Robert Reffkin Relinquishes Stock Unit Awards For $7 Million Cash Bonus

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An SEC filing showed the Compass CEO is letting go of $25 million in performance-based restricted stock unit awards in exchange for something a bit more tangible. His salary is also going up to $900,000.

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Compass CEO Robert Reffkin is letting go of $25 million in performance-based restricted stock unit awards in exchange for something a bit more tangible — a $7 million cash bonus, according to an SEC filing The Real Deal reported on.

Robert Reffkin | Compass

The CEO’s base salary is also getting a boost, at least from most recent available figures. In 2024, Reffkin’s salary will be $900,000, up from the $400,000 he earned in 2022. His 2023 salary is not yet public.

Reffkin will also receive a performance-based bonus in 2024, and $2.25 million in restricted stock units (RSUs), which will vest annually over four years. In 2025, he’ll get a second RSU.

Because there are restrictions on when RSU shares can be sold, their future value is not yet known.

Compass has struggled to make a profit since its inception, and shares have lost 80 percent of their value since the brokerage went public in 2021. However, shares are also up 95 percent year over year.

The company is also slated to pay $25,000 in legal fees associated with the changes made to Reffkin’s compensation.

The adjustments were made “with the objective of providing market-based CEO compensation,” and after enlisting an independent compensation consultant, SEC filings showed.

Ryan Schneider | Anywhere

Reffkin’s new compensation is indeed in line with other major real estate CEOs, however, those companies have a much better profitability track record.

Anywhere’s Ryan Schneider was given an $8 million equity grant last year, a $5 million cash bonus, and earns a base salary of $1 million. The bonus, according to SEC filings, was mostly attributable to Anywhere’s settlement of the Sitzer | Burnett commission lawsuit, which resulted in larger judgments against other companies that went to trial in the case.

Opendoor’s Carrie Wheeler earned a base salary of $750,000 last year, as well as a $250,000 target bonus, a $250,000 performance bonus and $27 million in equity. After some struggles earlier in the year, Opendoor returned to profitability during the second quarter of 2023.

Carrie Wheeler | Opendoor

In 2021, Reffkin’s compensation was tied much more closely to the brokerage’s equity, likely because Compass went public that spring. Reffkin earned $89 million in equity during 2021.

And despite having a less tied-up salary and bonus on the horizon, Reffkin’s updated compensation package is not without restriction — if he leaves Compass or is fired in the next two years, he would have to repay the $7 million bonus, with $875,000 becoming non-refundable each quarter.

In 2021, Compass’ stock debuted at $18 per share and hit a low in 2023 of $1.82 per share. As of Tuesday, shares were at $3.54. Meanwhile, Anywhere’s stock was at $7.89 at market close on Tuesday, and Opendoor’s was at $4.28.

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