- The Washington Times - Friday, April 24, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Your article (“Senate husband’s firm cashes in on crisis,” Page 1, Tuesday), about our company’s selection as an adviser to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. distorts the facts and creates a misleading perception of impropriety where none exists.

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. was selected for the FDIC assignment after a nine-month competitive bid process conducted by the agency’s career professionals. Richard Blum was at no time involved in the FDIC bid process. As our firm’s nonexecutive chairman, he plays no day-to-day operational role and does not get involved in contractual pursuits. Mr. Blum was not even aware that CB Richard Ellis was competing for the FDIC work until it was publicly announced. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, has said that she had no knowledge of the contract prior to being contacted by your reporter on Jan. 21.

Your article dwells extensively on Mrs. Feinstein’s proposed legislation in support of homeowners facing potential foreclosure. This legislation was designed to help stem property foreclosures. Since CB Richard Ellis is paid under the FDIC agreement only by managing and disposing of foreclosed properties, it is illogical to suggest that CB Richard Ellis would have benefited from the senator’s proposed legislation.

The article claims that CB Richard Ellis has no expertise in residential real estate. Yet you ignore the fact that Realogy, the nation’s largest residential brokerage, is our subcontractor for this assignment. A significant portion of the fees and commissions will be flowing through to Realogy, other sub-contractors and outside brokerage firms that will assist with property dispositions.

As the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm with extensive operations across the United States, we are well placed to assist the FDIC with the management and disposition of its owned real estate assets. And we are enormously proud to be playing a small role in helping to correct the imbalances that had developed in the U.S. real estate market. However, the revenue opportunity under the FDIC contract is quite small for a company of our size, amounting to less than 1 percent of annual revenue.

We are quite confident that the FDIC made the right choice and that it will receive significant value in return for the fees it pays us.

CALVIN W. FRESE JR.

Global chief operating officer

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc.

New York

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