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Written by rosalind renshaw

In the wake of Peter Bolton King’s resignation as chief executive of NFoPP on Friday – the same day that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Hector Sants, head of the Financial Services Authority, also gave notice – questions about the future of the body itself have been raised.

Tellingly, despite a number of tributes to Bolton King, not one appears to have come from either the NAEA or ARLA presidents, nor from their counterparts at ICBA and NAVA, the other bodies under the NFoPP umbrella.

So far the only official comment has come from Mark Hayward, chairman of NFoPP, and who is also president elect of the NAEA.

Hayward will be stepping in as acting CEO of NFoPP after Bolton King’s imminent departure on April 5.

The move once again underlines the worrying lack of succession planning at the trade body.

It echoes almost exactly what happened the last time the chief executive of the NAEA left.

When Hugh Dunsmore-Hardy departed, the then NAEA president Julie Westby became acting chief executive for several months while his successor was sought.

In Bolton King’s case, it would appear from Hayward’s initial statement that even the case for having a chief executive, and if so, of what, is up for discussion.

Hayward said on Friday: “As chairman of the board, I will be handling the chief executive responsibilities from April whilst it is decided how the role should look in the long term.”

Meanwhile, the role of the NFoPP board itself as it makes big decisions on its own future will come under close scrutiny – despite the directors’ silence so far.

Those on the board are as follows (the brief information in brackets has been put there by us, is not intended to be comprehensive and is widely available on the internet):

Aidan Reed (estate agent, whose firm is Aidan J Reed, Leicestershire)

Janine Hytch (estate agent who is a director of Arnolds, Norwich, and who is NAEA vice-president)

Michael Toogood (estate agent, London, founding partner of Square Mile which was sold last year to Thamesview, and which he still heads)

Jane Ingram (head of lettings at Savills, and president-elect of ARLA)

Tim Hyatt (current president of ARLA and head of UK lettings at Knight Frank)

Mark Hayward (property consultant who is chairman of NFoPP board, president-elect of NAEA. He ran the national estate agency operation of a major high street bank, TSB)

Susan Fitz-Gibbon (London letting agent with her own eponymous lettings business, and vice-president of ARLA)

Simon Gerrard (London agent, managing director of Martyn Gerrard. The firm was highlighted in a Mary Portas TV programme)

James Neal (partner in auctioneering and estate agency firm Neals, in Suffolk)

Wendy Evans-Scott (current NAEA president, and branch manager for Hamptons, in Epsom, Surrey)

Lucy Morton (past president of ARLA, and partner at London firm WA Ellis)

Charles Smailes (former NFoPP chairman; auctioneer and partner at Harrogate firm of Feather Smailes Scales)

Christopher Brown (former NAEA president, long-standing estate agent who now runs Sowter and Brown in Derby).

Peter Bolton King is currently also on the board as company secretary and chief executive. He is now on holiday but hopes to be able to announce his next move within a fortnight.


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    Toogood's views on estate agency

    • 25 April 2012 14:09 PM
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    Word on the grapevine Mr.Toogood is employed by Knight Frank!
    So along with Mr. Hyatt the NFOPP board is dominated by Knight Frank employees!
    Is this why the NFOPP 'Agreement' publication shows Mr. Toogood as working at a non existent agent with his gmail address as a contact address?
    If this is the case why hasnt this been revealed?
    If this is the case why does Agreement show incorrect details for a board member?
    If this is the case Mr. Hyatt must know and be complacent with the false publication?
    If this is the case would two colleagues on the board be a fair voting system?
    If this is the case would there be conflict of interest?
    If this is the case would subscribers wish for this to be the case?

    • 21 March 2012 10:30 AM
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    I know who it is. I can feel it in the ether.....

    • 20 March 2012 16:26 PM
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    "NFOPP has no future by looking at the links and comments associated with one of its board members"

    I dont know who you mean. I will guess - if I am right, would that be Toogood to be true?

    • 20 March 2012 16:25 PM
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    NFOPP has no future by looking at the links and comments associated with one of its board members. Agents are paying for this association & disrepute

    • 20 March 2012 13:58 PM
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    I am really with you on this one.Every single year that my ARLA membership comes up for renewal,I ask myself whether it is worth all the hassle time and money.Most of my competitors are not regulated and I reckon that only about 20% of the new clients that I see have ever heard of ARLA,let alone what they actually do!

    • 20 March 2012 07:46 AM
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    For a long time now there have been huge questions of the validity and value of the NFoPP and the relevant 'sub-divisions'. With so many major questions being addressed surely this is the perfect time to undertake a comprehensive member survey.

    This should not be one of these 10 secomd 'market analysis' tests but should be a comprehensive investigation in to what memebers generally think about all aspects of their associated bodies and the umbrella of the NFoPP.

