Player Profile will seek to give a short introduction to the top firms in the assets and facilities management world. This week we look at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), which by some measures is the world’s largest asset management group.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Figures are for Facilities Management in Australia only.
~$4bn expenses under management
10mn + square metres
Headquarters – George St, Sydney NSW
JLL is a facilities management firm in the same way that the New York Yankees are a sports club. This venerable, old (est. 1783) firm is the world’s largest or second largest real estate brokerage firm, a title which it regularly fights for with CBRE. It has a reputation for being a blue-chip firm that can be trusted by governments and large utilities to deliver consistent, rock-steady results.
JLL is seen by many as an old British Empire patrician firm that has fought through to the modern day, but that’s only if you want to get technical. More accurately, it’s an American firm based in Chicago and dates back to 1999 in its current form. It has inherited 2 centuries of history, of British firms merging with US firms, being sold, repatriating to the UK and then back to being a trans-atlantic champion.
While it has always been prominent, the last decade has seen it separate from the rest of the pack. Mostly this has been through some major acquisitions, including Staubach Co., Guardian Property Asset Management and King Sturge. A recent purchase of workplace technology firm BRG signals a desire to focus on services, first and foremost being facilities management.
From our research, we’ve concluded that the firm runs on the FM equivalent of a lean production line. Rather than assign redundant staff to oversee small portfolios, JLL prefers to utilize their technological advantage (and large offshore call centres, rather than a local helpdesk) to have one FM and FC oversee more square footage than many other firms. With that being said, with their size and scale they would have little issue with meeting a client demand for a more local team.
JLL have been instrumental in the push for Integrated Facilities Management (IFM), which seeks to expand the range of services from hard and soft FM and into Reception, Mail, Concierge and more. They even have a catering arm, though it’s still taking shape and would leave them at a disadvantage when bidding against caterers who have gone into FM, such as Sodexo.
In fact, JLL is one of the bigger firms to come strictly from a brokerage and real estate background, to which FM is germane. Other firms of similar size tend to come from another industry and have made real estate and FM part of their scope later on. This includes ISS (Cleaning), Spotless (Cleaning), Compass Group (Catering) and Johnson Controls (Mechanical, though their position in FM is currently receding).
Facilities Managers and Co-ordinators looking for employment with JLL should strive for qualifications, be they trade or directly in an FM diploma or degree. As an American firm, JLL has traditionally had a reputation for preferring qualifications over experience, but this might not apply as much anymore in markets like Australia.