Comings & Goings

Former head of office at Savills Cirencester launches new estate agency 

Sebastian Hipwood

The former head of office at Savills Cirencester, Sebastian Hipwood, has launched a new estate agency.

Hipwood, who has worked in the estate agency sector for more than 15 years, is now co-founder of Blue Book Agency, which was launched by country house specialist Lindsay Cuthill – also previous of Savills, having worked as head of their country house department.

Hipwood said: “I am delighted to be part of the Blue Book team and contribute to the creation of a unique agency that combines the expertise of industry heavyweights with a personal and bespoke approach to service. Blue Book aims to transform the sales process, ensuring a deeply personalised experience for clients as we guide them through the sale of their beautiful family homes.”

Cuthill added: “I couldn’t be happier that my good friend Sebastian Hipwood is joining The Blue Book as my business partner. Sebastian and I have worked together for more than 14 years, and our professional relationship has evolved into a genuine friendship.

“This solid foundation of trust and friendship forms the basis of our new venture together. His energy and enthusiasm perfectly complement our shared ambitions to become a leading property agent, catering to the best-in-class properties regardless of price or location.”


The FIA appoints Simon Gates as non-executive Director

Simon Gates

The Federation of Independent Agents (FIA) has appointed industry consultant Simon Gates as a non-executive director.

The appointment will see Gates work closely with CEO and founder Graham Lock at a senior strategic level.

Lock said : “Simon’s appointment is a progressive step for The FIA. He brings a strong independent estate agency background plus experience gained from Homesearch and more recently from operating his own, successful consultancy business. His mentality and skillset suit the modern estate agency era and will be extremely complimentary to the next phase of our growth and development.”

Gates will continue his successful consultancy business whilst working with The FIA.

Gates commented: “I’ve always been a huge fan of The FIA and the calibre of its members. Graham & I have forged a great relationship in recent years and see eye-to-eye on the future of the industry and what a great agency network looks like. It was an easy decision for me to accept this exciting role and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of The FIA’s future.”


Crest Nicholson’s Duncan Cooper to resign as finance director

Duncan Cooper

Crest Nicholson has received notice from Duncan Cooper, group finance director, that he will step down from the Board and his existing role.

Cooper joined the group in 2019 and has been instrumental in the firm’s transformation during that period. He has been described as a ‘highly valued member of the board’ throughout the last four years, and a strong and dynamic leader of our business.

Cooper will continue in the role until January 2024 to ensure a smooth completion of the group’s year end audit, and a transition to his replacement. The Board is commencing a process to appoint a successor.

Iain Ferguson, chairman said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Duncan for his significant contribution to Crest Nicholson over the last four years and we wish him every success in the next stage of his career.”

Peter Truscott, chief executive, commented: “I would like to thank Duncan for his dedication, professionalism and contribution during his time with Crest Nicholson. Duncan has played a critical role in the development and transformation of the business and leaves the Group with our thanks and best wishes.”

Cooper added: “It has been a privilege to have worked at Crest Nicholson and I would like to thank all my colleagues in the business for the support they have given me. I wish Crest Nicholson every success for the future.”



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