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Creating a culture that accelerates success

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Great companies that lead the market and grow faster than their competitors are those that truly align strategy and culture across the entire business, to maximise potential for their people and customers. However, it is culture that is the key success factor and ‘secret sauce’ that provides the foundation for an organisation to thrive. Without an inspiring culture and vision, there is little chance of executing a winning strategy in today’s competitive corporate real estate market.  Culture is the way a company operates towards fulfilling its goals, but more importantly includes the behaviours, belief systems, underlying norms and core values of each employee.

In our ‘CRE - Our industry today, tomorrow & beyond’ report I am examining why in a highly competitive real estate market, it is a company’s culture that is the ultimate determinant of its performance – and its ability to stand out for team members and clients alike.  

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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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