Transwestern today announced that Mike Watts has joined the firm as president of its Midwest region, headquartered in Chicago. Watts will have leadership responsibilities for overall strategy, business development, recruitment and financial performance for the region. During the past 10 years, Transwestern’s Midwest region has experienced dynamic growth and expanded into new markets such as Minneapolis-St. Paul and St. Louis.  Watts’ position was previously held by Rob Bagguley, who has since been appointed Transwestern’s chief innovation officer, a new role responsible for implementing innovation initiatives.

With Watts at the helm, a new round of significant growth and expansion for the region is planned through aggressive new business development and recruitment of additional professionals, allowing the team to continue providing legendary service to owners, tenants and investors across the Midwest.

“Mike’s deep market knowledge, outstanding relationships and exceptional client service experience allow us to build on our success in the Midwest. Bringing Mike on board advances Transwestern’s highly collaborative, innovative culture and operating model,” said Larry P. Heard, president and chief executive officer. “He joins an experienced and highly capable team and furthers our commitment to growth and providing the highest level of service to our clients.”

Throughout his career, Watts has served clients in the repositioning of some of Chicago’s most recognizable real estate and has led several large CBD transactions. He has deep client relationships throughout the market that span more than 20 years. Before joining Transwestern, Watts served as senior vice president of J.F. McKinney & Associates, where he directed a team leasing and marketing the 1.5 million square foot Hyatt Center development, 303 East Wacker Drive, 10 South LaSalle and One North State. He also oversaw the repositioning of large projects for clients including Bank of America, BP Amoco, Bank One, G.E. Investments and Lehman Brothers.  Previously, he served as Regional Leasing Director for downtown Chicago for Jones Lang LaSalle. Watts received a Bachelor of Science in marketing from State University of New York at Buffalo and his MBA from the University of Michigan.

“I am extremely excited to accept this leadership opportunity with Transwestern,” Watts said. “The firm’s client-centric culture, invaluable relationships and outstanding execution capabilities are a strong foundation for the dynamic growth and expansion we have planned across the Midwest.  I am joining a talented team with a strong reputation in this market and I look forward to collaborating with them to expand our business and serve our clients at the highest level.”

Watts will office in the firm’s regional headquarters at 200 West Madison in downtown Chicago.
Transwestern’s Midwest region consists of over 220 team members, including 70 brokerage professionals.   The region oversees the leasing and management of 120 properties, totaling 20 million square feet.  Additionally, Transwestern completed leasing transactions for approximately 6 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space across the Midwest during 2011, totaling approximately $500 million in value.  During 2011, the region completed sales and financing transactions in excess of $439 million.

Transwestern is a privately-held operating company specializing in commercial real estate services, investment and development.  The firm’s fully integrated approach delivers value to owners, investors and users of commercial real estate through innovation, penetrating market intelligence and legendary service delivered by teams of local experts.  Transwestern has product specialties in office, industrial, retail, multifamily and healthcare and is an industry leader in sustainability solutions and in market research through its affiliate, Delta Associates.