David Ogilvy, perhaps best known for his role handling the record-setting $120 million sale of Connecticut’s Copper Beech Farms in 2014, announced Monday that his namesake brokerage had disbanded and joined Sotheby’s International Realty.
The move by Ogilvy, who started Greenwich-based David Ogilvy & Associates Realtors in 1985, comes nearly a decade after Sotheby’s expanded its operations in the affluent New York City suburb by absorbing century-old residential brokerage Cleveland, Duble & Arnold in December 2011. Sotheby’s first entered Greenwich in 1996.
Ogilvy is bringing eight other agents with roughly $138 million in listings across 28 properties to Sotheby’s, which as a result of its acquisition will now oversee $803 million worth of residential real estate across 169 local listings in the region, said Pamela Pagnani, vice president and brokerage manager of the Greenwich office at Sotheby’s.
“[David] is well respected in the local community, not only in real estate, but in the philanthropic circles, in the education circles, pretty much everywhere you go, everyone has a nice word to say about him,” Pagnani told The Real Deal. “We are thrilled to have such a stellar, ethical hardworking reputation, and obviously the idea that he breathes real estate will only help my office to do better than it is presently.”
As part of the deal, Ogilvy’s firm will end its affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate.
Mandy Fry, Deborah Ference Gray, Alice Hoyt, Martha Jeffrey, Mary Jones, Catherine Stahl, Harvey Thomas and Merri Thomas are the other former Ogilvy agents joining Sotheby’s, which is part of Realogy Holdings-owned NRT, now the nation’s second-largest largest residential real estate brokerage after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices of America. (Sotheby’s, which sold off its Canadian arm in May, has not been associated with the auction house of the same name for more than a decade.)
Ogilvy’s 2014 sale of Copper Beech Farms came almost a year after the 50-acre estate on the Long Island Sound was listed for $190 million with his firm. Ogilvy’s outfit has traded over $2 billion throughout his career. The broker also gained some recognition in 2004 when, according to the Greenwich Time, he oversaw the sale of what was at the time the most expensive trade in the town’s history — the $45 million sale of an 80-acre horse farm at 25 Lower Cross Road.
“We had a tremendous run,” said Ogilvy about his firm’s time as an independent shop. “We sold well over $8 billion worth of real estate. [Sotheby’s] is a large firm, but with real people in it — it isn’t just a monolith. We are just taking what we have been doing and integrating it so easily and there is no problem at all. I think the technology here is the best in the industry.”
In March, Sotheby’s consolidated its franchise and company-owned businesses under CEO Philip White in what the brokerage billed as a strategic move to increase efficiency in marketing, training and technology, areas in which many large residential brokerages are now looking for synergies in an era of increased costs and greater competition.
Ogilvy’s decision to join Sotheby’s comes as Greenwich’s luxury market has struggled, with brokers and their clients turning to price cuts and even auctions in order to move inventory. Sotheby’s recently saw Greenwich-based broker Joseph Barbieri get tapped by financier Robert Sternberg and his wife, Suzanne, to oversee the marketing and potential sale of a six-acre mansion in Greenwich that was once owned by President Donald Trump.
That property has now shed 29 percent of its initial $58 million asking price in 2015.