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A group of private investors announced Monday it has acquired the Salt Lake City office of Coldwell Banker Commercial and will focus on international business development as well as expansion of Coldwell's other real estate offices.

The group, which includes real estate agents Brandon Fugal, Tim Simonsen and Stuart Thain, also announced that Lew Cramer, founder and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah, will become president and CEO of the company, which will now be called Coldwell Banker Intermountain.

The investors acquired the office from New Jersey-based real estate company, NRT, for an undisclosed amount, and the three will continue to function in their current jobs as agents.

"It marks the beginning of a major commitment … to development here in Utah and in the Intermountain West," Fugal said Monday during a news conference at the Grand America Hotel. "It will bring ownership back to the local level."

With the new ownership, Coldwell also plans future expansion of its Utah County office as well as attracting more international clients.

"The frontiers we are moving to now are international," Gov. Gary Herbert said at Monday's event. "The competition we have in the marketplace is now global in nature. There is no better place that's poised to take advantage of international trade than Utah today."

Currently, Coldwell has 100 real estate agents and conducted a billion dollars of transactions out of its Salt Lake City office, Fugal said.

While the head of the World Trade Center Utah, a non-profit corporation which stimulates new international trade opportunities for Utah, Cramer saw the state export $19 billion in goods, more than triple what was exported in 2007.

"Our goal … is to create a premiere global business destination, and we are proud that we are in fact that now," Cramer said.

The Salt Lake City Coldwell office was named Coldwell Banker Commercial's No. 1 office globally for 11 consecutive years. Fugal, Simonsen and Thain were responsible for securing the real estate deals involving Cinemark Theaters, Thanksgiving Park and Cabela's.

Coldwell Banker's network of commercial brokers has more than 500 offices in 41 countries.

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