HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF) (HFF) announced today that it expects to launch its U.K. operations through the proposed acquisition of Leon Partners Limited (Leon Partners), a London-based independent real estate advisory firm focusing on investment banking and corporate finance. The transaction is subject to receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, and is expected to close in early 2017. The opening of the London office will represent HFF's 24 th office location and the first outside of the U.S. David Church and Raj Somchand, founding members of Leon Partners, will be joining HFF along with a team of four associates. Mr. Church and Mr. Somchand will bring their collective 50 years in the business recently with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Leon Partners to lead the London office's corporate finance and investment banking business. Concurrently with the expected closing of the Leon Partners transaction, Michael Kavanau, senior managing director and co-head of HFF's Chicago office, will relocate to London. Mr. Kavanau will bring his 30 years of experience with HFF in the U.S. to lead the London office's equity and debt placement business and will be joined by additional HFF associates in due course. HFF's London office is expected to offer a full spectrum of commercial real estate capital markets transaction services in the U.K., including investment banking/corporate finance, investment transactions and debt and equity placement. As one of the largest and most successful commercial real estate intermediaries in the U.S., HFF incorporates capital markets knowledge with local real estate expertise to successfully complete a diverse mix of real estate transactions, regardless of size or complexity. HFF's business model is solely focused on providing capital markets services to its clients, and therefore does not invest, lease or manage real estate assets, thus mitigating conflicts of interests with its clients. HFF, Inc. was ranked in Fortune magazine's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies for four years: 2012 - 2014 and 2016 and with its predecessor companies has closed in excess of $567 billion in transactions since 1998. "We are extremely excited to have David, Raj and members of the Leon team join HFF to help start, manage and grow HFF's first business endeavor outside of the U.S.," said Mark Gibson, chief executive officer of HFF. "Leon's culture of integrity, teamwork and its in-depth knowledge of all capital market solutions for commercial real estate is highly synergistic with HFF's core values and competencies. HFF's global clients have been encouraging HFF to enter the London and European markets and we are delighted to have found great chemistry and a complementary skill set in David, Raj and the Leon Partners team. Additionally, with Michael Kavanau's relocation to London, HFF is sending one of its longest tenured partners to not only bring his vast skill set of the debt and equity placement businesses but to also help with the integration of the Leon team and other London-based capital market specialists into HFF's collaborative, team-oriented culture."