Retail deal king Nicholson to retire from CBRE

Retail investment veteran Greg Nicholson is retiring from CBRE after 32 years with the business.

Nicholson, who turns 60 in December, will leave the agent at the end of June.

He lays claim to having bought, sold and funded more shopping centres over £50m than any other UK agent in the past 20 years, clocking up perhaps 70 such deals totalling several billion pounds.

As well as high-profile deals from Covent Garden Market, WC2, up to the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow, he has acted on hundreds of smaller retail investments.

CBRE’s executive directors were briefed on Nicholson’s departure on Thursday evening.

Nicholson joined Hillier Parker in September 1980 and ran the investment agency team through the 1990s until the business was sold to CBRE in 1998. After CBRE acquired Insignia Richard Ellis and Hillier Parker was merged with Richard Ellis in the UK, Nicholson became chairman of capital markets and a member of the executive board from 2003 to 2009.

In the past few years, he has stepped back to a client-focused role.

Nicholson said his time at CBRE had been a “terrific ride”. “Ultimately, it is the people that have made it such enormous fun, but now is the time to do other things with my life,” he added. “I’m beginning to feel I’m the last man standing from my generation.”

The father of three, who is a keen shot and lover of the arts, said he was looking forward to embarking on his own property project: building a house in Denmark with his Danish wife.

His deal tally includes working on Abbey National’s £1.3bn Project Dove sale in 2005, the largest commercial property transaction in UK history, and the £680m retail warehouse joint venture between British Land and the Crown Estate in 2007.

CBRE’s UK managing director Martin Samworth said it had been a “pleasure and an honour” to work with Nicholson.