Growing West Coast-based investment sales brokerage Sperry Van Ness has formed an in-house research group that will be run by a former competitor. Yesterday, Irvine, Calif.-based Sperry Van Ness hired former Marcus & Millichap research analyst Tom Hershey.

According to Sperry Van Ness, Hershey will spearhead research, product development, and market forecasting. Hershey, 38, spent 3 years at Marcus & Millichap, where he most recently served as senior research analyst. He holds a BA in real estate from Arizona State University.

“Tom has tremendous insight and knowledge of commercial real estate markets across the country, which makes him a great addition to Sperry Van Ness,” says David Frosh, president of Sperry Van Ness, a privately held company. “With his level of industry experience, we are confident that his organization will be an invaluable asset for our clients.”