After leading the company’s charge into the U.S. real estate brokerage franchising business, the CEO of Toronto-based Brookfield Residential Property Services is leaving the company at the end of the year, and his position will be eliminated in a corporate reorganization.
As managing partner and CEO of Brookfield RPS, Graham Badun presided over the company’s 2008 acquisition of GMAC Real Estate. After selling off GMAC Real Estate’s corporate-owned brokerage offices, Brookfield RPS then merged the company into Real Living in 2009, creating a single brokerage franchise network with 10,000 affiliated agents and 600 offices.
The penultimate move in Brookfield RPS’s U.S. expansion was last year’s $110 million acquisition of Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services.
The final twist in the story took place in October, when Brookfield RPS’ parent company, Brookfield Asset Management, facilitated billionaire Warren Buffett’s entry into real estate franchising by selling a majority interest in the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living brands to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. affiliate HomeServices of America Inc.
HomeServices of America — the second-largest U.S. brokerage firm — has formed a joint venture with Brookfield, HSF Affiliates LLC, to operate the Real Living and Prudential Real Estate affiliate networks, whose member brokers employ 53,000 sales associates and closed more than $72 billion in home sales last year.
HSF Affiliates will roll out a new franchise brand next year, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, while continuing to operate the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate networks and brands. Brookfield’s relocation business, Brookfield Global Relocation Services, remains wholly owned by Brookfield.
"We had a good run," Badun said of Brookfield RPS’ U.S. expansion. Brookfield retains a "significant minority stake" in HSF Affiliates, he said, and that venture "is well in hand with a great partner in HomeServices of America."
Badun, who joined the Brookfield Asset Management group of companies in 1998, said he decided that it was a good time to "spend some time on the sidelines with my family" which includes three daughters ages 17, 14 and 11. Badun said he’ll "probably look for a new opportunity" at the end of next summer.
Brookfield RPS is reorganizing into three separate operating entities: Brookfield Global Relocation Services (with Rick Schwartz as president and CEO); Centract Inc. (led by CEO David Lacey and President Phil West); and Brookfield Real Estate Services (with Spencer Enright president and CEO, and Phil Soper as managing partner, real estate brokerage).
Enright and Soper will oversee Brookfield’s Canadian real estate franchise business, which operate under the Royal LePage, Prudential Real Estate and Via Capitale brands.
In addition to Centract’s appraisal services and data analytics businesses, Lacey will be responsible for Brookfield’s ownership stake in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchise business.
Other Brookfield business units operating as publicly traded companies include developer and homebuilder Brookfield Residential Properties Inc., and Rouse Properties Inc., a New York City-based real estate investment trust that’s one of the largest U.S. shopping mall operators.