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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Just days after closing Calabasas office,
John Aaroe retires

Pacific Union plans to do away with JAG, Partners Trust names

John Aaroe announced he’s retiring (John Aaroe Group/Getty/Creative Commons)

Just days after closing his Calabasas office, John Aaroe, founder of the eponymous John Aaroe Group, is retiring from the brokerage.

Mark McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union International, will replace him, McLaughlin told The Real Deal.

Pacific Union International will soon do away with the JAG and Partners Trust brand names, McLaughlin said in an email. San Francisco-based Pacific Union acquired JAG in December, and acquired Partners Trust this summer. The company initially said the brokerages would operate under the three distinct brands.

Aaroe is saying goodbye to real estate days after crisis hit JAG’s newest office. “Leadership struggles” were to blame for the sudden closure of its Calabasas operation, Aaroe told The Real Deal earlier this week. The office had only been open for two months.

Aaroe will retain his stake as the fourth largest shareholder of Pacific Union. His exact stake in the company is unknown. Aaroe did not respond requests for comment on his retirement.

“I think John Aaroe has been doing this successfully for a long time so I’m just imagining he wants to sail off into the sunset and do something else,” HOM Sotheby’s chairman Mike Shapiro said.

The Southern California native launched JAG in 2009 after selling John Aaroe & Associates to Prudential. The company reached $2.3 billion in sales with 430 agents prior to the merger, Aaroe told TRD in December.

Other JAG executives, including Sam Kraemer, Heidi Hockenberry, and Gus Ruelas, will remain in place, as will the executive team at Partners Trust, McLaughlin said.