Robert Reffkin & Ori Allon
Overall Rank: 6
Matching their company’s rocketship ride up, Robert Reffkin and Ori Allon are among the fastest rising executives in the SP200 this year. They co-founded and run Compass, the most talked about (and most feared) real estate brokerage in today’s industry. Ranked No. 27 last year, they catapult into the top 10 this year on the back of Compass’s 2018 blockbuster Pacific Union International acquisition and its continued ability to raise eye-popping amounts of cash.
After raising $450 million at a $2.2 billion valuation in 2017, Compass raised $400 million more in September 2018. The latest round values Compass at an astounding $4.4 billion, or more than double Realogy’s market cap of $2.0 billion in late December. This is both remarkable and head-turning for a company that launched merely six years ago, in 2013.
Compass ended 2017 as the nation’s eighth largest brokerage by annual sales volume with $14.0 billion on 10,543 transactions, according to the Swanepoel Mega 1000. With its acquisition of Pacific Union International, the nation’s seventh largest brokerage by annual sales volume at purchase, the post-merger Compass will be a new giant (if breakage is kept at a minimum). According to preliminary estimates, the combined entity will surpass Douglas Elliman as the nation’s third largest brokerage in 2019. That is without counting any growth from its ongoing, intense top agent and agent team recruiting drive.
With an aggressive recruiting strategy, Compass has swooped into many towns and captured share with significant financial incentives and the promise of a best-in-class, in-house technology platform. Its leaders are currently the industry’s power duo to beat.
Reffkin has been pushing Compass hard in 2018 as he works to manifest his company’s “2020 vision:” a goal to attain 20 percent market share in 20 core metro markets across the country by 2020. It is an ambitious goal, and the company may get close to attaining it. With $1.2 billion in funding, Compass has the ammunition to be the most aggressive brokerage company for the next few years.
Prior to Compass, Reffkin worked as chief of staff to the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, following a five-year stint working in the firm’s private equity arm. Prior to Goldman Sachs, he worked at large investment bank Lazard and McKinsey & Company. In 2005, he served as a White House Fellow as special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. Robert is also the founder of the nonprofit New York Needs You. He received a BA and MBA from Columbia University.
Ori’s technology expertise, honed at Google and Twitter, gives Compass technology street cred and a competitive edge that many brokers cannot match. Before Compass, he served as the director of engineering at Twitter’s New York City office, after selling his prior company, Julpan, to Twitter in 2011. Before joining Twitter, Allon served a stint at Google after the tech giant acquired his patented thesis called Orion.
During his time at Google he led a search quality team that integrated the Orion technology and algorithms into the Google search engine. Allon earned his doctorate in computer science at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
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