Paul Smith Steps Down As CEO Of Spicerhaart

Paul Smith

Paul Smith, 62, will be relinquishing the role of CEO at Spicerhaart, having founded the business in 1989. He will announce who will be filling his shoes imminently.

The head of the UK’s largest independent estate agency is taking on a new role as executive chairman of the business in order to focus on the company’s ambitious plans to drive growth through acquisitions, Partnerships and digital innovation.

Smith started in estate agency when he was 24 years old when he launched East Anglian estate agency Brewsters, having originally worked as a photographer for the national newspapers. His father Alick joined the company a year later.

They founded Spicerhaart with three branches in East Anglia in 1989, before acquiring part of Cornerstone in 1995 and Woolwich Property Services in 1999, which was renamed haart.

Further acquisitions followed, with Darlows in Wales in 2000, Haybrook in South Yorkshire in 2007, butters john bee in the Midlands in 2017 and Howards in Norfolk a year later. Along the way, Felicity J Lord was established in London in 1998 and upmarket brand Chewton Rose in 2013.

“Although it is an extremely challenging time to be in estate agency, it is also very exciting and I’m looking forward to working with my team and focusing on growing the business through our Partnerships model, as well as acquiring new businesses and embracing the opportunities that AI brings,” said Smith.

He is taking over from non-executive chairman John Spence CBE, who recently retired after 12 years in the role, ushering in a new era for Spicerhaart.

Smith continued: “I learnt so much from John and he will continue as a consultant to the business, with us both contributing strategic and financial knowledge to support the running of the organisation.

“So much has changed in estate agency over the last four decades and we have always tried to stay ahead of the game when it comes to technology, but I repeat my mantra that this business is about ‘people powered by brilliant tech’ and we have seen repeatedly that vendors want to know there are real people who can get their house sale over the line, not an avatar!”

The company’s new plans include further development of its separate Estate Agency and Lettings Partnership programmes, with fully-employed home-based agents supported by larger branches and regional property centres, backed up by three call centres across the UK.

The firm also operates Just Mortgages, Valunation, Spicerhaart Corporate Services and Spicerhaart Land and New Homes.

It also has its own children’s charity, Magic Moments, which has raised well over £2.5 million over the past 25 years to take children from hospices across the UK to Disneyland every year, to experience a trip of a lifetime.

The charity – founded by the Smith family, including Paul’s father Alick, mother Val and sister Alison – has also donated hundreds of toys, Easter eggs and iPads to the hospice families over the years.

Smith added: “We are also looking at further organic growth as well as acquiring more lettings businesses, growing the number of self-employed financial advisers with Just Mortgages, and introducing a new conveyancing offering.

“Plus, importantly, we are identifying how we can give everyone in the Spicerhaart family more of a say in the future running and profitability of the business and developing our team further.”

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