By Mario Toneguzzi

Luxury real estate brand Sotheby’s International Realty Canada has been sold by a subsidiary of Dundee Corporation to Toronto-based Peerage Realty Partners Inc.

No financial details were disclosed and the deal is scheduled to close May 17.



Don Kottick
Don Kottick

Sotheby’s will be run independently, but Peerage executive Don Kottick will become its new president and CEO.

Kottick is an industry veteran who has previously been a director at CREA, president of the Real Estate Institute of Canada and a director of the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Sotheby’s 540 Realtors in 32 offices across the country – transacting an estimated $5 billion in annual sales – will be given the opportunity to stay with the brokerage, said Kottick, who will replace Brad Henderson as Sotheby’s top executive. Henderson is moving on from the company.

“We have always loved the Sotheby’s brand. It’s a brand that we’ve always coveted. It’s probably the most sought-after brand anywhere in the world and I think it’s because of its rich heritage. The fact that it is truly international . . . The brand is recognized. It’s one of the most talked about brands, especially in real estate,” says Kottick.

“We have been watching the organization. When we got wind that the Dundee Corporation was looking to change their strategy, we immediately opened up negotiations with them and went after them because we just love the brand. We love the professionalism of the agents in their network. I’ve personally worked with a number of the managers that work within the organization and they’ve got a very strong management team. By all kinds of indicators, it was the perfect alignment with where we are going strategically.”

Sotheby’s is the sole franchise in Canada for the auction house’s international realty brand, which has 990 offices in 72 countries around the world.

“We see a lot of opportunity for growth. In the next five years, we plan on doubling the volume of business that is generated through the company. There are definitely avenues for growth,” Kottick says.

“Just through basically looking at new markets. Probably attracting other top quality performers to the organization and looking at internal means to help our agents grow their business. And I should also mention looking at new avenues, whether it’s pre-construction or different avenues to generate revenue within the organization.”

In a news release, Gavin Swartzman, CEO of Peerage Realty Partners, said Sotheby’s has been on the company’s wish-list for a very long time.

“The addition of an international luxury brand has been a key part of our growth strategy for many years. The addition of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada to the Peerage family will be an important strategic milestone for us. We continue to fulfill our mission to be the preeminent luxury real estate brokerage organization, partnering with the best people in our industry, together with iconic luxury brands, in the resale and pre-construction sales markets,” said Swartzman.

In January, Peerage acquired Denver-based boutique brokerage Madison & Companies Properties, part of a buying spree the company has planned in the U.S., for which it has allocated $250-million.

Peerage Realty was formed in 2007 by Private Equity Firm Peerage Capital; the first brands it acquired were luxury-focused Chestnut Park Realty and condo pre-sales specialists Baker Real Estate in Toronto. In 2016 it added British Columbia’s Fifth Avenue Real Estate and in 2017 added mid-market brand StreetCity Realty.

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