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New Propertymark crisis as finance chief quits

The head of finance at Propertymark has quit - another high profile departure for the troubled organisation.

Estate Agent Today broke the news that Kate Hawkins had resigned unexpectedly; a statement from Propertymark then claimed she was leaving "to seek other opportunities" and stated she had signalled her wish to go two weeks ago.

Hawkins' exit, after two and a half years in the post, is just the latest of many senior departures from the trade body in recent months. 


In February chief executive Tim Balcon left after only four months, having given a series of interviews - including one with EAT - outlining his plans for the organisation. No reason was given for his sudden departure.

A few days before Balcon quit, the NAEA President Kirsty Finney resigned after only six of her 12 months term of office - no explanation was given by Propertymark for her leaving.

Former NAEA chief executive Mark Hayward was scheduled to leave at Christmas but then made a surprise return with a new title of Propertymark Chief Policy Advisor; his former ARLA chief executive counterpart David Cox left unexpectedly last year and now works at Rightmove; former NAEA chairman Christopher Hamer left last year, again at what appeared short notice.

In June 2017 an earlier head of finance at Propertymark, Rob Clutton, was reported by the trade press to have been dismissed. 

Propertymark’s file at Companies House shows that amongst its directors, 12 have resigned in the past five years.

Little detail is known about many of the resignations and departures, partly - it is rumoured - because of the widespread use of confidentiality agreements.

A statement from Propertymark to Estate Agent Today says: "Kate Hawkins, Head of Finance, is sadly leaving Propertmark after two and a half years in the role. Having made a huge contribution to Propertymark, she is leaving to seek other opportunities. She is currently working her notice period and will ensure a smooth transition. Nathan Emerson, Interim CEO commented 'We are very sad to see Kate go but understand she is ready for her next challenge. She has been a really valuable member of the Senior Management Team at Propertymark and will be much missed by her colleagues. She has streamlined lots of our processes and leaves behind a strong team'."

It's also been revealed that last week Helen Herniman resigned from her position as a non-executive director of Propertymark because, the organisation says, her term "is coming to an end."

Propertymark says it's looking for two new non-execs, to be in post by June.

  • Murray Lee

    why am I thinking "another one bites the dust?

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    What happens to a sinking ship......you can't help thinking that someone will break silence soon

  • Tom Tangney

    Something is rotten. Time for a complete change at the top?

  • Algarve  Investor

    What a mess. Dictionary definition of a troubled organisation: Propertymark.

    Like the Queen's policy to say and do nothing, this has major downsides in a scandal as it just allows people to speculate and assume. Propertymark think it's controlling the issue by sweeping it under the carpet and pretending nothing's wrong, but it's achieving quite the opposite. It's just making people more suspicious that something is very rotten. You don't have this number of senior people leaving an organisation in such a short space of time without some serious issues causing it.

    Propertymark would be better off being honest and admitting there are systemic issues and starting again, rather than allegedly gagging people with confidentiality agreements.

    NAEA and ARLA would have been better off remaining separate organisations - what has Propertymark really achieved since 2017 that the individual organisations wouldn't have done?

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    I have been out of the industry for 7 years, just found this site again and guess what nothing has changed!! New so called challenger sites shouting loud and delivering nothing, just ask any buyer or seller, they only want Rightmove, made invincible by........ those that love to moan about it, Estate agents.

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    There is a particular individual residing at the top who seems to have a vice like grip on the organisation and who they cannot rid themselves of. They have embeded themselves within everything this failing organisation does and it shows. Time to get rid... if they dare.

  • Matthew Payne

    This malaise dates back to everything that changed when they rebranded to propertymark and fundamentally changed the nature of the organisations that clearly worked so well as separate entities. We are clearly not privy to the detail from the outside, but it led to losing their raison d'etre internally and as a result their kudos externally, no longer respected as they once were, the only credible, self regulating body that was worth talking to or hearing from in years gone by, but now at the back of the queue.

    Talking to a client this week about getting her lettings team trained and she asked me to present options on industry recognised qualifications, and propertymark level 3 TA was one included. Her feedback started with "Who are propertymark?", and "Where is the ARLA option?" It got worse after my explanation and she started having a look through their websites. The fact there are 5 and you go round in circles from one to another says it all about the coherence and identity of the organisation. She will need some convincing that this could be the best option. 5 years or so ago, it was the only option worth considering, yet it's the same course, the same qualification that it always has been. Not a good place to be.


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