Countrywide's chief information officer Oliver Skagerlind this morning joins online agency easyProperty as de facto number two to chief executive Rob Ellice.
Back in January Estate Agent Today reported that Skagerlind - who joined Countrywide in February 2011 after previous jobs at RBS Insurance, Centrica Carphone Warehouse and American Express - was leaving.
It is believed that he served his full notice at Countrywide, working until lunchtime on Friday; this morning he starts at easyProperty as general manager. “This is effectively my number two” Rob Ellice has told Estate Agent Today.
Skagerlind had responsibility for all aspects of information technology within the Countrywide group, and whilst this may have obvious synergies with moving to a firm such as easyProperty, Ellice hints that there may be more to the appointment.
“Oliver will be handling a mix of IT and operational matters but he’s got wider experience we can draw on. He worked closely with Grenville Turner [former Countrywide chairman and chief executive] on preparing Countrywide to float on the stock market” says Ellice.
“While we’re not necessarily going down that road at the moment we’ll certainly benefit from the experience - it’s almost unique within the industry” he believes.
Just before Christmas the agency announced it had secured a £16m investment from a London-based asset manager, with an additional £9m to be available to support acquisitions by easyProperty.
Today also sees the formal launch of easyProperty’s land and new homes division: one of the key recent appointments to that division is Paul Newman as a regional head of new homes - Newman was previously a key account manager at Rightmove.
easyProperty’s head count is now in excess of 100, says Ellice, while the agency is currently listing over 5,500 residential and commercial properties for sale or to let.