A picture of a globe with the Engel & Volkers logo.
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Engel & Völkers names new Group CEO 

Current CEO Sven Odia will shift to the role of president as he supports Jawed Barna's transition in November.

September 15, 2023
2 minutes

Key points:

  • After nine years as CEO, Sven Odia will be stepping down in November.
  • Zurich Insurance deputy CEO Jawed Barna has been tapped to take over from Odia.
  • E&V founder Christian Völkers said that Barna will lead the company into its “next phase of growth.”

Global luxury firm Engel & Völkers has announced a big change to its leadership. On November 1, CEO Sven Odia will step down and be succeeded by Zurich Insurance exec Jawed Barna. Odia will assume the role of president to help Barna in the transition. 

The change in leadership marks the end of Odia's nine years as the head of the Hamburg-based luxury-focused brand, but he will "actively support" Barna as the new CEO. Odia had been with E&V for 17 years before taking on the CEO role, the company noted.

"With its strong growth and digitization strategy, E&V is perfectly positioned to continue its success story," Odia said in the announcement. "I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the entire team worldwide for the terrific collaboration over the past two decades."

Barna comes to E&V after nearly twenty years at Zurich Insurance Group where he was most recently deputy CEO and an executive board member. He will be tasked with continuing E&V's charge into new markets and global expansion, the company indicated.  

And founder Christian Völkers has big hopes for the newcomer.

"His successful experience in building digital platforms and managing a complex sales organization makes him a perfect fit for E&V," he said. "We are convinced that Jawed Barna has what it takes to lead E&V into the next phase of growth, with the goal of becoming the best platform for high-quality real estate worldwide."

Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of E&V Americas, echoed Völkers' sentiment, stating that Barna will help move the brand forward "in a bigger, digital-first world," while noting that for the Americas division, "our day-to-day here will likely not be greatly impacted." Engel & Völkers has been growing rapidly in North America, most recently announcing an expansion into Belize. The company also acquired Dilbeck Real Estate last month, which doubled its presence in Southern California.

Engel & Völkers traces its roots back to 1977. After growing in Germany, the company began expanding to other countries in 1990 and launched its franchise business in 1999. The global brand now has a presence in over 1,000 markets.

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