John Aaroe returns from “retirement” for second time

He will be joining Pacific Union International as strategic advisor

John Aaroe, Pacific Union
John Aaroe, Pacific Union

Apparently, nine months was a long enough vacation for John Aaroe.

The eponymous founder of the now-renamed John Aaroe Group is abandoning retirement plans and returning to Pacific Union International in a strategic advisor position, the company announced Monday. The 43-year industry veteran unexpectedly announced his retirement in September.

Aaroe has been the fourth-largest shareholder in San Francisco-based Pacific Union since the burgeoning company acquired his firm in December 2016. The exact stake is unknown.

In his new role, he will assist Pacific Union with its growth strategy and the launch of “The Estates of Pacific Union” division, according to a release.

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Pacific Union’s “incredible success” over the past six months inspired Aaroe to “once again contribute and be part of the future of this company,” Aaroe said in a statement.

Prior to his retirement, his firm closed its new 7,000-square-foot office in Calabasas, nearly two months after opening. Aaroe cited “leadership struggles” as the reason for the office’s short lifespan, and several agents were fired as a result of the closing.

At the time, industry experts questioned whether Aaroe’s unexpected retirement was related to Pacific Union’s acquisition of John Aaroe Group. In an emailed statement, Pacific Union also announced it would be rebranding the John Aaroe Group, as well as Partners Trust and Gibson International, under the Pacific Union banner the same day Aaroe announced his retirement.

It’s also not the first time Aaroe has suddenly changed his mind about retirement. After selling his first namesake company, John Aaroe & Associates, to Prudential California in 1998, Aaroe said he was done with the business. He returned 11 years later, when it was called John Aaroe Group.

Under the leadership of Mark McLaughlin, Pacific Union has grown to over 1,700 agents and staff, spread out among 50 offices in California.