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The snow balling woes of CountryWide PLC high street estate agency

Country Wide PLC the largest so called high street estate agency woes continue snowballing

Two more key people are leaving Countrywide  CIO Oliver Skagerlind and unsurprisingly public relations manager Christine Webb. Last week Online estate agent CIO, commented on their in-house tech team , growing rather than leaving.

Skagerlind joined in 2011 from Royal Bank of Scotland. His CV includes stints at businesses relying heavily on High street retail like Carphone Warehouse, he will be departing in March. Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone [pictured below] has , also invested heavily in online estate agent

Sir Charles Dunston 

Webb joined three and a half years ago from Connells high street estate agent where she was a PR executive at Countrywide until last Friday.

The chief executive Alison Platt currently at Countrywide CEO who has been under-performing since her appointment  at the helm.18 months ,
shares dropped sharply in early November last year .

CWD in freefall since May 2015 

Countrywide plc CW has been free-falling since June of last year , steered by a CEO, who is claimed to have never sold a property herself.

Grenville Turner chairman of CountryWide went walk about after rumbles within the board room , after the company flouted corporate governance guidelines by promoting him from CEO to Chairman, to the disdain of many investors.

The departures follow on from a string of employees leaving the firm , analysts have pointed to the public's preference for the growing in numbers and strength of online estate agents.

Business Model 

No physical presence [online estate agents ] online business model allows estate agents to drastically reduce operating costs, viewings are carried out by the homeowner [or agent accompanied visit] , fixed fees rather than commission is charged on completion of let / sale property , cutting cost for landlord tenant and homeowners.
Interestingly  Andy Clark ,who held a key product development role at OnTheMarket [ [only listing high street estateagents] since the portal’s ill fated  launch , some 11 months ago, has moved over to becoming their head of product development.

CEO Alison Platt Like for Like ? or lost in translation ? speaking in July 2015

A CEO who seems to be completely out of their depth, contradicting everything said in prior statements.

Many of the key staff have left , during Platt tenure, of almost 18 months at the company.

"It is too early to predict what the trend in residential transactions will show in 2016 although approved mortgage volumes including owner occupiers ... in recent months have been ahead of the previous year, which is a positive indicator. Both our Retail and London business units enter 2016 with transaction pipelines ahead of the previous year. At this early stage we maintain our previous expectations for 2016"

Country Wide plc [CWD] shares rose on the news of  though  very vulnerable to market forces , with a CEO who is running out of excuses on performance and with investors.

whats  is interesting the trading results hark back to mortgage sales of 2014 before Alsion Platt Joined .

CWD buying a house builder and promoter of SMEs, makes good city headlines despite shares falling south since May 2015 last year.

Further Reading

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