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Cushman & Wakefield strengthens PDS leadership team with two strategic hires

Tom Gibson • 05/07/2021

Cushman & Wakefield has today announced the appointment of Mitchell Wilson as the new head of Project & Development Services (PDS) and Maria Russo-Fama to Director, Client Services, to further accelerate the growth of the PDS business in Australian and New Zealand. In addition, Todd Hanrahan will step into the role of head of PDS, New Zealand, relocating from Cushman & Wakefield’s Japan office where he led the PDS business for over 2.5 years.

Maria & Mitchell Appointment PDS

Image: Cushman & Wakefield LinkedIn

Mitchell joins Cushman & Wakefield from design and construction firm, Unita, where he was Project Director and a senior leadership team member. In this role, Mitchell was instrumental in significantly expanding Unita’s pipeline of work and achieving record revenue growth.

Mitchell was also formerly the Owner and Financial Director of CIP Building Services, leading a national team and driving significant top- and bottom-line growth before selling the business. He also held senior property and project management positions at Westpac and JLL, delivering state and national capital projects.

Maria Russo-Fama was previously Head of Client Relations at National Projects & Maintenance (NPM). There, she was responsible for enhancing the sales team and growing and maintaining critical client relationships that underpinned the firm’s growth. Before that, Maria was the Client Solutions Director at BGIS APAC where she was a member of the senior leadership team and responsible for expanding the business’s footprint.

Mitchell and Maria join Cushman & Wakefield’s PDS team at an exciting time for the business’ growth. The Asia Pacific PDS business has grown 50% over the past 3 years and managed circa US$2bn in CAPEX in 2020. Currently, the team is running 740 live projects handled by over 950 project managers. In Australia, the team of 115+ project specialists are delivering more than 250 active projects per annum with approximately $1bn under program management alone.

Tom Gibson, Head of PDS Asia Pacific, Cushman & Wakefield said: “We are thrilled to have secured Mitchell as our new head of PDS in Australia and New Zealand and Maria as Director, Client Services. Their leadership will help the business capture rising demand from our investor and occupier client base for advisory, capital works programs, commercial fit-outs, principal contracting and project management services. I’m also delighted to relocate Todd from our Japan office to lead the PDS team in New Zealand as we accelerate the growth within PDS across Australia and New Zealand.”

“Attracting an accomplished leader of Mitchell’s calibre and a client relationship and business development specialist with Maria’s credentials is a testament to our strengthening market presence in the sector. Our ambition is to continue the positive momentum and now double the ANZ business over the next 3 years with their support.”

Mitchell Wilson added: “I look forward to working with the Cushman & Wakefield’s PDS teams in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific to accelerate the growth of the business. Cushman & Wakefield has a strong market reputation in delivering project management solutions to investor and occupier clients, which is a great foundation upon which to build.”