Compass’ hunt for a securities attorney reignites talk of IPO

The brokerage is looking to hire a lawyer with expertise in SEC and stock exchange reporting compliance

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin (Getty, iStock)
Compass CEO Robert Reffkin (Getty, iStock)

Compass is beefing up its in-house legal team and seeking expertise a public company would require.

A new job posting reveals that the brokerage is seeking a securities lawyer who specializes in meeting U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and stock exchange reporting and compliance requirements, Inman reported.

The potential new hire revives the looming question of if and when Compass will go public. The brokerage’s last fundraising round was in July 2019, when it raised $370 million in a Series G. At the time, CEO Robert Reffkin told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin that “we’re likely going to have an IPO.”

But last October, Reffkin said Compass’ initial public offering was at least 18 months away.

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However, the market has shifted considerably for Compass and its competitors since the pandemic set in. Compass has laid off about 15 percent of its staff, and cut pay and hours for other employees. Though many residential brokerages have taken similar measures, Compass’ recruitment of agents has continued, according to the company.

Reffkin told Inman earlier in June that the brokerage’s revenue is up in 2020 by 47 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

Lemonade, another SoftBank-backed startup, filed to go public this month. [Inman] — Erin Hudson