January 29th 2014
Crain's New York
Residential brokerage Warburg Realty has acquired its first company—Rubicon Property, a firm that donates a portion of its revenue to charity. The deal will give the brokerage a storefront on the Upper West Side.
Warburg Realty announced Wednesday it bought Rubicon Property, a residential brokerage with a charitable twist. The deal, Warburg’s first acquisition, includes Rubicon’s storefront at 451 Columbus Ave.
The boutique firm, which focuses on selling apartments on the Upper West Side, will now become a part of the larger Warburg, according to Frederick Peters, president of Warburg Realty, which employs about 130 agents. The Columbus Avenue storefront will be Warburg’s fourth in the city. Rubicon will be renamed and rebranded to fit with the rest of the company. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“When you are a small brokerage you don’t enjoy economy of scale … we can provide Rubicon agents with more support, while at the same time they [will] continue to get the benefit of working with Jason,” Mr. Peters said, referring to Rubicon co-founder, Jason Haber.
Mr. Haber’s firm, founded in 2011 and composed of 12 full and part-time brokers, distinguished itself among the city’s many smaller outfits by donating a portion of its revenue to charity and hosting educational events outside its Upper West Side office. Specifically, Rubicon gave to a nonprofit called charity:water, which helps bring clean water to 800 million people around the world who don’t have the luxury of turning a faucet. Rubicon has raised more than $30,000 in donations for charity:water, which has helped bring clean drinking water to more than 1,370 people, primarily in Africa.
“I really wanted to do something that counted purpose as much as it counted profits,” Mr. Haber said. “We did right by our customers, and made the world a bit of a better place.”
Under the Warburg banner, the office will continue that business model, which Mr. Haber said has always helped distinguish his firm and will now benefit Warburg.
Warburg had also been eyeing Rubicon for its tech-savvy bona fides. It was the first brokerage to incorporate touch-screen browsing at its office several years ago, according to Mr. Haber.