    It should cover vital topics such as value for money, public awareness, agendas, etc. I think I speak for most members when I say that I am bitterly disappointed in the NFoPP as a whole but would love to see them deliver on my/our expectations and to become the organisation we all want them to be. One that champions its members and that is recognised and understood by the public.

    I think it is also vital that a fresh group of directors and execs are brought in to see this orgaination in to the future with a common goal and mission statement.

    I am fed up with receiving email about member discounts for printing and cars and courses as well as the invisible PropertyLive that since launch has delivered just 1 lead to my company in all this time.

    These are not services I look for from the NFoPP I want them to raise public awareness, highlight the benefots if using a member agent, highlight the great work done by members and fight for the rights and perception of us both inside and outside the industry.

    For once, can they listen to the general mood and realise that, unless they take serious action and actually listen to members, then they are doomed to soon become extinct.

    Anyone with me on this?

    • 19 March 2012 17:52 PM
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    'Mystic Mikes top tips" - really? Surely he didn't honestly write that. :)

    • 19 March 2012 17:12 PM
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    I think this thread explains why some of the directors wish to remain anonymous.

    I bet some are less than happy with EAT for naming them. Nevertheless, its extremely interesting - some are really astonishing. I bet Mr Toogood wishes it he was still anonymous - I still don't know who he is, but the links were most amusing!

    • 19 March 2012 17:02 PM
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    @ haha etc

    have you looked at agreement magazine? michael toogood says he is at john hollingsworth - this company doesnt exist it would appear - it is now dexters - note also he has a gmail rather than an estate agency email address!! i.e. he perhaps he is an arla board member that doesnt make the membership of arla criteria!

    how can arla tackle any wider issues when their own house is a shambles?

    • 19 March 2012 15:52 PM
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    Yes, bang the drum more positively for members, not bang on so much in a negative way (my view) by concentrating too much on non-members and their activities.

    • 19 March 2012 15:43 PM
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    Ray - noted. However my point was that ARLA should be publicly and loudly lobbying Government as this would be to the benefit of regulated members - much goes on behind the scenes, but is unsung - I wasn't suggesting Government influence ARLA or its policy. In so doing, gthey would be sending out a strong consumer (aka customer) message that could only benefit their members and raise awareness of the issues and the organisation.

    My suggestion is that NFoPP should perhaps encourage a united message with RICS, NAEA, NALS, Law Society and engage the consumer groups who have been so enthusiastically supporting SAFE in the absence of a single, consumer message.

    • 19 March 2012 14:57 PM
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    "........and a thorn in the side of those opposed to regulation and consumer protection......".

    I have agreed with much of what you say, here and prevously, but: the Association should sort itself out - any government interference in free enterprise is undesirable.

    Regulation - yes but regulation that protects the good professional members from those who are not - surely that is ARLA's main purpose, by providing training, advice and rules of membership. Those that digress should be immediately publicly shamed in their local press and membership terminated.
    Consumer Protection - Yes, very important but not the major priority that seems to be happening within NFoPP. The individual memberships problems should come first.



    • 19 March 2012 14:05 PM
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    Sad indictment of an ARLA board members company from the new head of Customer service - who, afterall, is from Dexters!!!

    "Whilst we might not be able to help on all previous issues, moving forward we are bringing the level of service up to a much higher standard and I am confident that you will see a change in service levels."

    • 19 March 2012 12:43 PM
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    I have learned from experience, its very easy to criticise - but to do so anonymously carries little weight.

    If people want to change the NFoPP Board - get involved. Ok, I may not be in their top 10 favourite members, (you can even add a couple of noughts) but at least I have said it to them directly. Its damned hard work trying to please everyone and such things take up much time for little personal or company benefit.

    I respect what they do and what they believe, I criticise the method.

    Yes, some members may seem anonymous, but if they were not they could be accused of milking the role for publicity. You can't win.

    NFoPP has a golden opportunity to mark Peter's departure by thanking him for his hard work and as a natural watershed and to instigate further change.

    There is a determination to bring about improvements to industry, and you only have to listen to our outgoing Presidential team and the Team elect to see that things are changing. Perhaps they are shackled by others - who knows. But there is a will.

    ARLA and NFoPP's weakness is in the way it promotes itself. It needs to be seen to lead more and comment on the actions of other as less of a priority.

    In fact, it needs to be a protagonist and a thorn in the side of those opposed to regulation and consumer protection. Further, it needs to join with others in combining forces rather than compartmentalising different organisations (and even themselves with licensed and unlicensed grades). All regulators ultimately want the same thing and need to stop competing.

