Double disaster! Countrywide COO in waiting decides not to take up job

first_imgProblems at Countrywide increased somewhat publicly last night following the disclosure that Bruce Marsh, who had initially accepted the role of Chief Operating Officer, will now no longer be joining the business.Marsh had also accepted the position of Executive Director on the company’s board, leaving the senior team with two roles to fill.The decision by Marsh to not take up his job at Countrywide is unusual to say the least, particularly as it has been just over five months since his appointment had been announced.Working noticeMarsh (picture, above) had been working his notice at his original employer, Tesco where he was its UK and Ireland Finance Director.The announcement has put a significant spanner in the works at Countrywide where Marsh’s arrival was part of a succession planning strategy to find fresh blood.  Marsh had been pencilled in to report directly to Group Managing Director Paul Creffield.In a statement to City investors, Countrywide gave no indication why Marsh has decided not to join the company, although the announcement’s timing is significant, coming just a day after LSL revealed it was not planning to make an offer for Countrywide.Many within the industry and the company have concluded that Marsh didn’t want to join a business that is weak enough to see a rival like LSL consider making a bid to buy it and was probably worried by a company whose share price has dropped by over 80% in three weeks.At the time of his appointment, Marsh told the media that: “I am excited to join Countrywide and to help them with the next stage of their strategy.” Bruce Marsh LSL Countrywide March 18, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 18th March 2020 at 9:34 amBeing a Real Estate Analyst is often akin to looking into a crystal ball! But on the 17th of October 2019 I posted the following on my Linkedin account …‘Following the recent (announcement of the imminent) arrival of Bruce Marsh to steady the wheel at Countrywide, whose share price dips below 4p, it was good news that Countrywide had done something new. But, it was potentially bad news Bruce’s very successful career to date, appears to lack any experience in the property sector, unless home DIY can be counted and of course Dixons.I do hope that in the words of Britney they have not ‘done it again’ as Countrywide had previously installed a CEO the infamous and long-departed Alison Platt whose background was also anything but estate agency.During her four-year reign there was a 90% drop in the company’s share price. At least with the current share price at 3.9p, no-one can really harm the present fortunes of the company.True Bruce and Dave Lewis as a double act turned the fortune of Tesco around, following a programme of redundancies and re-modelling.But, the difference between Tesco and the Behemoth of Countrywide, is that Tesco when turning its fortunes around was in the top three of retailers in the world, Countrywide sadly is not in the same league as many of its competitors.The jury is out on whether it can survive, (as an ex-employee I hope it does) or it will have a programme of asset stripping and be consigned to history as yet another example of ‘big business’ failing to adapt to the realities of the ‘click generation’ who want service, and brands that deliver.Less than a week later, and Countrywide welcome on board another face from Tescos, Amanda Rendle.Actually Amanda Rendle’s background may well be useful, with a past including HSB, Masthaven Bank? (yes the experimental one) and currently a non-exec of The Royal Mint and Keep Britain Tidy, she may have access to copious funds – which CW desperately need, and if there is a rout, then at least she can help clean up the mess.It does astound me why the strategy at the top is – get someone from the outside of the industry to solve our problems and calm the stock market – Alison Platt – prime candidate – property industry knowledge zero – MD of Bupa – that was a good fit.Here is a suggestion – why doesn’t CW put together a ‘think tank’ (I know very 1960’s) of estate agents – and move the company forward that way. Where can they find these calibre of people with industry knowledge? – well – there are thousands of them in their business and if the look at the people they ‘let go’ in the past 60 months there is probably enough top talent there to make a start.My thoughts – share price will implode in Spring 2020, when CW looks for another life saving injection of cash, and then piece by piece CW will be sold off. Thoughts?’So, there you have it I was four months ago predicting the end of Countrywide in the Spring, and I think we are fast approaching that point, as to the share price, it was 305p on the 28th of Feb, (there was a re-calibration of the share price) but it has dropped to 56p yesterday – an 81% drop in just over a fortnight.Will others now do the honourable thing – resign or will they be pushed – that is about the only unknown factor that surrounds Countrywide at the moment, unless of course there are any other Tesco employees on the horizon.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Double disaster! Countrywide COO in waiting decides not to take up job previous nextAgencies & PeopleDouble disaster! Countrywide COO in waiting decides not to take up jobJust a few days after LSL decided not to make an offer on the company, Countrywide’s soon to be new Chief Operating Officer decides not to join.Nigel Lewis18th March 20201 Comment4,524 Viewslast_img read more

