Douglas Elliman CEO Sells Stake in Brokerage for $40 Million

CEO Dottie Herman sells 29.4% stake

Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman, has sold her 29.4 percent stake in the New York City-based brokerage for $40 million to its parent company.

dottie herman - Douglas Elliman CEO

The announcement was made by the Vector Group, among the country’s largest tobacco manufacturers, which had already controlled 71 percent of the firm. Herman sold her shares for $10 million up front and $30 million to be paid in 12 quarterly payments according to an SEC filing.

Founded in New York City in 1911, Douglas Elliman is the largest brokerage in the New York metropolitan area and the third-largest residential real estate company nationwide. It was ranked third among real estate brokerages nationwide for transaction volume as recently as 2017, according to the Real Trends 500 .

Steve Murray, president and owner of Real Trends, said that Elliman is probably worth $250 million to $300 million. Real Trends represented Herman in the sale. He believes both sides walked away with a good deal, given the dynamics.

“She wanted to sell, but he was under absolutely no compunction to have to buy. The leverage was always with Howard because he’s the majority owner.”

-Steve Murray

Howard Lorber, the president and CEO of Vector Group and chairman of Douglas Elliman, acquired the company in December 2013 with Herman.

“Dottie and I couldn’t have imagined that the venture we embarked on years ago would grow into the largest residential brokerage firm in the New York metropolitan area,” Lorber said in a press release. “Her vision for and dedication to Douglas Elliman have proven invaluable and have helped cement Douglas Elliman as one of the country’s premiere brokerages. We are excited about the next phase of Douglas Elliman’s growth, and are confident the company is well positioned for the future.”

News reports say that Herman will continue in her role as chief executive officer of Douglas Elliman.

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After earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida, Tracey set out in the real world at Florida Realtors in 1994 as a communication assistant, working her way up to editor in chief of Florida Realtor magazine. In 2004, she left the association to start her freelance writing and editing business. One of her first clients was REAL Trends, and she started working for the organization in 2005. In 2014, Tracey was promoted to editor in chief of publications for REAL Trends. She handles the writing and editing of all REAL Trends publications and marketing materials, including LORE Magazine, the REAL Trends newsletter and the blog. She is also the primary podcast interviewer where she conducts interviews with top real estate industry leaders and affiliated industry leaders. Tracey is married with two children.

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