    Good luck PBK. We may not have always agreed, but hey, who does agree with me. Nevertheless, you did so in the nicest way possible.

    • 19 March 2012 12:24 PM
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    @ heavens above

    this review and the comments has to be the best (and from arla board member)


    now we see where he might have got his Arthur Daily from (his own activities)

    • 19 March 2012 12:16 PM
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    Whilst enjoying a nice cup of coffee, I searched All Agents for reviews of the ARLA board members companies.

    Our ranking is 5 star. Check out some of theirs.

    And they represent the industry!!!

    • 19 March 2012 12:07 PM
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    That link was simply hilarious - and has brightened my day. I have met Toogood and can hear him saying it

    The best bit is 'Mystic Mikes top tips!"

    1. Industry will learn to live with sale turnover of less than half (His company's and Thamesview's cut price fees dont help)

    2. Lettings is the value driver.

    3. Relentless pressure to reduce costs

    4. Acquiring prospective purchasers will consume all marketing $ (????)

    5. Fundamental change in delivery mechanisms - can big portals adapt? (Better then your company Mike)

    6. Disappearance of marginal portals

    7. Increased regulation

    8. Tesco's

    Mystic Meg eat your heart out

    • 19 March 2012 11:50 AM
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    @astounded - that link is unreal.

    "Value to the applicant not the vendor"

    That is TRULY astounding!

    And as for the Arthur Daley 'slur' - OMG


    • 19 March 2012 11:38 AM
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    Michael Toogood - I worked for him. I wonder how many Employee Tribunals he was involved in! His company was a little 'shady' with Square Mile doing OK and propping up the failing John Hollingsworth - plus a number of failed companies behind him and a couple of 'resurrected' companies...


    • 19 March 2012 11:34 AM
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    @ astounded

    That is amazing - and hillarious - many thanks

    The ARLA board member that pictures 'typical estate agents' as Arthur Daily and recommends 'firing people'

    a true property professional!

    • 19 March 2012 11:08 AM
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    @ Rocky

    Quick Google search throws up more interesting info:


    • 19 March 2012 10:59 AM
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    Good point Michael. The board directors, who by the way are democratically elected by us, the NAEA/ARLA etc members, annually (did you not all get your nomination form by email last week for this year's elections?), give of their time and expertise free of charge in addition to their own jobs. Presumably because they care about the future of our industry - can't see any other reason for them shouldering this thankless task.
    Sure its easy to snipe anonymously from our laptops, but I might just put myself up for it and see what the job entails. Anyone else? Or is it just easier to sit back and have a pop at those who we (those of us who actually looked at the nominations, that is) have put there....?

    • 19 March 2012 10:57 AM
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    @ astounded

    perhaps he is not eligible to join let alone be on the board?

    Am I Eligible To Join?
    Membership of ARLA is open to individuals practising in residential lettings & property management at an agency.
    Are you a reputable and professionally qualified letting agent, tell the public and prove it with ARLA membership

    • 19 March 2012 10:53 AM
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    The last I heard Michael Toogood has ceased to head the company formally known as Square Mile and is no longer consulting for Thamesview?? Surely this should be reflected in this article as well as the NFoPP info?

    • 19 March 2012 10:48 AM
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    Michael Toogood no longer heads Square Mile apparently
    Look at Square Mile on Allagent
    The future of ARLA......................................

    • 19 March 2012 10:39 AM
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    After taking note of the various comments and suggestions posted since last Thursday it is my view that before the board comes out with 'guff' about the future and tries to move on they should tell the membership the REAL reason for PBK's resignation. It is not acceptable that someone, who was privy to everything, if it is to be classed as "confidential". Members have a right to know.l

    "Amicable" so the board knew how long ago? Was it delayed until renewals were received? Less than 3 weeks notice from one who is top of the pile and "committed”? Then on holiday until his last few days. There is something very wrong here.

    I also believe that the formation of the NFoPP to amalgamate the NAEA & ARLA was “empire building" by those in charge at the time. It has been a disaster and was opposed by many leading figures in ARLA. It may have worked if, as was said, the NFoPP was to be just a combined administration to save costs with no self promotion.

    However, I wish any new brooms stiff backbones and/or new directions good luck, they will need it.

    • 19 March 2012 10:31 AM
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    @michael - The Safe group seem to have done OK and they are all pretty busy people. I know its nothing like the same size as NFoPP, but proper delegation, areas of responsibility, decision making would negate much of the time required.

    Instead of a Board running things, get the members to make the decisions through a democratic vote.

    If you engage with your members, then the time taken to form policy and approve it decreases and the promotion of it through the engagement of stakeholders would increase exponentially

    • 19 March 2012 10:12 AM
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    I think a lot would volunteer for ARLA service IF they felt their voices would be heard. At the moment, the gentlemens club feel would prevent many of the really dynamic people doing so.

