All week, Inman is taking a Deep Dive into Coldwell Banker. We’re talking to key executives, unpacking the company’s strategic moves and reporting on the Gen Blue Experience event — taking place virtually and in New York this week. Stay tuned in the coming days for more on Coldwell Banker, and for future Inman Deep Dives into top brokerages.
Coldwell Banker announced Tuesday that it is acquiring Warburg Realty, saying the combined firm will create a “powerhouse” on Warburg’s home turf of New York City — an area where Coldwell Banker has historically struggled to maintain a foothold.
The acquisition means Warburg will now operate under the banner “Coldwell Banker Warburg.” A statement from the companies describes Warburg as “the final independent real estate brokerage of its size in Manhattan,” and as a “mainstay” among top brokerages in the Empire State. The statement adds that the acquisition will give Coldwell Banker “a leading residential brokerage operation in New York City.”
During Coldwell Banker’s Gen Blue event Tuesday afternoon, CEO M. Ryan Gorman described the acquisition as “a very emotional journey,” and said that it is “not a deal, people, this is a marriage.” He added in a statement that the acquisition is “a groundbreaking moment for both Coldwell Banker and Warburg Realty.”
“This marks the Coldwell Banker brand’s expansion into Manhattan and solidifies our presence in the New York luxury real estate landscape,” Gorman continued. “With its storied legacy and tradition of extraordinary service, Warburg has earned significant respect from customers, colleagues, and me. We have a strong personal relationship, and I have deep admiration for Frederick and the entire Warburg team.”
During Tuesday’s Gen Blue event, Warburg President Clelia Peters — who is also Frederick Warburg Peters’ daughter — said her father and Gorman first bonded over her own daughter, who her father was watching at the time.
Frederick Warburg Peters, and Warburg’s management team, will remain with the company after the transition. Warburg Realty currently has two offices and more than 120 sales professionals in Manhattan.
While on stage at Gen Blue Tuesday, Frederick Warburg Peters said he was excited about potential “synergies” between the Coldwell Banker community and Warburg agents, adding that both sides should end up seeing “referral business back and forth.” He also praised Gorman as “a great CEO.”
He added in a statement that he “can’t wait to get started” with the company’s next chapter.
“Throughout my 40-year career in residential real estate, I have worked to elevate the integrity and professionalism of our industry,” he said. “Working with the Coldwell Banker brand, I am giving Warburg agents the finest tools to create even more value for our clients and customers.”
The companies did not publicly disclose financial details about the deal.
The acquisition is significant because Coldwell Banker has struggled for years to build a lasting and major presence in the Manhattan market. Most recently, in 2019 Brooklyn-based Coldwell Banker Reliable Real Estate expanded into Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood. A company spokesperson said the firm is still operating in the borough.
Before the 2019 announcement, Coldwell Banker also had a short-lived franchise agreement in Manhattan in 2013. Prior to that, the last major Manhattan brokerage operating under the Coldwell Banker banner had closed in 2009.
Coldwell Banker Warburg will be branded under the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program.
Tuesday’s statement ultimately notes that both companies were founded within a decade of each other; Warburg Realty first appeared in New York City in 1896, while Coldwell Banker emerged in San Francisco in 1906. The storied history of both companies gives the combined firm “240 combined years of industry knowledge and proven track records of excellence,” the statement notes.
“Together,” the statement concludes, “these two companies have been industry leaders for roughly as long as the United States has existed.”
Update: This post was updated after publication with additional information provided by Coldwell Banker, and with context from the Gen Blue event Tuesday. A second update notes that Coldwell Banker Reliable Real Estate still operates in Manhattan.