A new managing director is in post at high-end agency Hamptons International - and in line with some recent appointments by parent company Countrywide, he has no property or agency experience.
The announcement came yesterday, the day after Nick Hughes started in the role, in a statement from Countrywide which states that Hughes has “a wealth of experience from across the leisure, hospitality and banking sectors” - a reference to his past executive positions at Barclays, the holiday and travel company Kuoni, and American Express.
The statement says “he has managed a number of sales channels under retail, direct and web sales disciplines” and has “a strong track record for overseeing business growth, with a key focus having been placed upon customer experience.”
He is also described as having a “passion for ensuring the best possible customer journey.”
In addition to his Hamptons role Hughes will also join Countrywide’s 'London Leadership Team' led by Graham Bell. “The London leadership team has a clear mandate as part of delivering the Group’s strategy to lead, manage and direct the growth of the London brands including Hamptons International’s existing network of 87 branches in London and the south of the UK” says the statement.
Hughes himself says: “I have always been extremely interested in the property market and see this role as the perfect opportunity to contribute my experience of the affluent consumer market which I’ve gained through my time at American Express, Kuoni and latterly Barclays Premier.”
When Estate Agent Today asked Hamptons whether this new management role replaced any other, this was the response:
“As part of Countrywide’s Building our Future strategy, a London business unit was established in order to meet the strategy’s vision and values. Headed by Graham Bell, Managing Director for London at Countrywide plc, a London Leadership Team has been formed which comprises four Managing Directors across Hamptons International, Bairstow Eves & Mann, Mid-Market & Growth London and Premier & City.
“The Hamptons appointment is the last position to be filled; Nick will join Lee Wainwright (MD, Bairstow Eves & Mann), Phil Tennant (MD, Mid-Market & Growth London) and Ben Taylor (MD, Premier & City) where as a Team, they will look to create the capacity for significant growth and transformation in London. Sector specific Heads of function roles at Hamptons remain in place and will continue to play a key part in the future of the organisation.”
In response to an additional question, Hamptons confirmed that there had been no previous managing director position at the agency.