Guardian Management/Sperry Van Ness

Portland, Ore.-based real estate firm Guardian Management helped Sperry Van Ness close a chapter on its strategic franchise initiative. Guardian purchased the Irvine, Calif.-based commercial real estate brokerage's eight remaining company-owned locations in a deal announced at the end of July. Under the terms of the transaction, Guardian will acquire the Southern California and Arizona offices of Sperry Van Ness (shown) and will have exclusive future franchising rights in Oregon and Arizona, says Guardian president Tom Brenneke, who will also become a member of the Sperry Van Ness board of directors.

“We contemplated the move very carefully as an organization, and for us it was a diversification play,” Brenneke says. “It diversifies our product type and diversifies us geographically, solidifying us as a West Coast [player] and giving us a toe-hold on a national platform.” In particular, the acquisition adds a vertical integration component to Guardian, which, until now, has been limited in terms of brokerage services. With that functionality comes access to a broader deal flow in both multifamily and commercial properties to complement Guardian's core asset and property management offerings. “We see the deal flow as a tremendous advantage,” Brenneke says. “We'll take full advantage of it.”

The transaction allows Sperry Van Ness to move its focus away from the daily operations of its Southern California and Arizona markets and concentrate on establishing a franchise presence in markets such as Seattle, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. “We're trying to complement what we already have and bring additional value for our advisors and clients,” says company CEO Mark Van Ness. “Guardian is right down the strike zone as a partner, and I think we've been able to solve some growth needs for each other. It is a perfect fit.”