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Tuesday, Oct 3, 2023



Mark Sullivan

Senior Managing Director

Julien J. Studley Inc.

Age: 34

Three years ago, Mark Sullivan was thinking about quitting his job with the Los Angeles commercial realty firm Julien J. Studley Inc.

He enrolled in the USC Executive MBA program with the intention of looking into investment banking, the entertainment industry or whatever interesting career path popped up.

“I didn’t feel like I was fulfilling my business potential and was looking for ways to build up my business tool box,” said Sullivan. “But what I learned is that I have a pretty good job compared to other people I met there.”

Sullivan’s USC soujourn proved fruitful, even if it didn’t lead to a new career. He said he was Studley’s top L.A. earner in 1996, making more than anybody in the office’s history.

As senior managing director, Sullivan specializes in working with large companies to locate space for corporate or regional offices.

He negotiated more than $120 million in lease contracts for such clients as Amwest Insurance, Rysher Entertainment, Warner Bros. and NextWave Telecom Inc.

Rysher wanted to move to MGM Plaza in Santa Monica, even though it still had seven and a half years on its lease in Burbank. Sullivan solved the problem by sub-leasing that space to Warner Bros.

“If it wasn’t for Mark, that deal would not have gone through. There is no other tenant rep that could have successfully handled it,” said Tony Natsis, a partner with the real estate law firm of Allen, Matkins, Leck, Gamble & Mallory LLP.

Natsis said he was in daily contact with Sullivan over six months on the Rysher deal, and saw that “he’s truly interested in the client getting the best deal possible and is not driven to close the deal when it gets stressful or to get paid like a lot of others.”

Sullivan was Julien Studley’s rookie of the year when he joined in 1987 to help establish the company’s new San Fernando Valley office.

Before that, he worked briefly in marketing but said he saw too many people working too hard for too little money, and got out.

He moved to Studley’s regional headquarters in West Los Angeles in 1991 when the San Fernando Valley office was closed and the company was directed to work on fewer, larger deals.

Sullivan said that the next step is to “consistently do significant headquarters work for Southern California’s top businesses, meaning 250,000 to 750,000 square foot national headquarters for major companies.

“The higher you go in terms of size of transaction, the fewer competitors there are. And I want to be up there,” he said.

Thoughts of another career? Not after the year he just had. “With the people that surround me and how much I like what I do, I am so very certain that I belong here,” he said.

Wade Daniels

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