One week after Mercer Vine abruptly closed down, its co-founder and COO has taken a job at competing brokerage Compass, The Real Deal has learned.
Dominic Labriola, the COO, is jumping to Compass, along with five former Mercer Vine agents.
The move stands in stark contrast to Labriola’s vehement denial last week that he was leaving Mercer Vine. In a brief phone interview on Jan. 25, he told The Real Deal, “My team isn’t going anywhere.” The next day the business closed down.
Along with Labriola, Compass has hired former Mercer Vine agents Jacqueline Gunn, Coley Laffoon, Brian Griffin, Spencer Payson and Elisa Baran, according to a Compass representative. Lisa Optican, a top-producing agent at Mercer Vine, left the firm for Compass last month.
Payson and Gunn confirmed the move. Laffoon, Griffin and Baran did not return calls for comment. It was unclear which Southern California office each agent will operate from.
Notably, Compass refused to hire anyone with equity in Mercer Vine, according to the company representative. Mercer Vine became entangled in the legal troubles surrounding its main backer Robert Shapiro last year. Agents have since been making calls to join other brokerages.
Two of Mercer Vine’s co-founders, Adam Rosenfeld and Kyle Giese, are said to be joining Sotheby’s International Realty, along with a top-producing agent, Justin Mandile, sources previously said.
Former N.F.L. player Morgan Trent, who also worked as an agent at the firm, joined Aaron Kirman’s team at Pacific Union earlier this month.