U.S. firms continue to ally with distant cousins Partnering with their overseas brethren continues to be the popular rage with many American companies. The latest example is Cushman & Wakefield's "association" with Lisney, one of Ireland's leading real estate services firms. The two will work together to provide their clients with worldwide property agency and advisory services.

In 1998, C&W formally partnered with London-based Healey & Baker. "Lisney's extensive representation in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland offers us and our clients a very attractive way to provide a one-stop shop for all types of commercial and residential property," says Healey & Baker senior partner Paul Orchard-Lisle.

The continent is serving up some juicy partner-plums for U.S. firms. Trammell Crow Co.'s partnership with a Hungarian facilities management firm (see details to the right) is another example of how U.S. firms are moving abroad.

"Our strategic alliance with Wallis has allowed us to enter the Central and Eastern European markets without investing huge sums of capital to build production and delivery capabilities," says Crow group president John Maher. "Instead, we have chosen to joint venture with a partner who is extremely knowledgeable about doing business in Hungary."