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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

ZPG founder Alex Chesterman to step back from business

Zoopla Property Group's founder and chief executive, Alex Chesterman, is to step back from day to day operations at the end of the month.

Chesterman will remain on the ZPG board as a significant investor and will continue to advise on product, strategy and merger and acquisition opportunities.

The move follows Silver Lake's £2.2 billion acquisition of ZPG, which completed in July.

One of the country's best-known digital entrepreneurs, Chesterman founded ZPG in 2007. Since then, the organisation's annual revenue and EBITDA have grown to over £300 million and over £120 million respectively.

Alongside his work with ZPG, Chesterman has backed dozens of digital startups, including Graze, Perkbox, WeSwap and Uniplaces.

Following its stock market float in 2014, ZPG has expanded with a number of acquisitions, most notably uSwitch and Hometrack.

ZPG's property division will continue to be run by Charlie Bryant, former chief executive of Hometrack. The group's comparison division - which includes uSwitch and Money - will be run by newly-appointed Tariq Syed.

"After ten years of developing and growing ZPG into a multi-billion pound market-leading business, now is the right time for me to step down as CEO," says Chesterman.

"I am incredibly proud of what the team has achieved, having transformed the markets we operate in for both our consumers and partners."

"ZPG has enormous potential to grow further and I look forward to remaining involved with the company as a board member, investor and strategic adviser as well as being able to focus more time on some of my other investments and interests," he says.

Simon Patterson, managing director of Silver Lake, adds: "What Alex and his team have achieved with ZPG over the past 10 years is an incredible growth story, building some of the UK’s most recognised and widely adopted digital brands."

"We are looking forward to growing the business further on the very solid foundations they have built. Alex is one of Europe’s most accomplished technology entrepreneurs and we are delighted that he will remain on the board as a significant equity investor and will continue to advise the business on product, strategy and M&A opportunities going forward."

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    He did very well for himself and shareholders, but it’s not clear how much it’s benefited the industry as a whole.

  • Simon Bradbury

    A smidge disingenuous Charlie?
    Over the years Zoopla have helped thousands of buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants buy, sell and rent out thousands of homes as well as introduce them them to the services of estate agents up and down the country.
    Furthermore he introduced serious competition to the property portal market after numerous others totally failed to do so.
    I’d say he has done more than most for the industry as a whole!

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    Perhaps Simon, but you could also argue that the competition they introduced did nothing to halt Rightmove’s marching price increases, therefore had zero impact as a competitor, and as a Technology provider, they haven’t brought any meaningful innovation or improvement to the process of moving house. They may be better value than RM from a marketing point of view, but I see them as having simply siphoned yet more value out of the moving process at the expense of agents. If they had used their might to bring change that benefitted agents, then I wouldn’t have this view. But how have they changed anything?

     
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    But I think they’re great guys and it’s been fantastic for shareholders.

     
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    Rubbish.

     
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    Zoopla and portals have sucked value from estate agents because they add far more value than estate agents. Try this simple thought experiment: as a house seller if you were only able to use a portal OR an estate agent, which would you choose? Of course the portal - otherwise no one would ever find your property! That is why Purplebricks etc. are thriving. I still don't understand why Zoopla doesn't go the whole hog and just become an online estate too. It is such an obvious move.

     
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    Does anyone know who James Walsh actually is, apart from a prolific and amusing troll? “Zoopla and portals have sucked value from estate agents because they add far more value than estate agents.” If so, why don’t people stop using agents? You’re talking tosh James Walsh, or whoever you actually are.

     
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    Portals are just a modern version of newspapers. As a house seller i want an Estate Agent agent who will have a data base of buyers, advise on price and marketing, encourage viewings, show the property, deal with the negotiations, and push my buyer to a achieve a price and moving date that i want. I can't see a portal doing much of that!!! James Walsh what world are you in? Something to do with online i suppose, with blinkered views.!!

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    If RM and Zoopla dont reduce their prices we high street agents are going to suffer - they will end up will a smaller and smaller customer base as the onliners take our business and business rates and costs increase

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