Compass poaches Coldwell Banker’s top producer Chris Cortazzo

Malibu-based Cortazzo, who is taking his 16-person team with him, was ranked as Coldwell’s top agent Coldwell globally

From left: Robert Reffkin and Chris Cortazzo, with one of Cortazzo's listings, 0 Zumirez Drive, Malibu
From left: Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and Chris Cortazzo, with one of Cortazzo's listings, 0 Zumirez Drive, Malibu

Chris Cortazzo, the longtime Coldwell Banker star agent who had more than $500 million in sales volume last year, has jumped to Compass.

Cortazzo — who has taken his 16-person team with him — will be based in the same Malibu office, joining Compass at a time when the Softbank-backed behemoth is preparing its initial public offering. The New York-based firm recently raised another $370 million in a Series G round, propelling its valuation to $6.4 billion.

Compass announced the move in a release on Wednesday. In a statement accompanying the release, Cortazzo cited Compass’ “tools and support system” as a reason for joining the firm. He could not be reached for further comment.

He’s one of many top producers Compass has recruited in recent years and represent a major loss for Coldwell Banker. Cortazzo, who had been with Coldwell for 25 years, ranked as the company’s longtime No. 1 agent nationally and internationally.

Cortazzo’s departure — along with the nine other agents and seven staff — comes as Coldwell looks to scale back in Los Angeles. Sources told The Real Deal last month that the company is closing one of its Beverly Hills locations and shifting 150 agents.

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Jamie Duran, president of Coldwell’s Southern California region, confirmed the company was having discussions about closing one of the two offices, though no plans were final, she said last month. At one point, the firm had three offices in the 90210 ZIP code.

Realogy — which is Coldwell’s parent company — has been struggling lately amid Compass’ high-profile moves and cash infusion. Realogy’s stock price was trading at less than $5 Wednesday morning, nearly 80 percent below its share price last year.

Cortazzo, a Malibu native, ranked second on The Real Deal’s annual list of top brokers, pulling in $500.8 million from 36.5 deal sides in 2018. Among his bigger listings is La Villa Contenta, a Malibu home spread across 4.5 acres, priced at $62 million; and a Guy Dreier-designed mansion for $65 million.

Ryan Gorman, president of NRT, the brokerage-owning entity of Realogy that includes Coldwell, wished Cortazzo well.

“Chris has been an integral part of Coldwell Banker for many years, and we wish him the greatest in work and in life,” he said in an e-mailed statement. “Chris will always be part of the Coldwell Banker family, and we look forward to continuing to work with him on transactions in Malibu.”