Prince William opens new China Centre building at St Hugh’s

first_imgThe Duke of Cambridge was at St Hugh’s College this afternoon to open a new £21m China Centre library, hours after Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess is expecting their second child.The Duchess was due to join her husband in the traditional Chinese ribbon cutting ceremony, but had to withdraw as a result of severe morning sickness.Prince William arrived at the college around 1.30pm, greeted by a large crowd that had started gathering an hour before.The Duke abated the curiosity and concerns of well-wishers with a few words about his pregnant wife, explaining, “she is feeling ok. It has been a tricky few weeks or so but we basically are thrilled. It is great news. It is early days, we are hoping things settle down and she is feeling better.”[mm-hide-text]%%IMG%%10163%%[/mm-hide-text]After meeting benefactors and friends and supporters of the college, he was given a tour of the new library during which he was shown the Selden Map of China. Recognised as the earliest map to show shipping routes linking Ming-era China to markets in South Asia and beyond, it underwent major conservation work in 2008 and was exhibited in China earlier this year.A plaque was then unveiled, which bore the name of the Duke and Duchess, despite the absence of the latter.[mm-hide-text]%%IMG%%10160%%[/mm-hide-text]Prince William then cut the ribbon in a traditional Chinese ceremony, before departing just after 4pm.The Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building – the library’s full title – cost a total of £21m, and was named after Hong Kong philanthropist Mr Dickson Poon CBE, who donated £10m towards the cost of the building.A statement on the College website explains, “This building will, for the first time, bring together academics drawn from across a range of disciplines, who have in common research and teaching interests related to China.“The building will also provide 63 en-suite student bedrooms, a 100 seat lecture theatre, dining area and a range of conference and seminar facilities.  It will also contain a dedicated library with study carrels and a reading room, which will provide a permanent home for books from the Bodleian Library’s China Collection.”[mm-hide-text]%%IMG%%10161%%[/mm-hide-text]St Hugh’s principal Dame Elish Angiolini announced, “St Hugh’s is extremely proud to have raised £20 million for this new development, and we are confident that through continued fundraising we will soon have the total amount needed. We are immensely grateful to our donors for helping us to provide such attractive, modern facilities for the students, Fellows and wider community at St Hugh’s.”Media attention was understandably far greater than anticipated following the announcement of the royal baby. The college’s Head of Communications and Marketing, Kate Pritchard, tweeted, “A pleasure to meet HRH The Duke of Cambridge today @StHughsCollege #Oxford. He spent so much time speaking to staff, students and visitors.”last_img read more

Did you miss these stories from Bayonne?

