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Agencies & People

Purplebricks’ new CEO delayed as AIM ‘appropriateness’ checks drag on

The estate agency says the appointment of Helena Marston is conditional upon the AIM-required due diligence checks being completed successfully.

Nigel Lewis

helena marston purplebricks

Purplebricks has delayed the appointment of its new CEO after ‘due diligence’ checks required under AIM London Stock Exchange rules have taken longer than expected.

On 10th March the agency revealed that its CEO Vic Darvey was to step down by the end of that month and be replaced by the firm’s COO Helena Marston.

Her appointment raised eyebrows within the industry because, like Darvey, she has no property industry track record and instead comes from an HR background.

Purplebricks has now said that her appointment has been delayed while the checks are completed.

‘Appropriateness’

These checks are primarily to assess whether a person is ‘appropriate’ for the director role to which they are being appointed.

The AIM guidance for Nominated Directors, whose role it is to check new appointees, is that: “The Nomad’s judgement regarding the appropriateness of a company listed under AIM has a crucial role to play in maintaining the quality of the market.

“Accordingly, the quality of due diligence on AIM directors and the substantive judgements applied by a Nomad in assessing such information is vital.”

Proptech consultant and industry watcher Andrew Stanton (pictured) says Purplebricks should rethink its unusual approach to its senior team, namely that so few of them at the top have estate agency experience.

“Purplebricks future all hinges on once again fuzzy logic that ‘we will let someone who has never sold a property in their life as an agent run the show.’

The firm’s share price initially rallied on the news that Darvey had left, but has been losing momentum over the past week.

April 4, 2022

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