Dr. Weston Edwards, a consultant to some of the nation’s largest real estate brokerage firms, title companies and mortgage lenders, has passed away.

Edwards received his doctorate from Harvard Business School and has been building and managing residential brokerage, relocation, title insurance and mortgage finance businesses for more than 30 years.

“Weston will be greatly missed, and his passing turns a page on another chapter in the history of the residential real estate industry,” Richard A. Smith, chairman and CEO of Cendant’s Real Estate Services Division, said this morning. “Weston was passionate about the industry, and his insights and perspectives led the movement toward one-stop shopping. He left a mark that materially impacts us all. That is a great testament to a humble and industrious contributor to our industry and our national economy.”

Edwards has built a residential brokerage firm with more than 300 owned offices and 8,000 sales associates, a leading relocation company, and has given financial leadership to a major title insurer and managed the production arm of one of the largest mortgage banking operations in the country.

During the last 17 years, Edwards ran his own consulting firm, Weston Edwards & Associates, where he assisted industry leaders in all aspects of the home-buying process, particularly one-stop-shopping. During 1981-1982 he founded and chaired Housing Roundtable, a national policy and strategic planning group in the housing and financial industry, dedicated to removing obstacles to a healthy housing market and aiding its senior management in better managing their businesses.

In 1969, Edwards launched Ticor Relocation, which was to become Merrill Lynch Relocation Management Co., and in seven years built it from an initial staff of six and sixth place in the industry, to a staff of 450 and first place in the industry, with gross revenues exceeding $60 million and a return on equity exceeding 16 percent. After being acquired by Merrill Lynch as an entry vehicle to residential brokerage in 1977, Edwards proceeded to acquire 35 real estate firms throughout the country, integrated these units into a major real estate operation consisting of 300 offices, employing 8,000 sales associates and 1,000 employees.

Edwards left Merrill Lynch to revitalize the production arm of what was then the leading mortgage banking enterprise in the country, Lomas & Nettleton.

In 1988, he left Lomas and began his own research, consulting and business brokerage firm, Weston Edwards & Associates.

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