To poach, or to be poached, that is the question — at least in L.A.’s residential brokerage scene these days, as the broker shakeup continues.
The Agency has seen some triage lately, with entertainment and sports agent Kofi Nartey and new development director Hana Cha both leaving for Compass, but it recently gained two new recruits from Partners Trust. David Findley, a founding partner of Partners Trust, and David Kelmenson, a partner at its Brentwood office, have both joined the Mauricio Umansky and Billy Rose-led firm.
Findley joined the Agency in July. He had quietly stepped away from the day-to-day operations of Partners Trust roughly three years ago and was absent at board meetings, said sources with knowledge of the firm. He stepped down into the role of an associate , and even in that capacity, he wasn’t engaged with the brokerage, sources said. He left without a stake in the company.
Before he slowly stepped away, there were rumors that he didn’t trust at least one of the other partners, and had his own transaction coordinator, sources said.
Findley declined to comment on the reasons he left, other than to confirm he had moved to the Agency.
“I have great respect and admiration and love for the people at Partners Trust and I wish them the best,” he said.
Kelmenson left PT and became director of the Agency’s residential estates division as of August 8. He told The Real Deal his day-to-day — which consists of selling houses in the Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and Santa Monica — won’t change, but the way he markets his properties will, and that was one of the reasons he made the jump.
“The marketing is much more comprehensive [at the Agency] and the brand is done differently, but my niche as a geo-specific broker hasn’t changed,” he said. “The Agency is also similar to Partners Trust in terms of it being a collaborative environment. They have that in common.”
Kelmenson said he had known Rose for years, as well as Santiago Arana, who he worked with during Arana’s three years at Partners Trust.
“[Arana] left and he hit a homerun out of the park since making the move, so I had been interested for a while,” he said.
Kelmenson said he is one of a handful of people who had a stake in Partners Trust as a company, but declined to comment on what happened to it. Sources, however, said he also left the company with zero stake in hand.
“David Kelmenson is an good agent, and we wish him the very best,” Partners Trust CEO Nick Segal told TRD in an email. “While it’s common to see associates move around in our industry, it’s certainly a rare thing at Partners Trust. The fact that we’ve been named by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the Best Places to Work for seven consecutive years now is a testament to the overwhelming satisfaction of our associates, and we’re honored to have their commitment.”