O'Conor ends daily role for regional post

Founding partner of brokerage joins N.J. parent company

`I will have one hat'

John Evans, another founder, to manage Baltimore-area office

Real estate

November 09, 1999|By Robert Nusgart | Robert Nusgart,SUN STAFF

One of the most recognizable names dotting the Baltimore real estate landscape is stepping away from daily control of the brokerage he helped build into the area's largest.

James P. O'Conor, chief executive officer of O'Conor, Piper & Flynn ERA, is relinquishing day-to-day responsibilities of the company he co-founded 15 years ago and joining OPF's parent, NRT Inc., to oversee its mid-Atlantic operations as senior vice president.

NRT, based in Parsippany, N.J., announced the move yesterday.

Taking over as president and chief operating officer of OPF is John G. Evans, one of the four founding partners of the company.

O'Conor, who will maintain his title as chairman of OPF, made the decision himself to step down to give full attention to NRT Mid-Atlantic, based in Timonium.

NRT is the nation's largest residential brokerage, with 7,000 offices in 21 metropolitan markets. O'Conor was appointed as president of NRT Mid-Atlantic when it was formed in December.

Since then, NRT also has acquired Pardoe Co., a boutique real estate firm known for its upscale listings in Washington and Northern Virginia, as well as the Jack Gaughen Co. in Harrisburg, Pa. Those two companies, and OPF, will now fall under the NRT Mid-Atlantic umbrella.

Together, the firms have 98 offices and 3,700 sales associates.

"I won't have two hats. I will have one hat. The NRT hat has not been on as much as the OPF hat has been on," said O'Conor. "I am going on to a greater responsibility than what I had at OPF.

"We are going to be taking Mid-Atlantic and expanding its horizons to make it become a truly regional company," O'Conor said, adding that acquisitions will be a priority. The metropolitan areas of Philadelphia; Wilmington, Del.; and Richmond, Va.; are among the areas being targeted.

"We are looking at all the obvious places. And all the obvious companies that would fit well into it [NRT]," O'Conor said.

William J. Flynn and James Piper, the other two founding partners of OPF, will remain as executive vice presidents with the firm.

Evans, who has been OPF executive vice president and general sales manager for 15 years, "is the obvious choice because that is what he has been doing," O'Conor said. "I think it is wonderful that John has the opportunity to move up to take over the responsibilities of OPF."

Evans said there would be little operational change as he replaces O'Conor as broker of record for the firm.

"I will have all the administrative responsibilities that I didn't have before. [But] operationally, [there's] not a whole lot of change because the operating of the sales offices, the oversight of the regional management and the individual offices within O'Conor, Piper & Flynn were my responsibility."

Although there is no legal partnership among the four founders -- it was dissolved when NRT purchased OPF -- Evans said, "in my mind it is a partnership of great endeavor to make this a great company."

Evans, nevertheless, said OPF will retain a great deal of independence and that he will be able to maintain "total autonomy." Yet, "If [something] requires a major financial commitment I would have to talk to Jim at NRT Mid-Atlantic, and he may have to talk to NRT."

Three other OPF executives also will fill positions within NRT Mid-Atlantic.

Adam Cockey, who has served as a vice president at OPF since his Roland Park firm -- W. H. C. Wilson Co. -- was purchased by OPF in 1998, will move to NRT Mid-Atlantic as vice president of ancillary services.

Also moving from OPF corporate to take positions with NRT Mid-Atlantic are Janet Lock, vice president for finance, and Jeanna Porter Tucker, vice president for marketing.

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