Barry M. Barovick has stepped in as the new president and CEO of Northbrook, Ill.-based Grubb & Ellis Co. He joins the company from New York-based Ernst & Young LLP, where he served as partner and global director of the company's real estate advisory services group.

Barovick brings to the position more than 27 years of experience in the real estate industry, which includes advising global companies on developing and integrating real estate, financial and operational processes. At Ernst & Young's real estate advisory services group, he was responsible for managing business development, new services, product development and financial performance.

Although his goals are still in the formative stage, Barovick said he wants the company to be thought of as more than just a brokerage firm. “My intent is to bring Grubb & Ellis into the A-tier. We will expend the internal synergies already here to the marketplace,” he said.

Barovick's arrival comes as the giant services provider seeks to boost revenues and net income. Grubb & Ellis' stock price (NYSE: GBE) ranged from $4.13 to $6.69 in the past 52 weeks. As of the close of business trading on June 19, the price per share was $5.00.

The company's total revenue for the first quarter of 2001 was $80.7 million, a decrease of 12.8% over revenue of $93.6 million for the same period last year, according to a financial statement provided by the company to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C. “The current softening in the general economy has resulted in a higher than normal slowing in real estate transaction velocity due to negative absorption and higher vacancy rates in certain markets,” the report stated.

Grubb & Ellis operates on a fiscal calendar of July 1-June 30. Its net income for the nine months that ended March 31 was $5.5 million, as compared with its net income of $11.7 million for the same period in fiscal year 2000. For the first quarter of 2001, there was a total net loss of $954,000, as compared with the net income of $2.7 million for the same period in fiscal year 2000.

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