Compass hires away top exec from Hilton & Hyland

Charles Black will be charged with shaping luxury resi business in SoCal

Charles Black and Compass CEO Robert Reffkin
Charles Black and Compass CEO Robert Reffkin

Compass has lured a top marketing executive from Hilton & Hyland to help shape its luxury residential business in Southern California.

Charles Black, who was executive vice president of marketing and strategic development at Hilton & Hyland, will join Compass as its managing director for luxury, a Compass spokesperson said. He’ll work out of the firm’s Beverly Hills office.

Black has a background in the hospitality industry. He worked as the director of sales and marketing for the Montage Beverly Hills, where he helped expand the hotel’s global presence and marketed condos priced between $4 million and $14 million, according to his bio at Hilton & Hyland.

He also held real estate marketing positions at Cap Juluca in Anguilla; at IMI, where he directed real estate initiatives for the Fairmont Anguilla and other brands; and at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in New Orleans, Jamaica and Grand Cayman.

“Charles will be an important driver in continuing our growth in Southern California,” said Allison Yazdian, Compass’ general manager for the region.

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Black did not respond to requests for comment.

“We are certainly grateful for his time at Hilton & Hyland,” said Billy Jack Carter, executive manager at Hilton & Hyland. “With Compass’ eagerness to expand, he’s the ideal candidate to help them pivot and compete with the big-box corporate rivals.”

The New York-based Compass — which was most recently valued at $2.2 billion and has been operating in the Los Angeles area for two years — has become known for its aggressive recruitment of talent from rival firms, often offering agents favorable splits and signing bonuses strongly rumored to be in the six figures. It has hired away agents from The Agency and Coldwell Banker, and has picked up stars like Sally Forster Jones, who sold the Spelling Manor for $85 million while at the John Aaroe Group.

From Coldwell, Compass poached Stan Richman, the mother-and-son team of Linda and Brent Chang, and Sabrina Wu. From The Agency, it poached Kofi Nartey and Hana Cha, the managing director of The Agency’s new development division.

But until Black, Compass had not lured away a top talent from Hilton & Hyland, which despite having just a single office came second on TRD’s 2016 ranking of top luxury firms in L.A. County with nearly $900 million in sales volume.