estate and construction. Applications will be open in September 2020 and the first intake will begin in September 2021.

“The next generation are looking for new opportunities in their career choices, the ability to gain international exposure being high on their list of priorities,” said Mo Karim, EMEA Head of People Transformation. “From a people perspective, this programme sets us apart from our competitors and helps to build our appeal as an employer of choice.”

For the initial pilot cohort, all graduates will undertake the Commercial Property Pathway of RICS. A key component of this programme’s appeal will be the opportunity to train our graduates virtually. Due to the partnership with RICS, the candidates will have access to their newly launched Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) training platform and APC Accelerated Learning Programme. This training will provide a truly international, distance learning experience and ensure the candidates build an internal network. Where necessary, face to face training will also be built into the programme. 

Judith Gabler, RICS Operations Director, Europe concluded: “The EMEA graduate programme will equip early career professionals with the technical and ethical skills to address the challenges facing our global real-estate markets. We are proud to partner with Colliers International to ensure our profession stays connected, vibrant, and attractive for future talent.”

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Chris McLernon

Chief Executive Officer | EMEA

As Chief Executive Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Chris is responsible for the growth and strategic direction of the business in the region. Bringing a depth of experience in building and growing businesses in mature and emerging markets, Chris has played an integral role in growing Colliers International into its current position as a top three global commercial real estate services provider.

Passionate about providing our clients with the highest level of service, Chris is committed to ensuring a seamless service experience across our complete range of services offered in the 43 countries in which we operate in the region.

In addition to his role as CEO in the EMEA, Chris is also a member of the global senior executive team that sets the vision and strategy for Colliers International.

Chris’ real estate career began in 1987 when he joined Colliers International as an office leasing advisor in Toronto. One of the most active top producers in Canada, he received awards for completing the most transactions in a single year in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

In 1994, Chris relocated to Mexico City to build the Latin America business. In his five years there, he was lead principal on four major acquisitions in Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Columbia. In 1998, he was appointed CEO for the region.

In 1999, Chris moved to Miami, home to over 500 Latin American headquarters, to set up the regional corporate solutions team.

Chris returned to Toronto in 2002 and expanded his responsibility as CEO of EMEA, focusing on the growth of the emerging European markets and leading acquisitions in six countries in Southeast Europe, the UK, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands. In 2008, he moved to London where he set up the EMEA headquarters.

In 2012, Chris served as lead principal in the acquisition of the Colliers German affiliate, bringing five cities and 230 professionals into the fold.

In 2014, he was lead principal in the acquisition of the AOS Group, the premier occupier-focused business in Europe, in a deal that added to the company 430 professionals across 10 countries in multiple service lines.

Throughout his career, Chris has delivered exceptional service, fulfilling the real estate needs of major corporations such as Nortel Networks, Federal Express, Oracle Corporation, Cisco Systems, Compaq, Dun & Bradstreet, Ford Motor Land, Microsoft, Regus Business Centers and Silicon Graphics.

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