UPDATED: 8:19 p.m., March 24: When Gene Martinez, the former Soho manager for the Corcoran Group, decamped to Compass earlier this year, he accidentally left a key document on his Corcoran work computer: a copy of his job offer from Compass.
Now, thanks to a new lawsuit in which Corcoran accuses Compass of “brazenly” poaching agents, that offer has come to light, offering a glimpse at how the startup brokerage lured so many top agents and managers in recent months.
According to the suit, a copy of which The Real Deal obtained yesterday, Corcoran got its hands on the job offer after hearing that Martinez was working in New York and not in Miami, as he allegedly told Corcoran. In an affidavit, CEO Pam Liebman said: “Martinez left a copy of the Compass/Martinez Agreement on his work computer at Corcoran and it was discovered during a review of Martinez’s work email after rumors surfaced during the week of February 23, 2015 that Martinez was present and working in New York.”
Corcoran spotted a red flag while combing through the contract, the suit says. Despite Martinez’s agreement to forgo work for a Corcoran competitor for nine months, he told Compass otherwise, according to the suit.
“You represent that you are not bound by any employment contract,” says Compass’ offer to Martinez, a copy of which is included in the case file. “[Compass] acknowledges you had a prior agreement with The Corcoran Group which shall not be deemed applicable to this provision.”
According to court documents, Martinez was earning a salary of $350,000 at Corcoran. Compass, which is backed by serious venture capital money, offered Martinez a base salary of $400,000 plus other incentives, according to court documents.
In a statement to TRD, Compass claimed: “At Corcoran, Gene’s all-in compensation was in excess of $600,000. Gene elected to take a lower compensation package at Compass because he firmly believes in the vision of the company.”
The statement added: “Given that he is working in DC and Miami, and that he received explicit approval from Corcoran to do so at Compass in those regions, Gene and Compass agreed that his New York non-compete provision with Corcoran was not deemed applicable and stated so in his agreement.”
Details of the offer Compass made to Martinez are below.
Compass’ offer to Gene Martinez (source: lawsuit filed by Corcoran on March 23, 2015)
2015: $400,000 (annualized)
One-time payment of $120,000
Annual individual bonus amount (Based on his performance as Compass’ lead employee for “sourcing, recruiting, hiring and retaining agents” that generate $10 million in gross commission income for the company.)
$175,000 (first year)
$150,000 (second year)
$125,000 (third year)
$100,000 (fourth year)
20 percent of Compass’ gross commissions, for clients referred to the firm
$3,500 monthly for travel, food and lodging in Miami in connection with Compass’ expansion there
20 days vacation
Incentive stock option to purchase 58,979 shares of common stock at the “fair market value.” (The total number of shares issued by Compass was not disclosed, but the startup was valued at about $360 million in July, following a $40 million Series B round.)