New boss for high-end buying agencyPrime Purchase, the buying arm of Savills, has appointed one of its regional representatives as new managing director.

Charlie Wells - who most recently ran the buying agency's Hampshire, West Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire office - previously operated the country houses and farms office of an independent sales agency.

He takes over at Prime Purchase from Hugo Thistlethwayte, a founder of the buying agency over a decade ago. The press release announcing the change says Thistlethwayte is taking up a new challenge at Savills next spring - a new role which is apparently not going to be announced for at least another three months from now.

Prime Purchase used to pride itself as being only discretely associated with Savills. When it was set up it was the first sales agency buying arm to use a different name, operate non-corporate email addresses and base itself in separate un-branded premises.

At the time a rival agency even complained - erroneously - that Savills was actively disguising its association in a bid to make the buying arm appear independent of the parent company.

Now the mood music is rather different with Savills becoming more closely identified.

Rupert Sebag-Montefiore, Head of Global Residential at Savills, is oining Prime Purchase as non executive chairman, combing this with his sales role.