A tale of two cities and global expansion
JLL’s history spans more than 200 years, but we’ll just give you the highlights.
1783: Richard Winstanley sets up shop as an auctioneer in London and is succeeded by his son James in 1806.
1939: Through partnerships and mergers too numerous to mention, the Winstanley firm is now known by the last names of its three principal members: Jones Lang Wootton (JLW) & Sons.
1945: In a London devastated by World War II bombings that destroyed property records, JLW takes on the enormous job of documenting boundaries and ownerships of thousands of land parcels. JLW secures licenses for development and agency appointments, which places it in an enviable position as the city begins to rebuild in 1954.
1957: JLW begins its global expansion by opening offices in Australia, overcoming an initial prognosis of "outlook favorable but problems formidable." Working from this base, the company expands into New Zealand, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Meanwhile, back in Europe, JLW extends its activities into Scotland, Ireland and continental Europe.
1968: Across the Atlantic, in El Paso, Texas, a small group of professionals forms IDC Real Estate with the goal of bringing much-needed professionalism to the marketplace. IDC quickly outgrows its local market, moves to Chicago, eventually changes its name to LaSalle Partners and becomes one of America’s leading real estate service firms. The firm becomes known for its longstanding client relationships.
1975: JLW opens its first U.S. office in New York. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, both JLW and LaSalle Partners extend their presence in new markets throughout Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas.
1997: LaSalle Partners completes its initial public offering of the company’s common stock.
1999: In the largest international real estate industry merger to date, JLW and LaSalle Partners join forces and form Jones Lang LaSalle. The resulting company was—and still is—the leading global commercial real estate services and investment management firm.
2006: The firm begins a period of strong growth both organically and through acquisitions. Among four new firms joining the fold in 2006 is Spaulding and Slye, a major real estate player on America’s east coast, plus other strong firms in England, Spain and markets in the Middle East.
JLL is also named for the first of three consecutive years to Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 Best Big Companies, the only real estate services firm to attain that honor. In subsequent years we are recognized by Fortune magazine and publications in many of our local markets as one of the best places to work.
2007: Another busy expansion year sees 15 mergers and acquisitions including the transaction that created JLL India, the largest real estate firm in India. We also acquire Upstream, the leading sustainability consultancy in the UK, and a leading property advisor in the Netherlands. The awards continue as well, highlighted by a top honor for our energy and sustainability work from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
2008: Acquisitions increase our presence in China, make us the largest retail advisor in Germany, and allow us to expand our presence in Australia and Scotland. We are now the leading real estate firm in Germany and the Netherlands, the two largest real estate markets in Continental Europe. In the United States, we acquire The Staubach Company, a leader in tenant representation. This acquisition significantly enhances our presence in key markets around the United States, establishes us as the market leader in public sector services and adds scale to many of our core businesses.
2011: We establish ourselves as the clear leader in the UK and continental Europe with the acquisition of London-based King Sturge. The transaction gives us scale and depth of expertise that greatly enhance our service delivery capabilities. In addition to King Sturge, we completed eight acquisitions in 2011 within the United States, South Africa, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia including Procon, DST International and Keystone Partners. Meanwhile we were still winning awards, including Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies in 2011.
2012: Acquisitions include MPS Property in January, JER Partners in March and Credo Real Estate and 360 Commercial Partners in July.
See the new video on our history as we celebrate our fourth century in real estate.