first_imgFunding for all-day pre-k may be heading to Bayonne as part of $25 million in earmarked funds from July’s state school funding agreement that netted Bayonne an additional $2.9 million. While those funds are vital, all-day pre-k remains a major priority for the district, which saw its pre-k funding slashed by half a million dollars last year. School districts were notified last week of a looming August 21 deadline, leaving the Bayonne Board of Education (BBOED) a short window to come up with a plan. While any additional funds are more than welcome in the long-starved Bayonne school district, the burning question in the minds of the school administration is whether the funds will cover the costs of an all-day pre-k expansion while very little space is available in current facilities. Districts that receive the funds are required to begin the all-day pre-k programs by November 1. Click here for more.Bayonne’s plans to revitalize parks across the city are chugging along. The Bayonne City Council this month approved a $1.7 million contract to Picerno-Giordano Construction to begin improvements on Dennis Collins Park at the southern tip of Bayonne. In addition, the “Raise the Roadway” project includes $2 million from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for improvements to the area around the Bayonne Bridge. The improvements are expected to be completed by winter and will proceed in phases, starting near the bridge and finishing at Gorman Field. City officials are also beginning preliminary discussions on a linear park underneath the Bayonne Bridge. At Dennis Collins Park, tennis courts will be resurfaced, and a new volleyball court will be constructed. The fitness stations in the park will see new exercise equipment, and much of the old playground equipment throughout the park will be replaced. The two dog parks will be combined into one, with resurfacing, new equipment, and new dog water fountains. An underused bike park that consists of ramps, boxes, and rails was torn down this month to make way for other park improvements. City officials said the park was rarely used in recent years, because it was not maintained and was primarily used by BMX bikers. With the construction of an excellent concrete park merely a stone’s throw from the old bike park, BMXers should be satisfied. City officials said that later phases of construction also may allow for a new bike park, or adding onto the new concrete skate park. Click here for more. ×last_img read more


first_imgA funeral service was offered June 7 at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Secaucus for Jeanne DeGenova, 79. She passed away June 4 at her home, surrounded by her family. Born in Jersey City to the late John Henry and Marie (Gugel) Holsten, Jeanne lived in North Bergen for many years before settling in Toms River. She was an avid drum and bugle corps fan, and was a mom to many other children as a chaperone in the Meadowlarks and Royal Brigade Drum and Bugle Corps. Predeceased by her brothers John and Robert Holsten, she is survived by her husband, James DeGenova, Sr.; daughters Lynda Machel and husband Norman, and Laura Beckmeyer and husband Brian; son James Jr. and wife Lynda; brother James Holsten; sisters Kathleen Kolendriski and Sharon Holsten; and grandchildren Brian Jr. and Amanda Beckmeyer, Jamie and Emily DeGenova, and Eric and Joanna Machel.Services arranged by the Mack Memorial Home, Secaucus.last_img read more

