The veteran estate agent who led criticism of Countrywide’s former management is turning his glare on Foxtons.
The London estate agency has been the subject of mounting criticism for its ‘fat cat’ culture.
It has awarded chief executive Nic Budden a £1m bonus and boasted of takeovers of other agencies, while at the same time taking £7m of state handouts from taxpayers in the shape of business rate cuts and furlough money.
Now Robin Paterson, the veteran agent who has founded investment group Catalist Partners, is on the warpath about Foxtons.
He says it needs to return to its glory days as an entrepreneurial FTSE 250 company and go-to London agency for the wealthy.
In a letter sent to Budden last week, Paterson said that benchmarking compensation to a FTSE 250 company was reasonable only if it was matched by financial performance.
Catalist has built a two per cent stake in Foxtons and says it’s been trying to engage with the agency’s management team, having written to the company twice this year – in February and on Tuesday last week.
A spokesperson for Catalist told Estate Agent Today it wants “to try to get the management to amend its strategy” as they believe it is significant undervalued relative to its potential.
Their main concern is that they “do not believe the management’s current strategy will allow Foxtons to regain lost market share and halt the underperformance versus its peer group” EAT has been told.
Paterson has most recently been co-chairman and co-owner of UK Sotheby’s International Realty but has held senior positions in the past with Hamptons International, Cluttons and Barnard Marcus.
Catalist was instrumental in the downfall of the ‘old regime’ at Countrywide in the past two years, acting as a critical investor. However, it failed in a bid to win overall control of the agency which was ultimately taken over by Connells.