NGKF Capital Markets Launches Self-Storage Group With 2 Veteran Hires

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NGKF Capital Markets, a group within commercial real estate advisory firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF), has hired self-storage veterans Aaron Swerdlin and Kenneth Cox to lead the company’s national Self Storage Group. Swerdlin will serve as executive managing director, and Cox will be senior managing director. The two men have handled more than $5 billion in self-storage transactions and will work with capital-markets professionals throughout the nation on emerging opportunities in the sector, company officials said.

"Savvy investors are looking for more than just a commercial real estate broker," said Jimmy Kuhn, president of NGKF and head of NGKF Capital Markets. "Whether we are talking about hospitality, multi-housing, health care, gaming or any other industry sector, our clients expect in-depth knowledge about their target markets and product types. We continue to enhance our platform so that we are equipped to most effectively assist [real estate investment trusts], institutional investors and private investors who have diverse needs, and are committed to hiring the best in the business to help them make intelligent decisions about their real estate portfolios.

"Aaron and Kenneth are recognized leaders in the self-storage space. Their knowledge and long-standing relationships are invaluable for clients exploring this alternative asset class. We couldn't be more pleased to have them on board and are confident they will help us build a highly successful self-storage practice."

A 20-year commercial real estate veteran, Swerdlin joins the NGKF Houston office from HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP), where he led the firm's self-storage group for five years. He previously served as a senior managing director and the managing partner at Storage Investment Advisors LLP. Earlier in his career, Swerdlin spent seven years as head of the self-storage advisory group for CBRE Group Inc. An active member of several self-storage industry associations, he is a frequent speaker at industry events and has had articles published in local and national real estate publications.

Based in Memphis, Tenn., Cox was most recently the general partner in several ventures focused on acquiring, operating and selling self-storage assets. He previously served as principal and senior vice president of Jernigan Property Group LLC, where he oversaw real estate activities in a joint venture with Kimco Realty that acquired $70 million in self-storage assets. He began his real estate career at Storage USA, where he spent eight years in various roles as an acquisitions, dispositions and development officer, and was involved in many high-profile transactions, including a $90 million joint venture with GE Capital Real Estate.

NGKF offers investment sales, transaction management, debt placement, proprietary lending, and appraisal and valuation advisory services. Together with its affiliates and London-based partner Knight Frank, NGKF employs more than 11,000 professionals, operating from more than 340 offices on five continents.

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