RICS member agents have been sent an email by chief executive Sean Tomkins confirming that 140 staff have been made redundant as the 152-year-old institution moves to “substantially reduce its operating costs”.
Signed by Global CEO Sean Tomkins (left), the email says the redundancies, consultations about which began two months ago, anticipate “a significant reduction in commercial revenue, the action we are taking puts us in a better position to maintain our financial resilience, without the need for raising professional fees, whilst protecting our reserves given the ongoing economic uncertainty”.
But agents have been in contact with The Negotiator to register their unhappiness that the confirmed job-cuts weren’t mentioned at RIC’s annual AGM ten days ago, which was attended by 636 members during an online event.
As one RICs agent put it: “This announcement is fortuitously timed the week after the RICS online AGM, thus avoiding the opportunity for questions”.
They are also annoyed that while so many employees have been made redundant, board members have so far only taken voluntary pay-cuts of 15% and senior managers 12.5%, which were revealed in July when six regional offices were closed.
Last year Tomkins earned £510,000 including a base salary of £253,753.
A 15% cut is below both Rightmove and OTM, whose senior teams took a 20% salary cut during the worst months of the lockdown.
In the email, Tomkins thanks the departing staff for their professionalism and contribution, but also reveals that RICS is moving to a ‘digital first’ delivery of its services.
“We will be digital first, but not digital only; investing to bring you an engaging experience that places knowledge and competency at its heart, supported by face-to-face activities where appropriate and feasible,” he says.
The Negotiator has contacted RICS for comment.