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More upheaval at Countrywide as London reshuffle continues

The UK's largest estate agency has announced another key departure from its senior management team. 

Graham Bell, managing director for London, is leaving the agency to pursue 'an exciting new opportunity'.

Bell has been at Countrywide since 2010 and the firm's chief executive, Alison Platt, said he has played an 'instrumental role' in the agency's growth plans.

He was heavily involved in the acquisitions of Hamptons International, Blundells, Lambert Smith Hampton and Mortgage Intelligence.

In a statement made to the press, Platt put on record her thanks to Bell for his 'enormous contribution' to the business.

Countrywide says the departure is part of an 'organisational change' - namely bringing the firm’s London and Retail arms 'closer together'.

Phil Tennant will take over from Bell as interim managing director for London, Countrywide has confirmed to Estate Agent Today.

He will report to Sam Tyrer, managing director of retail, who will be given more responsibility to lead 'trading channels' in estate and letting agency across the country.

"[Tyrer] will be working closely with Phil to protect what is unique about London whilst exploring where there is the opportunity to drive synergies," said a spokesperson for Countrywide.

"The benefits of bringing our talent and capability together will see our most powerful brands grow, our digital agenda accelerated across Sales and Lettings, and creates an opportunity to build on our market leading position in our mortgage business," said Platt.

"It's increasingly clear that delivering for our customers means we must look beyond traditional geographic boundaries and ensure we are first choice and easily accessible wherever they are."

Platt's statement stresses Countrywide's intention to strengthen its position in the capital, which, she said, comes after a 'strong year' in 'hugely challenging' market conditions. 

It was announced recently that Countrywide is consolidating its London brands, with a number being incorporated into John D Wood. 

Graham Bell's departure is the latest in a long line of high profile exits in recent months, including Eyal Malinger, Kim Chiles and Marc Goldberg.

The news was announced on Friday when Countrywide's share price closed on 220.6, down from a high of 296.4 on September 1. 

The fall is believed to be a reaction to the news that Countrywide has sold the last of its shares in the Zoopla Property Group.

The sale of over nine million shares at an average price of £3.17 – which took place between August 9 and September 21 – raised a total of £29.2 million.

Countrywide confirmed that the funds would be used to reduce corporate indebtedness.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Upheaval seems to have been Countrywide's middle name of late. They're like a football team having a clear-out. As we know, that doesn't always work out for the best!

  • Daniel Roder

    "The UK's largest estate agency has announced another key departure from its senior management team."

    Is anyone left?

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    well with staff leaving left right and centre at almost a daily rate CW will have no one left, so with no staff that will mean more branch closures no doubt. well done Alison Platt surely worth a round of applause

     
  • Terence Dicks

    "[Tyrer] will be working closely with Phil to protect what is unique about London whilst exploring where there is the opportunity to drive synergies," said a spokesperson for Countrywide. Does anyone have a clue what that means??

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    Frankly after the way "Countrywide" managing agents treated my property, I couldn't care less if the whole organisation disappeared.

  • icon

    When I read "whilst exploring where there is the opportunity to drive synergies," said a spokesperson for Countrywide", I realise that the company truly does require help!

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