Veteran Ottawa broker Bruce Wolfgram takes ownership stake in upstart firm Proveras

Bruce Wolfgram

A local commercial real estate firm specializing in tenant representation has brought one of the city’s more experienced brokers on board as a new partner.

Proveras Commercial Realty announced this week that 30-year industry veteran Bruce Wolfgram joined the company effective Tuesday. Mr. Wolfgram had spent the past seven and a half years as vice-president of tenant representation at another locally owned brokerage, Primecorp Commercial Realty.

Mr. Wolfgram will become part owner of Proveras, joining founders Nick Maiorino and Alan Doak as principals in the company. He said the chance to work at a firm that caters solely to tenants was too good to pass up.

“That was like the icing on the cake,” Mr. Wolfgram said of gaining an ownership stake in the three-year-old firm. “The biggest thing for me was to work as part of a team … working solely on tenant representation. I highly respect both Nick Maiorino and Alan Doak. They’re both very professional individuals and they’re both very knowledgeable in real estate as well as ethical.”

Mr. Maiorino said Mr. Wolfgram shares the same "core values" as the two founders, adding his expertise will be a huge asset for the growing firm.

“He’s a great guy with a great reputation, lots of integrity," Mr. Maiorino said. "It’s a wonderful fit for us. He brings a whole bunch of other clients with him, so I think that the combination of the three of us just makes us stronger.”

An electrical engineering graduate of Queen’s University, Mr. Wolfgram was a vice-president at the Ottawa office of DTZ Barnicke for 10 years before joining Primecorp. His past experience also includes stints at NAV Canada and Canada Post.

The 55-year-old said brokers at larger operations that represent both landlords and tenants in leasing negotiations can face potential conflicts of interest. For example, he said, a firm worried about losing a major landlord as a client could pressure agents who represent tenants into taking deals at buildings owned by that landlord.

At Proveras, he said, that will never be an issue.

“In any profession, it would seem prudent to remove as many potential conflicts as possible when you’re doing business,” said Mr. Wolfgram, a 2001 Forty Under 40 recipient.

Founded in 2014, Proveras has built an impressive roster of clients despite being a small firm which had just two brokers before bringing Mr. Wolfgram aboard. Among the tenants it represents are Algonquin College, major tech firms such as Entrust Datacard and the Royal Ottawa Hospital.

“They’ve done extremely well,” Mr. Wolfgram said. “I think the fact that they’re tenant-rep only has been a huge success. I think (clients) really relate to the fact that this is a totally independent company, not beholden to anyone.”

Still, he said the decision to leave Primecorp wasn’t easy.

“It’s an excellent company,” he said. “If one of our clients is looking for help in buying a building, either for themselves or for an investment, we will definitely work with Primecorp.

“They wanted me to stay, which is very kind of them. Primecorp was a larger company, but not that large where you felt like a number. It was difficult to leave, but I just felt this was a really good opportunity ... to be part of a (new) team. It’s quite exciting.”