One of Richmond’s biggest real estate brokerages will ring in the New Year with a changing of the guard in its top office.
Paul Silver, longtime CEO of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, will step down from his position effective Jan. 1 to allow the company’s current president, Lee Warfield, to take the helm.
Silver, who started with Thalhimer in 1984, will remain the chair of its board of directors. He has been CEO for 19 years. Warfield is set to be Thalhimer’s fourth CEO since it was founded in 1913.
The succession plan has been in the works for the last three years, Silver said.
“One of the most important things in business is to be sustainable and relevant,” he said. “We’ve had some significant growth over the last decade, and as a result it takes a lot more people to provide the talent needed to meet the client’s need.”
The decision to step down as CEO was not a move toward retirement, Silver said, and he’ll continue to work with clients and focus on the firm’s long-term plans as chairman.
Under Silver’s leadership, Thalhimer has pushed into new markets and expanded its services, including its construction operations, MGT Construction, and Thalhimer Realty Partners, its development and investment arm.
Thalhimer’s property management portfolio now has about 20 million square feet of commercial space and 6,100 apartment units in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. It now supports over 100 brokers and 400 associates companywide.
“We’re very fortunate to have the group of people that we’ve had join the firm,” Silver said. “Being able to attract and retain and motivate highly talented people is something that I’m very proud of.”
Warfield, 52, has been with the firm since 1995 and became president in 2011. He specializes in site selection services for regional and national retailers, along with land assemblage and pre-development leasing, according to a news release. He has represented tenants like Home Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Regal Entertainment.
He will remain president of the company in addition to becoming CEO.
“It’s a huge honor and responsibility to follow Paul,” Warfield said. “He’s done a phenomenal job in driving our growth, and it’s going to be a challenge that I welcome to continue the path that we’re on.
“It’s a great company,” he added. “It was a great company before I got here, and I want it to be a great company after I leave.”
Warfield’s plans for the firm largely involve keeping it on its current track. He said it still has areas and services with room for growth.
“We’ve been around for 100 years, so we’ve been doing things right, but to continue that you can’t take it for granted,” he said. “Leadership evolution is an important part of sustainability.”
Congratulations to both Paul and Lee. As the other 100 + year old brokerage firm in town, we look forward to many more years of competition with our Thalhimer friends.