Competitive information can be valuable to us to understand and manage our markets and services so we can better meet our clients' needs. However, we will gather and use information only in accordance with the law and our high ethical standards and we will respect the confidentiality of our competitors' and suppliers' information. Any information we suspect has been obtained improperly must not be used. The law prohibits us from obtaining information through theft, blackmail, wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping, hacking, pretexting, bribery, improper inducement, receiving stolen property, threats and other improper methods. It is also important that we acquire competitive information ethically. Here are some guidelines:

  • We will not misrepresent who we are or for whom we work.
  • We will not use a competitor's employees as improper sources of non-public information.
  • CBRE employees or recruits should not divulge to us proprietary information about their other employers, and we should not ask them to.
  • We will not use confidential information obtained from another company, especially if it is marked “proprietary” or “confidential” (or information we have reason to think should have been marked that way), unless we have specific permission. If a third party attempts to share proprietary information with you without a signed non-disclosure agreement in place, do not accept it—stop the conversation.

If you have any questions or believe that material you possess may violate these standards, you should contact the Legal or Compliance Departments immediately.

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Competitive Intelligence Check your knowledge

Michelle has a friendship with an administrative assistant at one of our competitors. CBRE and this competitor are bidding on a real estate advisory services contract that will likely lead to a deal worth several million dollars in commissions to CBRE for disposition services. Desperate to land the deal, Michelle asks your friend to get her a copy of the competitor's proposal, which she does. In the end the proposal does not help her because CBRE is already planning to offer more value for less money than the competitor. Michelle submits the proposal as planned with no changes resulting from having reviewed the competitor's proposal. Michelle lands the contract.

No harm, no foul?

Yes No
Correct Answer — No

We only gather and use information in keeping with our values and we respect the confidentiality of our competitors' information. It does not matter that the information was not ultimately used in the outcome of the bid process.

Two weeks ago, CBRE hired a senior valuation expert, Jarvis, from a regional competitor. On his first assignment he produced a valuation on an entirely different template from CBRE's – and the product was easier to read, the data presentation was more engaging, and it contained additional data analysis than what CBRE typically provides. It is clear that the template Jarvis used was taken from her previous employer.

Since the information in the document was CBRE's, is it problematic that Jaris used a competitor's template?

Yes No
Correct Answer — Yes

Templates and other formatting aids are considered proprietary and the property of the company that created the tools. Jarvis should cease using the template, alert the competitor, and then destroy his copy of the guide.

Incorrect Selection

Please re-examine the situation presented carefully and choose again.

Policy Guidance
Access to Employee Records Anti-Corruption Policy
Business Records Retention and Destruction
Communications and Fair Disclosure Policy Confidentiality / Non-disclosure Conflicts Identification and Management Policy for Government Contracts Conflicts of Interest
Drug-Free Workplace
E-Marketing Policy Electronic Communication Electronic Communications & Acceptable use of Technology: Social Media Employee Assistance Program Employment of Relatives Equal Employment Opportunity
Gifts and Entertainment
Harassment-Free Workplace
Inappropriate Entertainment Information Asset Protection Internal Communications Investigations of Legal and Ethical Misconduct
Managing Conflicts of Interests - Information Barriers Media Relations
OFAC Compliance Open Bidding Outside Employment
Personal Ownership of Real Estate Political Contributions Public Relations
Report of Injuries/Accidents Restrictions on Marketing by Fax
Safe Workplace Policy Securities Compliance Smoke-Free Workplace Social Media Solicitation and Distribution Standards of Conduct
Use of CB Richard Ellis Name or Identity Use of Company Property
Violence in the Workplace