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Budden takes over as CEO of FoxtonsNic Budden will become the chief executive of Foxtons from July 1 following the news that Michael Brown has stepped down for personal reasons after 12 years in the firm.

The departure of Brown as CEO - he will remain a non-executive director on the Foxtons board - was announced to the Stock Exchange and is believed to be for compassionate reasons.

Budden, who steps up from serving as chief operating officer, has worked closely with Brown at the company for nine years.

Brown, a solicitor by training, joined Foxtons in September 2002 as chief operating officer of Foxtons and chief executive officer of finance arm Alexander Hall. He was appointed CEO of Foxtons Group in 2007 when BC European Capital acquired a majority interest in the business. Michael started his career as a solicitor at Slaughter and May.

Budden joined Foxtons in 2005 as its COO after a career in business development, marketing, strategy and finance at BT, Cable & Wireless and Severn Trent Group.

In April Foxtons reported a 44 per cent rise in earnings in the first quarter of 2014. Sales commissions were up by 41.1 per cent year on year in the first three months of 2014 at £17.6m driven by significant volume growth.

Foxtons' expansion programme is one of the biggest in the residential sector: it has opened five offices this year at Greenwich, Beckenham, Earls Court, Stoke Newington and Harrow, with another planned for Croydon this summer and at least one at an unnamed location in the autumn.

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