NYC Brokerages’ biggest stories 2021 saw IPOs and acquisitions

Compass' Robert Reffkin, Diane Ramirez, Former Warburg CEO Frederick Peters (Getty, iStock)

Compass’ Robert Reffkin, Diane Ramirez, Former Warburg CEO Frederick Peters (Getty, iStock)

In 2021, some of New York City’s biggest realtors carefully saw an even bigger scene.

Compass, Side and Douglas Elliman decided it was time to take a ride on the public side, where Compass got the first dibs with its IPO in April. The other two brokerages kept busy on the sidelines, with Side building its valuation past $ 2.5 billion and Douglas Elliman emerging from parent company Vector Group.

While Elliman stepped out on his own, Warburg Realty was preparing for life under a new leader. In October, Realogys Coldwell Banker bought one of the city’s last independent brokerage firms. The new company is slated to debut in 2022 as Coldwell Banker Warburg.

Other leaders decided it was time to step down from the action. Brown Harris Stevens saw some of his longtime industry leaders resign, including Halstead co-founder Diane Ramirez and former BHS NYC President Richard Grossman.

Before the new year begins, here’s a deeper dive into the year’s biggest broker stories:

Compass launches IPO with high expectations

(Compass / Instagram)

(Compass / Instagram)

When the bell rang on April 1, it was official: Tech-savvy brokerage firm Compass had been listed on the stock exchange. With a value of $ 7 billion, the company achieved the largest IPO of the year after receiving massive financial support from major investors such as SoftBank.

Compass’ stock was priced at $ 18 per share (30 percent lower than its original target), but agents told it The right deal they were wildly optimistic and compared the brokerage firm to a young Amazon or Apple.

The ensuing months told a different story. Time and time again, the Compass stock tumbled and the stocks hit the all-time lowest two months in a row. The brokerage also reported a $ 100 million loss in the third quarter, as spending rose 53 percent from a year earlier. SoftBank sticks to the stony ride: Per. As of September 30, the investor has not reduced its stake in brokerage.

Top executives at Brown Harris Stevens are heading for the exit

Diane Ramirez of Brown Harris Stevens

Diane Ramirez of Brown Harris Stevens

This year also saw the emigration of not one but two big names at Brown Harris Stevens. Just a year after the brokerage firm merged with its sister company Halstead, the latter’s co-founder Diane Ramirez resigned from her position as CEO and senior adviser. Ramirez said it was “time for a change” which seemed to involve moving to Berkshire HomeServices as chief strategy officer.

Just a few months after Ramirez’s departure, BHS’s regional president in New York, Richard Grossman, also announced plans to leave in favor of exploring other career opportunities outside of New York real estate. The industry veteran joined the San Francisco-based mobile brokerage house Avenue 8 to take on the role of president of brokerage firm for Eastern states from New York to Florida.

Side saddles up to a stock exchange listing

Guy Gal (Getty Images)

While Compass finds its legs as a public company, white branding firm Side is just about to prepare to enter the ring. This year was good for Side, which increased its valuation to $ 2.5 billion after a round of financing with investors such as Tiger Global Management.

However, the company is still fairly new, and some agents are skeptical of its unique model, which relies on few agents and a range of technological tools. Whether Side can convince suspicious minds as it moves into the New York City market makes it certain to see in the new year.

Coldwell Banker acquires Warburg Realty, one of NYC’s latest indie companies

Frederick Peters, CEO of Warburg Realty; Clelia Peters, president of Warburg Realty; Ryan Gorman, CEO of Coldwell Banker (Warburg Realty, Coldwell Banker)

Realogy-owned Coldwell Bankers’ acquisition of Warburg Realty in October caused quite a stir in management. Former Warburg CEO Frederick Peters, the self-proclaimed “last man standing” at the helm of an independent New York City real estate company, will instead report to Coldwell Banker CEO Ryan Gorman. Former Warburg President Clelia Peters left to focus on proptech investments, which she has been dealing with since joining Bain Capital Ventures in February 2020.

Some of the brokerage house’s top talents were also on their way to the exit. Jason Haber, Allison Chiaramonte and Tania Isacoff Friedland all dropped the brokerage business for Compass less than a month after the deal was closed, even though they said the acquisition had nothing to do with their decision. Veteran chief Stephen Klym, who returned to Warburg from Brown Harris Stevens in April, decided to return to BHS not long after the announcement.

Douglas Elliman is from Vector Group

Richard Lampen and Howard Lorber

Richard Lampen and Howard Lorber

Douglas Elliman rounded off the list of public newcomers in 2021, announcing his plans to separate from the Vector Group conglomerate in November. The increase in revenue triggered by the booming housing market was a major reason for Elliman’s decision to leave the nest, with Vector CEO Howard Lorber saying the company was in a good position to “succeed in the market as an independent company.” On December 30, the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker DOUG.

Erin Hudson contributed with reporting.

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