    I also feel that a number of people exist who really could make a difference, but without naming names, they are probably blackballed for having the 'front' to stand up to the NFoPP establishment in the past.

    someone mentioned SAFE members - but they are already permanently on the NFoPP naughty step - which is a shame.

    • 19 March 2012 10:07 AM
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    Sorry to disappoint the rumour mill, but there is nothing sinister in my being away on holiday this week. It was booked 11 months ago and is the same week as last year! Can I also take the opportunity to thank the many readers of EAT who have posted their thanks and best wishes.

    • 19 March 2012 09:51 AM
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    It must be pretty hard to run your own business AND be a dynamic director of anything let alone NFOPP. Please don't knock these guys unless you would, in principle, be willing to give up time when you should be running your own ship.

    Even if I lived close to wherever they have their board meetings I must admit that work, social, family, parish council & other altruistic demands on my time mean I would NOT volunteer to be a director of NFOPP. Would you?

    • 19 March 2012 09:48 AM
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    Sell 49% of Property Live to a private equity firm to raise some money and then challenge Rightmove!!!

    The rest of the show will then get some teeth too perhaps

    • 19 March 2012 09:44 AM
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    A bit of Googling over the weekend for NFoPP and resignation certainly threw up some interesting reading. Stewart Lily, Ruth Lily, Chris Wood, Ros Renshaw.

    Lots of issues to sort out I think

    • 19 March 2012 09:31 AM
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    If this were a Government, it would be night of the long knives.

    With ARLA, it will be the year of the long knives, subject to verification from the sub committee

    • 19 March 2012 09:14 AM
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    Cabal - synonym - ARLA - [kuh-bal] , verb, -balled, -bal·ling. noun. 1. a small group of secret plotters (or is that Potters?)

    Either way - the Board need to be open, transparent and stand up and be counted.

    • 19 March 2012 08:57 AM
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    I think NFoPP have 2 choices. Change or die. I suspect it will prove to be a slow death unless they start bringing in some new blood. They need people who have opinions, ideas and can lead. People who can makes changes happen and who have personalities and profiles.

    I was at the ARLA conference and there are many who fit the bill but who seem disillusioned.

    I think even some board members who are NOT members of ARLA would help.

    I liked PBK, but the creation of NFoPP was and is a disaster.

    • 19 March 2012 08:51 AM
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    NFoPP missed an opportunity when SAFE was launched. Whether you like the idea or not, they isolated themselves when so many other voiced support. It made them seem petty and churlish

    Then there was licensing - a system which confused customers even more as some members had PI, CMP, etc and some did not. This devalued the brand.

    Then there was 'the leaflet' telling landlords to only use an ARLA agent - as an NAEA agent I was incensed at our sister organisation shafting us in this was despite us being under the SAME umbrella. It cant have exactly pleased RICS.

    At a time when bad news flooded the press, we needed a single voice to say that there were regulators who held consumer values at the heart of what they did. Instead this message was fractured at the expense of NFoPP's own members.

    They created 2-3 tier system of membership which confused everyone - including their own members.

    Then there are the relentless 'sales' emails flogging courses, products etc.

    Enough is enough. PBK did a good job and I respected him. I have not heard of the rest apart from Presidents and President elects.

    • 19 March 2012 08:41 AM
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    I agree with ARLA agent, but would add Lucy Morton into the mix.

    Amicable departure? PBK leaves in a few weeks and is currently on holiday?

    NFoPP is a waste of time and near anonymous - ARLA still has hope but as said before, they need some new blood - people who can get column inches, have strong views and wont be ruled by committees chaired by dinosaurs.

    It seems the new breed is being stifled and held back by the old and this MUST change before its too late.

    Jane and Susan will be taking over when moral is at a nadir. They need strong voices to back them, not faceless muddlers. I have been in ARLA and NAEA for over 20 years, and I have never heard a peep from any of the board other than those mentioned below. Ever.

    • 19 March 2012 08:30 AM
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    They are in my prayers.

    • 19 March 2012 08:25 AM
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    Other than James, Tim, Sue and Wendy, there rest are of little benefit. Tim and Wendy's tenure is near their end leaving the NFoPP with just 2 modern, hands on notable members of the board.

    Change or die NFoPP. You need some new, dynamic, modern voices from people who aren't afraid to stand up and be counted and people who get things done and make decisions.

    Frankly, there are members of SAFE who fit that bill and ARLA in particular needs to embrace this concept and learn from what they have achieved in such a short space of time rather than sit in judgement in way not seen since Nero passed the time whilst the city burned.

    • 19 March 2012 08:22 AM
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