Press release: Jail time to double for assaulting an emergency worker

first_imgChris Bryant MP, who laid the Private Members Bill, said: The growing tide of attacks on emergency workers – including ambulance workers, NHS staff, fire officers, prison officers and police – is a national scandal. All too often attackers get away with little more than a slap on the wrist. I hope this new law will help put a stop to that attitude. An attack on an emergency worker is an attack on all of us and attackers should face the full force of the law. Now it is for the prosecuting authorities and the courts to play their part in putting a stop to the violence, so that emergency workers can get on doing their job in peace. maximum sentence for assault against them to double from 6 to 12 months in prison courts must also consider the strongest penalties for other offences against emergency workers Assaulting prison officers or any emergency worker is not just an isolated attack – it represents violence against the public as a whole. Every day these public servants do extraordinary work on our behalf, and they must be able to do it without the fear of being assaulted. Our message is clear – we will protect our emergency services and violence towards them will not be tolerated. I’d like to thank Chris Bryant MP, and other colleagues from across the House for their tireless work introducing this important law. Physical assaults remain a fact of life for many healthcare workers, from A&E to community services. This bill is the first step towards changing that for good. From now on, anyone who wilfully assaults a healthcare worker will feel the full force of the law and can expect a tougher sentence if found guilty. The RCN has campaigned tirelessly for this law. Our negotiations have ensured it covers as many healthcare workers as possible, including community and district nurses, and alongside other emergency workers’ representatives we successfully expanded the scope of the bill to include sexual assault. Kim Sunley, National Officer at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: Assaults on emergency workers: Rory Stewart statementIndividuals who assault or attack emergency workers face longer jail terms as a new law backed by government receives Royal Assent today.A new offence will double the maximum sentence from 6 to 12 months in prison for assaulting an emergency worker. This covers police, prison officers, custody officers, fire service personnel, search and rescue services and paramedics.The new law will also mean that judges must consider tougher sentences for a range of other offences – including GBH and sexual assault – if the victim is an emergency worker.Ministers have acted to recognise the debt of gratitude the public feels towards our emergency services, and for the courage, commitment and dedication they show every day in carrying out their duties.Justice Minister Rory Stewart said: Being attacked should never be part of the job for our courageous emergency services workers, who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. This law will ensure judges can properly punish those despicable individuals who think it’s acceptable to assault these hard-working men and women. Unfortunately I hear about cowardly attacks on police officers and firefighters all too often – they serve as a constant reminder of the threats that these public servants have to face, and this government will always stand with our emergency services. Notes to editors Recent years have seen an increase in assaults on emergency workers, with 26,000 assaults on police officers in the past year and over 17,000 on NHS staff. Assaults on prison officers rose by 70% in the 3 years to 2017, with an 18% increase experienced by firefighters in the past 2 years too.There is already a specific offence for assaulting a police officer, but for the first time similar protection will be extended to anyone carrying out the work of an emergency service. The law also provides extra protection to unpaid volunteers who support the delivery of emergency services.The government worked closely with Chris Bryant MP, who introduced the Bill, to draft the legislation and ensure its successful passage through Parliament. Following its Royal Assent today, the measures will come into force in November.Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said: The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill will create a new offence of assault against an emergency worker in the exercise of their functions with a penalty that is increased from 6 months to 12 months. The Bill also creates a statutory aggravating factor. This means that when a person is convicted of a range of offences including sexual assault, ABH, GBH and manslaughter, the judge must consider the fact that the offence was committed against an emergency worker as an aggravating factor meriting an increase in the sentence within the maximum allowed for the particular offence. The Bill will cover emergency workers, this includes police, prison officers, custody officers, fire service personnel, search and rescue services and certain healthcare workers including ambulance personnel. Whereas attacking an emergency worker could previously see a charge of common assault and maximum sentence of 6 months in jail, this will be increased to 12 months. Attacking a person serving the public is already an aggravating factor in sentencing guidelines but this Bill will put that position on a statutory basis for emergency workers. The Justice Secretary is also bringing through a range of measures to protect prison officers, including rolling out body worn cameras, ‘police-style’ handcuffs and restraints, and trialling PAVA incapacitant spray.last_img read more

New Apprentice category at Tiptree World Bread Awards

first_imgThe winner of the category will be named Tiptree Patisserie Trainee Baker 2017.If you are an apprentice baker or studying to become a baker, the new Apprentice category, sponsored by Tiptree Patisserie, offers the chance to prove yourself.“We are really delighted to support this category,” said Daren McGrath, managing director of Tiptree Patisserie. McGrath conceived the idea after a day’s judging at the 2016 Awards.He added: “At Tiptree Patisserie, we take the training of young people very seriously and I feel it’s really important the Tiptree World Bread Awards have a dedicated category to recognise the hard work and talent of that sector, which sits between young enthusiasts and professional bakers.”Entrants should apply through the Tiptree website.last_img

