New York, NY 10011
Compass is a residential brokerage in New York City that launched in 2013 as Urban Compass. (It changed its name in early 2015, complete with a new website.)
The firm was co-founded by Ori Allon, a computer-science Ph.D. from Australia who had been working as the engineering director of Twitter's New York office. Not surprisingly, then, much of Compass' early buzz in the marketplace and its appeal to brokers hinged on in-house technology that supposedly not only cut down on administrative work but also facilitated faster reaction to listing changes and debuts. Skepticism remains, however, about just how liberating and fast Compass technology is.
What is not in dispute is that Compass has piled on big names and big assignments since its founding. Leonard Steinberg, long one of Douglas Elliman's top-performing Manhattan brokers, joined Compass in 2014 as president. Other big names include Kyle Blackmon, formerly of Brown Harris Stevens; Jay Glazer of Warburg Realty; and Gene Martinez from the Corcoran Group.
Compass investors have also included notable names such as landlord and developer Bill Rudin and SalesForce.com founder Marc Benioff as well as institutions such as Goldman Sachs. Indeed, the brokerage's executive ranks claim quite a few banking and consultancy alums.