Spicerhaart Appoints Joint CEOs To Replace Paul Smith

L-R: John Phillips, Paul Smith, and Antony-Lark

Spicerhaart has announced that two of its directors will take over the helm as joint CEOs.

Group managing director Antony Lark and national operations director John Phillips will be supported in their new roles by owner and outgoing CEO Paul Smith, who has become the company’s executive chairman.

Smith set up the business with his father Alick in 1989 and has transformed it into one of the leading property services businesses in the UK, with a £140m turnover.

On announcing their appointments he said: “This strategic decision marks a new era of leadership and reflects our continuing commitment to growth, innovation and digital transformation. Antony and John both have a proven track record and complementary skills and they are the ideal candidates to lead our company.”

Lark, 50, joined Spicerhaart in 2013 as Just Mortgages’ MD, having previously been with Countrywide for almost 17 years. He became Spicerhaart’s group MD in 2019.

John Phillips, 59, spent 23 years with Kinleigh Folkard and Hayward before joining Spicerhaart in 2015.

Lark, who is celebrating a decade with the business, explained: “John and I have always worked closely together and we see this as an amazing opportunity to continue the great work that Paul has done in developing the Spicerhaart family.

“Over the last few years, Paul has spent a lot of time in educating us in the finer details of the business, giving us a very rounded knowledge of all aspects, and he will continue to provide strategic decisions as we move the business forward.

“We have been working on some very exciting plans to grow our Partnership model, particularly in Lettings where we have very successfully trialled the model of employed staff members based at home.”

Phillips has launched a number of new services for Spicerhaart, introducing self-employed mortgage advisers, client services, new build, and wealth management, incorporating pensions and investments. Just Mortgages now has over 650 advisers, with a back-up team of 75 trainers, compliance and admin staff.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved, transforming our financial services and surveying businesses and ensuring that our teams are fully compliant and process driven,” said Phillips. “We’re now very focused on growing our number of self-employed finance specialists.

“I feel very honoured that Paul – an industry legend – has entrusted the running of his business to Antony and I as we, too, are great believers in supporting others to come into the industry and helping them fulfil their dreams.”

Smith added: “I will continue to play a very active role in strategic, financial and digital decision making but will also offer extensive support to the wider team, our Executive Board and our main Board in the process.

“I believe very strongly in rewarding those who have consistently gone over and above in helping to make Spicerhaart the great success that it is today and we have a dynamic duo in Antony and John, who both have strong backgrounds in financial services and will lead the business to new heights.”

As well as its seven agency brands – haart, Chewton Rose, Felicity J Lord, Darlows, butters john bee, Haybrook and Howards – the company also operates Just Mortgages, Valunation surveyors, Spicerhaart Corporate Sales and Spicerhaart Land and New Homes.

Paul Smith steps down as CEO of Spicerhaart

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