Compass’ Ed Reale defects to Sotheby’s

Former BHS manager joined startup firm 7 months ago

From left: Ed Reale and Kathy Korte
From left: Ed Reale and Kathy Korte

Ed Reale, who spent five years at Brown Harris Stevens before jumping to Compass in October to lead its nascent Hamptons operation, is on the move again, this time to Sotheby’s International Realty.

The sales manager and real estate attorney will lead Sotheby’s offices in Southampton and Bridgehampton, according to a statement from Sotheby’s.

It’s something of a homecoming for Reale, who managed the Southampton office prior to joining BHS in 2010.

In an email to Compass staffers, Reale said he was leaving for “personal reasons.”

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Reale’s departure from Compass appears to be far less acrimonious than his exit from BHS, where he was sued for allegedly violating a noncompete agreement. Compass was also named in the suit, and BHS said the venture-backed startup was “no innocent bystander” in its aggressive courting of Reale. That lawsuit is ongoing.

Compass, which was valued at $800 million at the time of its $50 million Series C round in September, opened its fourth Hamptons office in January but has tangled with BHS and other brokerages in the course of its rapid expansion.

In December, Hamptons boutique firm Saunders & Associates sued former agent – and onetime Compass recruit — Meg Salem, accusing her of stealing more than 11,000 listings from the firm. Compass ultimately fired Salem in the wake of the suit, which remains ongoing.

In a statement, Compass CEO Robert Reffkin said it was a “pleasure” to work with Reale and wished him well.