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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Douglas Elliman hires 2 co-founders of defunct Mercer Vine

New West Hollywood branch of Elliman will add up to 20 former Mercer agents
By Natalie Hoberman | March 05, 2018 03:00PM

From left: Kyle Giese, Justin Mandile, Adam Rosenfeld, Stephen Kotler (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The saga of Mercer Vine appears to have come to an end.

Adam Rosenfeld and Kyle Giese, co-founders of the shuttered boutique brokerage, have signed on with Douglas Elliman, The Real Deal has learned. A former Mercer top-producer, Justin Mandile, has also been hired, and up to 20 former agents are expected to follow suit.

Elliman is in the process of opening an office in West Hollywood with a total staff of about 50 people.

In late January, Mercer Vine’s co-founders abruptly announced they would be shutting down permanently. Its 9,100-square-foot headquarters at 8124 W. 3rd Street in Beverly Grove was already on the market.

The company had been struggling since it became entangled in a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit. In a Dec. 20 complaint, the SEC named the firm a “relief defendant” in the case against Robert Shapiro, the former chief executive of Woodbridge Group of Companies and a main backer Mercer Vine backer.

In an interview, Rosenfeld confirmed that Mercer had ceased operation. He said he will bring a few listings from his old shop along with him to Elliman, though none is a Woodbridge Group -developed property.

Stephen Kotler, CEO of Elliman’s Western region, said his firm wasn’t concerned about any potential negative implication associated with Mercer Vine.

“The way we look at it is two separate things: Mercer Vine had an investor in the company who is caught up in litigation and you have three brokers who were there who had other business,” Kotler said. “There will be a lot more that people will see.” He added that Rosenfeld, Giese and Mandile were, the “nicest guys.”

Rosenfeld, meanwhile, called Kotler, “the mensch of all mensches.”

Since Mercer’s announced closure in January, multiple Mercer agents like Lisa Optican and co-founder Dominic Labriola had already joined Compass.

With its latest West Hollywood outpost, New York-based Elliman will be up to 22 offices and 650 sales associates in the Western region.