SoftBank-Backed Compass Names Former Oracle Executive to Board

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Charles Phillips, a former Oracle Corp. president, is joining the board of Compass, the SoftBank-backed real estate brokerage that has been laying the groundwork for a potential initial public offering.

Phillips, who worked at Morgan Stanley and was chief executive officer of cloud-software maker Infor Inc., is the third independent director to join the Compass board this year.

SoftBank-Backed Compass Names Former Oracle Executive to Board

“Phillips has led software companies whose primary purpose is to make other businesses more productive,” said Ori Allon, co-founder and executive chairman of Compass. “His depth of leadership experience provides Compass with an authoritative voice as we continue to enhance our platform.”

The housing market, which stalled when the pandemic hit the U.S., has bounced back to be a bright spot for the economy. Record-low mortgage rates are driving demand for homes, particularly as Americans seek space to spread out.

The booming market has boosted property technology companies that allow buyers and sellers to transact digitally. Opendoor, a SoftBank-backed startup that buys and sells homes, recently announced a deal to go public at an enterprise value of $4.8 billion. Zillow Group Inc., meanwhile, has seen its shares more than double this year.

Still, Covid-19 was hard on brokerages, in part because in-person showings were curbed to stop the spread of the virus. Shares in Realogy Holdings Corp., which owns Corcoran, have fallen about 1.6% this year, while Vector Group Ltd., which owns Douglas Elliman, has tumbled about 26%.

Robert Reffkin, co-founder and chief executive officer of Compass, recently told CNBC the company posted record revenue in June, July and August, with consumer traffic to its website surging. He said the company has the “people in place and the systems in place to go public.”

With the addition of Phillips, the Compass board has grown to six members, including Allon, Reffkin and SoftBank’s Justin Wilson.

Former Bridgewater Associates co-CEO Eileen Murray and Pamela Thomas-Graham were also named as independent Compass directors this year.

“Every sector of the economy is undergoing an accelerated digital metamorphosis and that change has finally arrived in real estate,” Phillips said in a statement. “There is always a digital catalyst in every industry and Compass is building the future of real estate commerce.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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