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.