The Real Deal New York

Ex-Bellmarc head honchos plant flag at Keller Williams

Anthony DeGrotta, Larry Friedman said to be "actively recruiting" at new firm
By E.B. Solomont | December 09, 2014 03:30PM

Anthony DeGrotta and Larry Friedman, former principals at troubled brokerage Coldwell Banker Bellmarc Group, are now at Keller Williams NYC, The Real Deal has learned.

The move comes just over a week after DeGrotta and Friedman reached a settlement with their former business partner, Bellmarc’s co-founder Neil Binder. The pair sued Binder this summer, alleging he stole money from the firm.

Sources told TRD that DeGrotta and Friedman, who founded rental brokerage A.C. Lawrence and sold it to Bellmarc in late 2012, are actively recruiting agents to join them at Keller Williams. “They’re going to try to bring as many agents there as possible,” said one brokerage head.

Reached on his cell phone, DeGrotta declined to comment on the move. But when TRD called Keller Williams’ main line asking for DeGrotta, an operator transferred the call to his temporary desk. Bellmarc removed DeGrotta and Friedman’s profiles from its website.

Eric Barron, CEO of Keller Williams NYC, was unavailable for comment, as was Friedman.

As part of the settlement with Binder, DeGrotta and Friedman resigned from the Bellmarc Group and sold their stake in the brokerage to an undisclosed third party, as TRD reported. “They have also made financial payment to the company,” the statement said. Binder is now the sole operating manager of Coldwell Banker Bellmarc Group.

This fall, as its principals duked it out in court, Bellmarc lost more than 25 agents to other firms. Some 15 agents joined Halstead and another dozen joined City Connections. In November, Marc Lewis, a former top executive at Bellmarc, joined Town Residential as leasing director of the Gramercy Park office.