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High profile agency chief steps down after 40 years in the business

The group chief executive of south east England’s largest independent agency is retiring.

David Lench of Arun Estates has revealed that he is to step down this summer after nearly 40 years’ service. He is succeeded by his almost equally long-serving right hand man, Aldo Sotgiu, currently the group’s managing director of operations.

Making the surprise announcement to managers and staff yesterday, Lench said:“As you can imagine, this has not been a decision that has been easy to make, but two years ago I decided the time was approaching when I would pass the reigns over to Aldo. 

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“I have worked with him for much of my career and am totally confident that there will be a very smooth transition, with the continued success of the company assured. I wish Aldo every success and would ask you all to support him in the way that you have helped me over the years”.

Lench’s final day will be Wednesday June 30, although he says he will continue his involvement with Arun, overseeing the business on behalf of chairman Paul Rooney.

His departure announcement came as he revealed initiatives to mark Arun’s 30th anniversary this month. 

There is to be major rebranding and a three-year refurbishment programme for all 100-plus offices in the group’s principal operating companies – Wards in Kent, Cubitt & West across Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, Douglas Allen in Essex and East London, and Pittis on the Isle of Wight. 

To mark Arun’s winning of the Gold Award from Investors in People, the rebrand will feature the addition of a new premium gold colour to all marketing materials and websites. 

Also announced was investment in new communication and IT systems, augmented training and what the company calls “a significant further boost to staff morale through improvements to holiday and other conditions of employment” - plus a 30th anniversary bonus.

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