Sotheby’s acquires century-old firm

New York /
Dec.December 13, 2011 01:36 PM

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From left: Sotheby’s International Realty CEO Kathryn Korte, Robert Bland, manager of Sotheby’s Greenwich office, and Cleveland, Duble & Arnold President Tom Gorin
[Updated 3:05 p.m. with comments from Sotheby’s and Cleveland, Duble & Arnold] Sotheby’s International Realty acquired 102-year-old Greenwich, Conn.-based residential brokerage Cleveland, Duble & Arnold, the firm announced today.

On Friday, Sotheby’s will absorb the firm’s entire stable of 25 agents at its One Putwick Plaza office, and Cleveland, Duble & Arnold President Tom Gorin will take a leadership role within Sotheby’s Greenwich office, which will continue to be managed by Robert Bland. Cleveland, Duble & Arnold’s headquarters were located across the street from Sotheby’s office, at 79 East Putnam Avenue.
Due to confidentiality agreements, Sotheby’s International Realty CEO Kathryn Korte could not disclose the terms of the agreement.

Gorin said the move benefits Cleveland, Duble & Arnold brokers and clients, as the former will get access to Sotheby’s technological advantages and well-known name, while the latter will be helped by the brokerage’s global reach.
“There are always reservations during major changes,” Gorin told The Real Deal. “But we weren’t growing … and this will benefit our associates.”

He singled out Sotheby’s online presence as the biggest advantage. “Not many people are using the term ‘Cleveland’ to search for Greenwich real estate,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sotheby’s said it is always looking to add strong agents to its staff and cited Cleveland, Duble & Arnold’s associates as the main reason for the acquisition. “We’ve been watching each other across the street for years,” Korte said. “There’s a lot of cultural compatibility between the two firms.”

Though recent published reports have suggested Greenwich’s connection to the struggling financial sector has slowed sales in the town and put luxury rentals in high demand, Bland cited MLS statistics that show the Greenwich sales market is actually improving. Volume is up 10 percent over the last year, he said, powered by a flurry of activity in the $2 million to $5 million range.


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