Former Countrywide boss Alison Platt joins big City firm as new Chair

Platt famously stepped down from the board of Countrywide nearly six years ago after trying ‘to modernise too quickly’.

Hargreaves Lansdown head office.

Alison Platt, the former boss of Countrywide, is set to become Chair of investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, taking over from Deanna Oppenheimer.

Platt was at Countrywide for three years and five months from September 2014 and was at the helm during some of the estate agency’s most trying times.


When it was finally confirmed that Platt was leaving the agency in January 2018 The Neg reported City analyst Jefferies International being upbeat about Countrywide’s future prospects.

“We appreciate that to some the common or garden sales and lettings sector often looks rather old hat compared to some of the colourful hybrid agents, however, in our view, agency remains a people business,” it said.

“Countrywide, with hindsight, tried to modernise too quickly and in its desire to stay relevant in a fast-changing market, probably took the business backwards not forward.

“The intention of change was to create value and we should not be overly critical of management teams trying new ways of creating value.

“The key is that lessons have been learned and we believe today marks the first step of a new journey.”

On Platt’s new appointment, Buying Agent Henry Pryor posted to X: “Gosh, I hope Hargreaves’s Lansdown have read Ms Platt’s cv and noted her tenure at Countrywide.(sic)”

A tweet by Henry Pryor about Alison Platt joining Hargreaves Lansdown.


Platt has a wealth of City experience is also Chair of Ageas UK, sits on the boards of Tesco and Dechra Pharmaceuticals and is a former Managing Director of Bupa and has been a Non Executive DirectorNon Executive Director for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Alison Platt, Hargreaves Lansdown
Alison Platt, Hargreaves Lansdown

She becomes Chair of Hargreaves Lansdown at a crucial time and after the Financial Conduct Authority wrote a ‘Dear CEO’ letter to all investment platforms at the end of September highlighting interest payments accrued on customers’ cash balances.

Platt will take up the post, subject to approval, early next year.

Citywire reports that Platt’s appointment follows public criticism over the firm’s direction by founder Peter Hargreaves, who still owns about a fifth of the business, who was wary about increasing staff costs and money being spent on tech.

One Comment

  1. Platt was sacked in 2018, with a golden parachute of a salary, as Countrywide issued its second profit warning in three months, its shares fell to an all-time low. During her time at Countrywide the share price fell from 300 pence per share, to around 6 pence. She claimed in her interview process she would oversee a profits increase by a scale of 5; that did not happen. Maybe in her interview process with Hargreaves Landsdown she promised to increase profits by a scale of 10.

    My thoughts are that following the Woodford Investment debacle and the present decline in fortunes, Ms Platt would be a long way down the list of anyone that I would want near a business that needs original thought and key execution. Platt’s style is more execution of talent – and probably as at Countrywide there will be an exodus of talent leaving before they get pushed. I will watch the share price ticker on this company for sure.

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