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Changes at Countrywide as senior Directors depart

Bob Scarff is stepping down from his role at Countrywide, while Nick Dunning has already left the firm.

PROPERTYdrum

countrywide_logoThe Managing Director of Estate Agency is stepping down, while the Group Commercial Director at Countrywide has already left the company.

Bob Scarff, Managing Director of Estate Agency, who has over 37 years’ estate agency experience, will step down from his position at the company in the coming weeks.He started his career as a Trainee Negotiator at Taylors estate agents in 1978, when the company was under private ownership, and became the Managing Director of the UK’s largest estate agency network.

A press statement from Countrywide said that Scarff, who will step down on 29 May 2015, “intends to pursue his own personal ambitions outside of the Group”.

nick-dunning-countrywideNick Dunning (left), Group Commercial Director, has stepped down from his role at the firm, having been with Countrywide for seven years, most notably building the lettings business.

The press statement from Countrywide added, “Nick is leaving the company to pursue other thingsat the end of April 2015”. This effectively means that he has already left the firm.

Both businesses will report directly to Alison Platt and Chief Financial Officer Jim Clarke in the interim.

alison_platt_countrywideAlison Platt (right), Chief Executive Officer, Countrywide plc, said, “Both Bob and Nick have built tremendous foundations in the Countrywide group and enabled us to look forward with great ambition. We wish them both well as they enter the next phase of their careers.”

Meanwhile, Countrywide has said that the upcoming General Election is having an adverse impact on the market causing transactions to fall in the first half of this year.

A trading statement from the company issued last week said: ‘It is widely anticipated by market commentators that the market will recover in the second half of the year following the General Election and this will be a key determining factor in the Group delivering our expectations for the year.’

Countrywide saw total income come in at £154.2 million in the first quarter of the year, down 2 per cent compared to the same period last year, with the number of house exchanges overseen by the estate agency falling by 13 per cent to 12,976.

The biggest fall in transactions was witnessed in the London and premier market segment, with exchanges down 14 per cent in the year to 1,201.

The company continued to invest £14 million in the first quarter, however, diversifying the business in preparation for the market to pick up after the General Election.

May 6, 2015

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