Martin Devine e1645456319805

Avison Young launches flex offices division

The real estate services firm has set up a UK flexible workspace team with the appointment of two former WeWork employees.

Martin Devine, former head of broker and agent development for UK and Ireland at WeWork, has joined as principal.

Robbie MacDonald, a former senior associate on WeWork’s broker and agent development team, will work alongside Devine as an associate director.

The new division, which will sit within the existing London markets team, comes more than two years after Avison Young set up its US flexible office business under Charlie Morris, formerly of Liquid Space.

Devine and Robbie will be expected to “promote cross-border insights” with Morris’s team.

With the rising complexity of hybrid working requirements, there is an “immediate opportunity” for advisers to provide real estate with specialist advice, Avison Young said.

Jason Sibthorpe, principal and UK president at Avison Young, said: “With the universal debate around office occupancy ongoing, flex advice is a core area of focus for us.

“The market won’t settle down overnight, and there is a real need for strategic advice for investors, occupiers and operators, to support businesses and their workforces in finding an adaptable solution that works for them.”

At WeWork, Devine was directly involved in the acquisitions of several assets across the UK and Ireland since 2018. More recently, he negotiated some of the largest flexible occupier deals across both the London and Dublin markets.

He said: “Avison Young’s vision to evolve its client offering in line with the global shift in occupier expectations, fills me with real excitement for the future.

“Having been part of the WeWork story since 2018, it will allow me to bring some valuable experience to occupiers, landlords and investors alike.”

The flexible office business is the latest change Avison Young has made to keep up with rapid changes in real estate and beyond.

In January, the firm announced a partnership with UiPath to automate many of its manual, time-consuming tasks in an effort to cut down on errors and wasted time.

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