Gural is stepping down as chairman of Newmark Knight Frank as the company readies for its initial public offering.
The move is part of a larger effort by the Gural family to differentiate its business from the commercial real estate firm. The family’s firm, Newmark Holdings, is changing its name to GFP Real Estate to eliminate confusion between the company and its affiliate, Newmark Knight Frank, the company announced on Monday.
Though Gural said it’s a little disappointing to shed a moniker that the company’s used since the 1950s, the new name — which stands for Gural Family Partners — will make clear that the company is separate from Newmark Knight Frank.
“I think it’s more important that there’s no confusion. People know the Gural name. Most people in the industry know that Newmark doesn’t own the buildings, but [confusion] does sometimes happen,” Gural said. “Hopefully, it won’t happen anymore.”
GFP is a landlord and management firm run by the Gural family, whose properties include the Flatiron Building, the Film Center Building at , , and . Gural will remain principal of GFP and will take on the role of chairman emeritus of Newmark Knight Frank.
Newmark’s parent company, Howard Lutnick’s BGC Partners, announced in February that it planned to spin off the brokerage as a separate company through an IPO. In May, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank dropped the “Grubb” from its name. Newmark’s loan and leasing operations in New York have been strong, but the brokerage has struggled to gain ground against competitors in investment sales, as The Real Deal reported earlier this year.