Fed-up employees are exiting en masse from one of the city’s top debt brokerage teams.
Some have described Newmark Knight Frank’s debt and structured finance group as a “toxic” work environment — even for the high-pressure world of commercial real estate.
Within the past few days, more than half of the team led by Dustin Stolly and Jordan Roeschlaub has left the group or made plans to leave imminently, sources told The Real Deal.
The disaffected employees’ reasons for walking out go beyond objections to the long hours and demanding expectations that are common in the city’s highest-performing brokerage teams, according to people familiar with the Newmark workplace. Both current and former Newmark employees say Stolly and Roeschlaub are verbally abusive and demeaning to their subordinates.
“They’re constantly yelling and screaming. They’ll threaten you,” one person told TRD. “It’s a toxic place.”
A representative for Newmark declined to comment for this story.
All the employees in question are junior team members who support Stolly and Roeschlaub and a trio of senior managing directors who report to the two leaders. One of the junior members has already left for a competitor, and five others have either left or made plans to leave, sources told TRD. None responded to requests for comment.
In the world of commercial brokerage, employees do not usually stick around for the customary two weeks after giving notice. Many move on to competitors, and brokerages are wary of employees trying to take clients or sensitive information with them.
Newmark sued a former employee who left the Stolly-Roeschlaub team in 2018, alleging he transferred documents from the firm’s Dropbox account to his personal email as he was leaving in order to poach business. The employee argued that most of the downloaded documents were personal items he stored on his work computer. The two sides settled out of court.
Newmark has been accused in the past of running a discriminatory workplace.
In 2016, a former employee sued the company, Roeschlaub and team member Daniel Fromm, alleging she was discriminated against because of her age and race. The employee, a 48-year-old African American executive assistant, claimed she was fired and replaced with a younger, white man. Newmark denied the allegations and the two sides later agreed to dismiss the case.
Roeschlaub has been at Newmark since 2014. Stolly joined in 2017 after nearly a decade at JLL.
As co-heads of the debt group, the two have built Newmark’s platform into one of the leading mortgage brokers in New York City and nationally.
Newmark was the third-most prolific New York City debt brokerage in 2017 with $3.46 billion worth of deals, according to TRD’s tally.
Nationwide, the company placed sixth in the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 2018 ranking of the top debt brokers with $13.6 billion worth of loans brokered, behind HFF, Eastdil Secured, Meridian Capital Group, CBRE and JLL.
Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 212-673-5081