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Colliers Talks: Colliers’ 125 Years: Taking Risks and Making Moves

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Brian Rosen, CEO of Colliers Canada, takes a journey through the past while plotting future success with Chris McLernon, Global CEO for Real Estate Services at Colliers.

Colliers is celebrating our 125th year of doing business in Canada. That's 125 years of leveraging our expertise and enterprising culture to accelerate the success of our people, clients and communities.

To commemorate this achievement, Colliers leaders Brian Rosen and Chris McLernon came together in Toronto for a special episode of Colliers Talks to honour our roots, highlight our achievements, and look to the future – a true Canadian success story that, despite our strong legacy, is really just getting started.

Takeaways from Chris and Brian’s conversation:

  • Colliers’ success over the decades, and our future growth, is rooted in an entrepreneurial ethos. Four our people, that has always meant taking risks, seeking opportunities and commanding your next move as an enterprising member of the team.
  • Over 125 years, the company has survived world wars, the Depression, the global financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and other major challenges. The organization has always been able to adjust and thrive amid those challenges, emerging stronger on the other side.
  • Colliers has gone through various changes and phases. From our origins in Vancouver as Macaulay Nicolls, to the merger in 1984 to become Colliers, to listing on the TSX and NASDAQ in 2015 as one of the top publicly-traded CRE firms in the world, we now have our sights set on doubling annual global revenue to $9 billion.
  • One of the key success factors is our decentralized model. It allows Colliers to be agile, and places decisions at the local, regional and national levels so we can move quickly with little bureaucracy.
  • Colliers has always “hunted in packs”. That means it's not just one service line engaging with clients, but united teams of experts across our service lines. We're not just there for the transaction; it's about solving clients' business problems by providing real estate solutions.


Get more insights from key Colliers experts and key industry players. Tune in to more Colliers Talks episodes

For More Information, Please Contact:

Brian Rosen

President & Chief Executive Officer | Canada

Toronto Downtown

Brian Rosen is the President and Chief Executive Officer I Canada at Colliers, Canada’s leading commercial real estate services and investment management firm. He joined Colliers in April, 2019 and assumed the role of CEO on March 31, 2020.  In his role as CEO, Brian is responsible for driving growth and establishing the strategic direction of the business in Canada. 

Prior to being appointed President and CEO in March 2020, Brian served as Chief Operating Officer I Canada at Colliers.  An experienced General Manager, Corporate Strategist, Sales Leader, and Marketer, Brian worked at Iron Mountain for over a decade before joining Colliers, serving most recently as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Canada. Brian has had extensive experience in both the US & Canada and prior to Iron Mountain was a Corporate Strategist at Avon Products and Management Consultant at Marakon Associates.

Brian holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University.

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Chris McLernon

Chief Executive Officer, Real Estate Services | Global

Toronto - 1140 Bay

As Chief Executive Officer, Real Estate Services | Global, Chris takes responsibility for client relationships, operational excellence, and overall growth within Colliers’ rapidly growing real estate services across 62 countries. He oversees Colliers’ Capital Markets, Leasing and Outsourcing & Advisory businesses globally, with emphasis on accelerating growth, enhancing global collaboration, and strengthening our unique culture and way of doing business.  

Bringing a depth of experience in building and growing businesses in mature and emerging markets, Chris has played an integral role in growing Colliers into its current position. Previously the Chief Executive Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Chris provided strategic direction for the region, ensuring a seamless service experience for clients across our complete range of services, and grew its revenues 20-fold. He oversaw more than 30 acquisitions including Colliers UK, Colliers Germany, Colliers Italy, Antirion, IREA, Sadline & Albaek, Ovenia and The AOS Group from France. Earlier, he built and led Colliers’ Latin America business and was one of the top producers in Canada when he joined Colliers in 1987 as an office leasing advisor in Toronto.

Throughout his career, Chris has delivered exceptional service, fulfilling the real estate needs of major corporations such as Nortel, FedEx, Oracle, Cisco Systems, Compaq, Dun & Bradstreet, Ford Motor Land, and Microsoft.

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