Research suggests new avenues for attacking ALS

first_imgHarvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Harvard University and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have found evidence that bone marrow transplantation may one day be beneficial to a subset of patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disorder more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.ALS destroys the neurons connecting the brain and spinal cord to muscles throughout the body. As those neurons die, patients progressively lose the ability to move, speak, eat, and breathe.The mouse-model study, published this week in Science Translational Medicine, suggests the most common genetic mutation associated with ALS plays an important role in not only the nervous system, but also the blood and immune systems.“The point of our paper was to determine the function of this gene and what it normally helps to do in the body,” said lead author Kevin Eggan, a professor in Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB) and an HSCI principal faculty member who has been studying ALS for more than a decade. According to Eggan, one way to better understand the gene is to catalog what is missing or goes awry when it is “knocked out,” or inactivated.The scientists found that mice without a functional copy of the gene C9ORF72 had abnormally large spleens, livers, and lymph nodes, and got sick and died. Mice with one working copy experienced similar but less severe changes.“I realized immediately that the mouse knockout had immune dysfunction,” said Leonard Zon, a professor in HSCRB, after seeing the preliminary data at an informal presentation.The research team predicted that the gene mutation would affect neurons, but the finding that it also inflamed other cells, namely those involved in autoimmunity, was “unexpected.” With input from Zon and immunologist Luigi Notarangelo of Boston Children’s Hospital, the team decided to change direction and further explore the gene’s impact on the immune system.First author Aaron Burberry, a postdoctoral fellow in the Eggan lab with a background in immunology, designed an experiment to test whether providing the sick mice with cells capable of making new immune cells via a bone marrow transplant would help.Knockout mice that received a bone marrow transplant lived on average 43 days longer, weighed more, and had a greater number of blood platelets throughout their lifespan.“The mice seemed to get better,” said Eggan, though he stressed that the bone marrow transplant did not wholly rescue the animals, suggesting that there may also be functions of C9ORF72 in other organs.Whether or not anti-inflammatory drugs or bone marrow transplants help ALS patients has been studied and debated for years. “When doctors look for autoimmunity and inflammation in ALS patients there have been confusing and conflicting views,” Eggan said. “Some people find it, others don’t.”Historically, clinical studies have tested the general ALS population, likely without accounting for the variety of gene mutations that gave rise to individual cases. More than 100 distinct mutations in any one of 20 genes can contribute to ALS.“Most people have their own private mutation that is making them sick,” Eggan said, which makes developing therapies particularly complicated. He believes clinical trials could be redesigned to test the effects of bone marrow transplantation on particular subpopulations of ALS.last_img read more

FairPoint Communications launches wholesale E-Line services for Vermont, NH, Maine

first_imgConsolidated Communications,FairPoint Communications has announced its release of Carrier Ethernet products specifically designed for the wholesale market.FairPoint’s E-Line service is now available to its wholesale customers who are authorized to provide services in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. FairPoint has made its new E-Line services of Ethernet Private Line (EPL) and Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) possible by significantly investing in its communications infrastructure and technology to bring these and other broadband services to northern New England. FairPoint’s new fiber-based, high-capacity network ‘ called VantagePoint(SM) ‘ offers its wholesale customers a better, faster way to connect to their customers.”Offered on our state-of-the-art VantagePoint(SM) network, FairPoint’s Carrier Ethernet services bring unparalleled reliability and service,” said Michelle Hymson, assistant vice president of wholesale services. “Coupled with service availability in hundreds of its central offices, FairPoint’s reach far surpasses other wholesale providers in northern New England.”FairPoint encourages its wholesale customers to contact their account team to review E-Line services and its other high-bandwidth solutions or visit is external) for more information.About FairPoint CommunicationsFairPoint Communications, Inc., (NASDAQCM: FRP) ( is external)) is a leading communications provider of high-speed Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other broadband services to customers in communities across 18 states. Through its fast, reliable network, FairPoint delivers data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. VantagePoint(SM), FairPoint’s resilient IP-based network in northern New England, provides business customers a fast, flexible, affordable Ethernet connection. The VantagePoint(SM) network supports applications like video conferencing and e-learning. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at is external). You can also connect with FairPoint on Twitter ( is external)) and Facebook ( is external)).SOURCE FairPoint Communications, Inc. CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —last_img read more

CUNA calls for higher remittances exemption threshold

first_imgThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s remittance transfer exception is too low and unintentionally harming consumers by forcing providers out of the market, CUNA wrote to the bureau Friday. The letter was sent in response to the CFPB’s review of its remittance assessment.“We believe the rule has also clearly resulted in unintended harm to consumers,” the letter reads. “The harm is generally in the form of decreased availability of remittance services and/or increased prices where such services are available. The price increase is due in part to an increase in compliance costs under the current rule as well as a decrease in competition among remittance transfer providers.“Competition has decreased because of providers intentionally limiting remittance transfers to remain below the safe harbor threshold as well as former providers exiting the remittance market entirely because of its failure to remain economically viable,” the letter adds.CUNA called for CFPB to raise the safe harbor threshold to entities providing at least 1,000 remittances annually, up from the current 100. 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Fighting change is the folly of seniority

