Top agent at troubled Mercer Vine jumps ship for Compass

Lisa Optican to work as Luxury Estates Director at rapidly expanding firm

Lisa Optican and Marilyn Monroe's former home (Credit: Compass press release, Mercer Vine)
Lisa Optican and Marilyn Monroe's former home (Credit: Compass press release, Mercer Vine)

Lisa Optican, one of the top-producing agents at troubled brokerage Mercer Vine, has jumped ship to join the rapidly expanding Compass.

Optican, who worked as Estates Director at Mercer Vine, joins the richest brokerage in the country as its Luxury Estates Director, the company said. A Real Deal investigation earlier this month revealed that her former firm’s corporate registration had been suspended in September but continued to do business through December.

That probe also found that Robert Shapiro, former CEO of the troubled luxury real estate developer Woodbridge Group of Companies, had been deeply involved with the young brokerage since its launch. The Securities and Exchange Commission just announced it was suing Shapiro for allegedly running a $1 billion Ponzi scheme. 

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Optican is a lawyer and a former property developer, according to her website. Her major deals this year include the $35.7 million sale of Annapurna Production founder Megan Ellison’s hilltop home at the mouth of Laurel Canyon. Optican is also the exclusive agent on Marilyn Monroe’s former — and final — home in Brentwood, which hit the market in April.

Compass has been aggressively expanding in Los Angeles since entering the market in 2015, at times even scooping up whole teams from rival brokerages. Its poaching tactics have earned it the wrath of rival firms.

But criticism hasn’t stopped the brokerage’s roll. In August it brought in former Facebook and Amazon exec Madan Nagaldinne to replicate his recruitment work for the tech giants,  and earlier this month it landed $450 million in investment capital from SoftBank, bringing its investor cash up to $775 million.