Countrywide’s long-serving Chief Financial Officer Jim Clarke is to retire in July, making way for Himanshu Raja, who joins the company’s board on Monday and will take up position in August.
Jim Clarke (pictured, left), who has in the past also taken the role of media commentator for Countrywide and recently led a share placement of nearly £40m to fund the company’s hybrid estate agency roll-out, has been with the company since 2007.
His background before joining was in the hospitality and fitness sectors first at pub chain JD Wetherspoon and before that at David Lloyd Leisure.
His retirement comes almost exactly two years to the day since two of his former colleagues, Bob Scarff and Nick Dunning, resigned from the company just nine months after Group Chief Executive Alison Platt took the helm.
Clarke was also one of eight senior management figures who sold shares options worth millions in 2015 following the company’s return to the stock market in 2013, in his case worth £2.4 million.
He is being replaced by Himanshu Raja who until last year was Group Chief Financial Officer of security firm G4S where he earned £1.7 million a year. He has been on sabbatical since October last year after retiring from its board.
The Times described Raja’s departure from G4S as an “ousting” after he departed a few days after presenting G4S’s half-year 2016 results.
He started his career at accountancy firm Arthur Andersen before joining the telecoms industry and then IT giants Logica and Mysys before moving to G4S in 2013.
His background might point to CEO Alison Platt’s plans for the future; Raja’s CV says he has extensive experience in “restructuring, large-scale mergers and acquisitions, and building strong relationships with the investor community”.
Raja’s appointment will be subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority and he will serve as an Executive Director on the Countrywide board.
“I am delighted to welcome Himanshu to Countrywide. His skills, knowledge and experience are a perfect fit for the Group and will be invaluable as we continue to build our future,” says Alison Platt.
“Jim has been a stalwart in the Countrywide group for over 10 years and leaves the business in a strong position to build for its future in the coming years.
I have really enjoyed working closely with Jim, and will continue to do so as he hands over to his successor.”
Peter Long, Chairman of Countrywide, welcome Himanshu to the board and thanked Jim for his “dedication to the Group over many years. His knowledge and experience has served Countrywide very well and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”