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Heather Anderson Heather Anderson is co-founder of OmniChannel Communications, a marketing company that serves fintech and asset/liability management firms. Previously, she was executive editor of Credit Union Times. She has more … Web: Details Christmas is almost here and thank god. I can’t take any more of this Baby, It’s Cold Outside bickering.Where do I stand in this argument? I agree that yes, the lyrics of Baby should make people cringe. Does it describe date rape? It sure sounds like it. And if not, it’s about a young woman who is saying no when she really means yes. Neither scenario is acceptable.Now, that said, just because times have changed doesn’t mean we need to condemn the past. It’s easy to self righteously apply today’s values to the reality of life for past generations and declare that we never would have stood for such things. Those who take such positions have their hearts in the right place but lack the perspective of time.Still, that doesn’t mean we need to cling to a song that no longer represents our values because we’re sentimental. It’s time to put this one on the shelf. Baby was written in 1944. A lot has changed since then. Back in 1944, drinking and driving was still legal and lobotomies were frequently used to cure homosexuality and female hysteria. It was legal to beat your wife in many states, and date rape wasn’t even a thing yet.I prefer Big Band music to today’s Top 40 and wish everyone still ate from backyard Victory Gardens, but for the most part, I think life is better today and I embrace it. I’m also excited for what’s yet to come.That wasn’t always the case. I used to loudly sing the baby boomer and Gen X chorus that bemoaned the snowflake millennials, what with their incessant preaching against rape culture, their need for meaningful work in entry level positions and their childish safe spaces. I scoffed at their perspective. After all, GenXer feelings were never validated in childhood. Our home life was unsatisfying, to use that iconic line from The Breakfast Club. We worked our way up, grinding away for years doing thankless work for crappy pay. And we turned out just fine.Or did we? I wonder. According to new research released by the CDC this summer, suicide rates for people in middle age are higher than almost any other age group in the U.S. and rising. The suicide rate for women aged 45 to 64 jumped nearly 60% between 2000 and 2016 and for men of that age, it increased 37%.For those of us still living, many seem to just be going through the motions. Not nearly enough of us are living our best lives, as the kids say on the Instagram machine.When change makes us uncomfortable to the point of anger, that’s a sign that it’s probably long overdue. We often feel anger because a situation triggers painful feelings of rejection, abandonment or shame, and anger is easier to deal with than those emotions. Anger at someone or something rarely has anything to do with them. It’s all about us.What does any of this have to do with credit unions? As middle aged leaders, we need to be more willing to sing along to the millennials’ kinder, gentler song sheet. We also need to open our eyes to the way they are using technology to change everyday life.This year, one of my clients reshuffled executive duties and my primary contact changed from a GenXer to a millennial. Wrapping my head around that was difficult, I admit. Kind of like the first time you go to the doctor and the person in the white coat looks like Doogie Howser. (Millennials: Instagram star Neil Patrick Harris got his start on that relic called “network television.” It was all we had, by God, and we liked it.)At first, I bristled at his preferences for infographics and the way he organizes content. But then I put my ego aside and looked at the end result. It was better. I mean, really, really good. Huh, go figure.The next time you find yourself bristling at change, take a moment to think about why it bothers you. Are you really opposed to change? Or is it your wounded ego talking? Are you refusing to consider flexible work schedules because they really wouldn’t work, or because you’ve spent your entire career showing up in the office at 7:30 a.m. on the dot, so everybody else should, too? Are you fighting new checking account structures because that’s not what your members want, or is it because it’s not what you want? When younger people push for change, they may foolishly condemn the past. But that doesn’t mean their ideas are completely foolish. Let’s use our wisdom to openly and thoughtfully consider change. Together, we can create a more fulfilling world for everyone.last_img read more