Adrian Bo departs McGrath after 25 years

Adrian Bo departs McGrath after 25 years
Adrian Bo departs McGrath after 25 years

Estate agent Adrian Bo's career with McGrath, which began in 1994, has ended amid a disputed sexual harassment claim.

It was 30 years ago that he joined the real estate industry after briefly working at the Rivkin stockbroking firm on graduating from school.

He started in residential leasing.

He was part of the original foundation McGrath team, which made it harder for the agent to be told to go.

The chief of the luckless McGrath agency, Geoff Lucas announced on Tuesday evening that Bo’s contract had been terminated.

Lucas has since warned staff not to speak to the media on the matter in a leaked internal memo.

“If you are approached by any external party seeking comment or information with respect to the investigation, you are directed to provide no comment.

“If any employee provides comment in such circumstances it may result in disciplinary action.”

The memo also advised staff that any conversations about the investigation, the recommendations or findings are “unhelpful and hinder our ability to move forward as an organisation”.

At the centre of the latest allegation was a disputed claim Bo recently asked a junior colleague “how many c–ks he had sucked?”
 
The Daily Telegraph which broke the story last month had his departure as front page news today.
 
Adrian Bo departs McGrath after 25 years Adrian Bo departs McGrath after 25 years

Bo took annual leave while the investigation by an HR consultant and an external lawyer was conducted.

Company founder John McGrath stepped into the role of head of sales as Bo and McGrath had briefly shared the role since Kon Stathopoulos departed in June.

The result of inquiry prompted the publicly listed board to terminate Bo’s contract late on Tuesday, effective immediately.

“The company takes its responsibilities of promoting inclusion and workplace safety seriously and will not tolerate breaches of its code of conduct by its contractors or staff members. I am personally committed to ensuring we have an environment that treats all workplace participants fairly and with respect,” Mr Lucas said in a brief 6pm statement.

In the internal email to McGrath staff, Lucas said: “I understand this process has been stressful for a number of people, and it has taken some time to arrive at this conclusion.

“However it has been important to protect the rights of all parties involved and critical that we followed an independent process complying with our code of conduct and the law.
 
“Behaviours such as bullying, harassment and unlawful discrimination are not acceptable at any time. I also want to take this opportunity to reassure you that we have robust HR processes in place to ensure you are provided with best and most supportive environment in which to undertake your work and career development."
 
Adrian Bo departs McGrath after 25 years
 
Bo sold thousands of apartments and homes during his McGrath career, with his celebrity clients having included Jennifer Hawkins and Jake Wall, Lisa Ho, Mike Willesee and Allyson Langdon, Brett Lee, David Warner and Candice Falzon and Richard Roxburgh and Silvia Colloca.
 
He created a database of all property owners he came across (excluding active buyers) which stood at 12,000 people in 2012, typically doing 10 sales a month from Bondi to Maroubra.
 
He was earning around $2 million a year in gross commissions at the time, which was well above the $60,000 average.
 
Bo has sold over $3.7 billion in gross volume of real estate and for 20 consecutive years has maintained a minimum of 100 transactions most recently generating $2.5 million to $3 million in gross commission income per annum.
 
In the past year Bo secured 110 sales totalling $145 million.
 
Bo promoted himself as having "invaluable experience in residential and commercial sales, project marketing and property management."
 
But he once said "I see myself as a glorified telemarketer."
 
He added the best agents were "storytellers" - "not fictitious but real life situations."

Bo had been hand-picked and personally trained by John McGrath to become recognised as "one of Australasia’s top agents, auctioneers, real estate trainers and public speakers."

He had completed his MBA in 2013, with reputed hopes to run the McGrath empire at one point, only to see Geoff Lucas return to the struggling listed agency in February last year.

Bo had become co-head of sales when Kon Stathopoulos departed in June.

Stathopoulos became head of company sales in 2016 when McGrath Limited lost its longtime head of sales, Matt Lahood to The Agency.

The Lahood defection was among many that rocked the group with John McGrath, the founder and then executive director, noting he had "zero respect for any of them."

The McGrath agency recently left its long-time head office in Edgecliff in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

It has headed to inner-city Pyrmont, although it will take a presence in Double Bay to quell concerns that it could lose clients and disaffected agents.

The agency had already reduced the Edgecliff office size it required on New South Head Road last year in the wake of a high level of departures. 

The latest departure from the group was in its NSW Northern Rivers agency with Braden Walters now at Belle Byron Bay/Lennox Head.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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