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Countrywide stalwart stepping down after ‘years of dedication’


Countrywide’s chief financial officer Jim Clarke is to stand down.

Clarke is retiring at the end of this year, and will be succeeded by Himanshu Raja, who joins the Countrywide board on Monday.

Clarke has been with Countrywide since 2007 and recently led a share placement of almost £40m to fund the group’s roll-out of its hybrid estate agency venture.

He was with Countrywide when it returned to the stock market in 2013 – netting him £2.4m when he sold share options two years later.

His successor Raja was group chief financial officer of security firm G4S where he earned £1.7m.

He has been on sabbatical since last October. The Times said he was “ousted” from his position. His appointment at Countrywide, where he will be an executive director, is subject to the approval of the Financial Conduct Authority.

Countrywide CEO Alison Platt said: “I am delighted to welcome Himanshu to Countrywide. His skills, knowledge and experience are a perfect fit for the group as we continue to build our future.”

Peter London, chairman of Countrywide, thanked Clarke “for his dedication to the group over many years”.

Countrywide has also announced a raft of internal promotions.

Professional services director Paul Chapman has been promoted to managing director of Countrywide’s business to business division, with responsibility for the group’s successful surveying, conveyancing, asset management, and land and new homes businesses.

Chapman joined the Countrywide Group in December 2011 and has over 20 years’ experience in the property sector. His new role also sees him join the executive team, which has overall responsibility for the strategic direction of the Group.

The promotion means Paul Creffield will now focus on the commercial side of Countrywide’s business.

Also promoted to the executive team is Grant Dempster, chief risk and compliance officer. Dempster has been with the business since April 2015 and also assumes responsibility for the group’s legal department.

Paul Bridge also joins the executive team, taking on the portfolio for IT, procurement and programme management.

The new appointments join the existing Countrywide Executive Team consisting of Alison Platt, Jim Clarke (CFO), Kate Brown (Group HR Director), Sam Tyrer (MD, Sales and Lettings), Paul Creffield, and Peter Curran (MD, Financial Services).

The changes come into effect on July 1.

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Source:: Countrywide stalwart stepping down after ‘years of dedication’