Craig Pontey and Michael Finger move to McGrath

High-profile Double Bay agents, Craig Pontey and Michael Finger have officially moved over to ASX-listed McGrath after 35 years with Ray White.

Mr Pontey and Mr Finger started Ray White Double Bay in 1988, before eventually selling their share to current principal Elliot Placks in 2018 and staying on as sales agents.

The pair will join McGrath to spearhead the company’s growth and expansion in Sydney’s harbourside Eastern Suburbs market.

Now Co-Principal of McGrath Double Bay, Mr Pontey said it was a tough decision to leave Ray White after 35 years.

“It’s been said that I had Ray White flowing through my veins and that’s definitely the case, but it was just time for a change and I needed a different challenge,” Mr Pontey said.

“With the market changing and things becoming more challenging, I’m seeing a lot of young people out there that need some help and that’s why Mike and I have picked up the opportunity at McGrath.”

Mr Pontey said he has known John McGrath for many years and has always been impressed with what he has been able to achieve.

“I’ve known John McGrath since we were 18 years old, and I have a lot of respect for him,” he said.

“John’s always been very supportive of training new people, and it’s a massive opportunity for us to look to recruit people and build a business.”

A key focus for the new business will be recruiting and nurturing talent, Mr Pontey said.

“When Mike and I sold out of Ray White Double Bay four years ago, there was a team of 28, and we have an expectation of building a large team and recruiting and helping people grow,” he said.

“No one can build a business without people, and I’ve said this many times that it’s all about putting a brick in the wall.

“If someone else puts another brick in the wall, then you end up building a really strong wall and a great business and everyone benefits, both financially, mentally and physically.

“That’s how we’ve always done things.”

Co-Principal Michael Finger said he is looking forward to the challenge of mentoring a young team.

“My passion is to mentor young agents,” Mr Finger said.

“Now more than ever, it is important to strengthen and develop their skills in a challenging market. 

“I love to see people develop and progress in their career and life, hence I will be on deck to support and grow our team.”

Mr Pontey said his early focus will be to get to know the McGrath way.

“This is not our first rodeo, so we understand the machinations of the market, and we understand what’s going on and what expectations we have,” he said.

“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve previously built a great business. 

“It was number one in Australia for many years, and that’s a big network.”

Mr Pontey said he has already signed up his first auction on day one and there’s a lot more to come.

“There are a few more things coming, including people and properties, so there’s quite a lot going on,” he said.

“We have aspirations to build a great business and have a bit of fun along the way.”

Managing Director and CEO of McGrath, John McGrath, said it was both humbling and exciting to have Mr Pontey and Mr Finger join McGrath.

“Craig and Michael are among the very best real estate leaders in the country, so I’m absolutely delighted that they are joining our team,” Mr McGrath said.

“When it comes to real estate experts in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs harbourside markets, I believe they’re a team with few peers.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.