Latest Buffett Headlines


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MAINLINE MEDIA/NEWS: Warren Buffett buys Devon-based Prudential Fox & Roach; local real estate agents thrilled

Signs like this that dot the Main Line will be replaced by HomeServices signs in the fall.
The region’s largest independent real estate brokerage is independent no more.

Prudential Fox & Roach announced Wednesday that it will become part of HomeServices of America, an affiliate of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

About half of Prudential’s 4,000 agents turned out for a meeting with top management from both companies at the Philadelphia Convention Center Wednesday.

“There were standing ovations; it was a great celebration,” said Eleanor Morsbach, a Haverford resident and an agent in the Wayne office with the Premier Main Line Homes team. “We think it’s fantastic. We’re excited and very proud of the association with Warren Buffett.”

HomeServices is also buying The Trident Group, Prudential Fox & Roach’s mortgage, casualty insurance and land transfer subsidiary.

“This makes us part of the second largest real estate services company in the country. We’re honored to be part of that,” Morsbach said.

We’re already a great company, “ added Deirdre Kelly, another agent with the Premiere Main Line Homes’ team. “This will help us enhance our tools and resources and make us even better.”

Corporate leaders Larry Flick, chairman and CEO, Gerry Griesser, president of Trident, and Joan Docktor, Prudential Fox & Roach president, are all expected to stay in place. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The company’s sale does not mean those omnipresent blue and white “For Sale” signs will disappear from Main Line front yards right away. HomeServices of America signs won’t be displayed until late fall, according to a news release.

“We look forward to having a company of such tremendous caliber carry the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand into the Tri-State marketplace,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates, in a statement.

Prudential Fox & Roach agents work out of 62 offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Last year the company reported nearly 25,000 transactions and $8.3 billion in sales. HomeServices, based in Minneapolis, has some 21,000 real estate agents in 24 states and handled nearly $53 billion in residential real estate sales in 2012.

“We are proud to be a part of HomeServices of America,” said Prudential Fox & Roach CEO Flick in a statement. "We are joining an organization known for its strength and stability, one that is consistent with our high standards of service and integrity, making this a win/win for our customers and our sales associates."

Prudential Fox & Roach began with the merger of Roach Bros. of Devon with Emlen Wheeler of Philadelphia in 1995. Two year later, Roach Wheeler merged with Fox & Lazo of Haddonfield, N.J. to become Fox & Roach. In 1999, the company bought Prudential Preferred Properties, which had a significant presence on the Main Line.

“I trust Larry Flick’s judgment implicitly. I know he’s taking us to an even greater place,” said Morsbach, a real estate agent for 21 years. “It’s a huge plus for us agents and realtors serving the Main Line community. We’re going to have national exposure and presence and the backing of one of strongest companies in our country.“

No comments: