Calabasas, Calif. — William Millichap, co-chairman of Marcus & Millichap whose leadership and innovation helped pave the way for the company to become a national player and household name in commercial real estate, has died at the age of 76 following a year-long battle with cancer. The company made the announcement Tuesday.
Millichap joined the company, then known as G.M. Marcus Co., as an investment broker shortly after its founding in 1971. After serving as a regional manager of the Palo Alto, Calif., office in the mid-1970s, Millichap went on to become president and a director of the company from 1985 to 2000. He was co-chairman of the board until his death.
“The company’s formative years benefited greatly from Bill’s push for innovation, including our training programs, professionalization of the industry and adoption of technology — key building blocks of the firm’s market leadership,” says George Marcus, founder and chairman of the Calabasas-based company.
“Bill was the truest of friends that one could ever have and a real partner in good times and challenging ones. He was a unique and exceptional leader, coach and innovator. All who knew him would point to his intelligence, endless energy, enthusiasm, discipline, loyalty and competitiveness as main ingredients that made him the life force that was.”
Additionally, Millichap was the managing partner of Marcus & Millichap Venture Partners, a separate entity that invested in real estate-related technology firms. He also served on the board of directors of Essex Property Trust from 1994 to 2009 and LoopNet Inc. from 1999 to 2008. He was one of the founders of San Jose National Bank and The Mid-Peninsula Bank of Commerce.
As a contributor to the commercial real estate industry, Millichap served on the board of directors of the National Multifamily Housing Council and was a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Urban Land Institute and the National Venture Capital Association.
“Bill’s passion and commitment to providing the best support to our sales force and creating value for our clients were contagious and remain essential parts of our culture to this day,” says Hessam Nadji, president and CEO of Marcus & Millichap. “His ability to connect, relate and add value at a personal level fueled his countless relationships throughout the entire organization and the industry. His positive influence will live on through all of us who were touched by him.”
Millichap received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland and served as an officer in the United States Navy. He is survived by his wife, Sherri; children, Laura, Greg, Jeff and Stacy; and eight grandchildren.