Purplebricks co-founder Kenny Bruce returns home to oversee UK sales

Purplebricks has confirmed that co-founder Kenny Bruce is back in the UK looking after the business here.

The move has been confirmed the week after a profits warning from Purplebricks.

Bruce has been spending months in Australia where Purplebricks is among agents enduring an extremely tough market.

Its Australian CEO, Ryan Dynsdale, left last November and was replaced by Neil Tavender, a former executive with Rightmove.

Changes made to the business in Australia include a new charging model, where sellers pay half the fee upfront and the rest when the sale goes through.

On February 21, Purplebricks announced a profits warning, saying that although it expected the UK business to meet expectations, its Australian and US businesses would not.

At the same time it announced the departure of UK CEO Lee Wainwright and the appointment of  Vic Darvey as interim CEO in the UK. Darvey is also the global chief operating officer for Purplebricks.

The departure of US CEO Eric Eckardt was also announced with Kenny Bruce’s brother and co-founder Michael taking over the day to day running of the business, which charges sellers on completion.

In the UK, the presence of Kenny Bruce could fuel speculation that, as in the US and Australia, there may be a change of charging model.

Yesterday, a Purplebricks spokesperson told EYE: “As co-founder and global sales director, Kenny Bruce has operated across all our territories and has recently spent considerable time in the US and Australia.

“He is currently focused on overseeing all aspects of UK sales.

“As Purplebricks continues to improve customer experience, Kenny brings vast energy and expertise in the UK housing market and will be supporting Vic Darvey, Purplebricks’ group chief operating officer and interim UK CEO, who recently joined the business from MoneySuperMarket.com.”

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34 Comments

  1. 40yearvetran08

    Failed in US and Aus. Come home to fail here. Hey but what a great ride he has had along the way. Wish I had thought of it!!

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    1. ansesyb18

      perhaps the purple bricks are crumbling down! did they not do the same to the old burchell edwards brand years ago!!!

       

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      1. JVSOZ

        In January 2018 at Sydney Australia, Michael Bruce stood in front of a room of about 200 LPE’s, viewing assistants and suppliers and ranted how they were now on the way to becoming as big as the likes of Amazon, Airbnb etc… with slides showing as such with all the logos on the projectors depicting maps of world domination. He also claimed they made their money to start PB by selling their chain of extremely successful high street agencies for a handsome profit, and then ironically used that money against the traditional agents to conquer the industry in the UK.

        Those were the good old days- Market Cap then of about 1B

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        1. PeeBee

          And then their purple world got got hit by the asteroid that will forever be known as Codling51.6, that was 99.9999% going to reduce their statistical *********** to ashes.

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  2. Hillofwad71

    Sporting Ken returning home keen to attend all home matches at his football club Larne FC who are riding high at top of the league in sharp contrast to the share price of Bricks
    Upset the natives in Oz and the property  community  when awarding prizes to the LPEs for pressurising sellers to reduce prices in New South Wales so probbaly not very welcome there Cut back his racing string  with Mick Quinn mind to 1 horse so maybe he is planning to concentrate on the day job 
    Princess Harley Mick Quinn 0 wins   Total earnings  £300.Make out of that what you will

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    1. NotAdoctor32

      Mick Quinn should never be allowed near a horse again, he’s a disgrace. 
       
      As for PB, I think it shows the standards of the general public in the UK when people reject the business so quickly overseas but they didn’t here.  Always someone willing to sacrifice service to save a few quid.  

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      1. Hillofwad71

        Well he was found guilty of neglect having left 3 horses in a paddock whilst away on holiday for 3 weeks Served a ban quite rightly .but put it down to being understaffed rather than wilful neglect

        The horses suffered from very mild rain scald and no permanant damage /No doubt  learned his lesson and by all accounts is a well run yard today. He would have felt the loss of Ken’s  string reducing   keenly who no doubt was getting plenty of stick for playing the lottery winner rather than getting on with the day job

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        1. Bless You

          NotaDoctor.. good point. I think its more that oz and US have got real trade bodies who stick together and the portals dont control the market so much..Bricks prosper becuase rightmove allow them to. PAYANYWAY should be criminal and rightmove will then apologise ( as should zoopla)

          and our trading standards are useless… in OZ they kick ass.

          its a bit like how trump got elected. If your willing to lie and mislead people the system cant catch you.

           

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  3. Robert May

    “Kenny Bruce back in UK ‘focusing on all aspects of sales’ after fire-fighting in Australia” are those fires out or are they now raging out of control and being allowed to burn themselves out?

     

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  4. JustPlainSavage04

    Surely an agent who sells three times more houses than any other agent doesn’t need this re shuffle?

    Just wave the white flag Purplebricks. Take your millions Kenny and Michael and save the emarrasssment before Christmas.

     

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  5. GPL

     

    Wow! ……they must be really short of LPE’s

    ”Hi I’m Kenny from Purplebricks …..give me a Grand and I’ll list your house on my Website….”

    ……sound of car driving off to next appointment.

     

     

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    1. NotAdoctor32

      This has made me giggle!  Cheers.

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    2. JVSOZ

      It really did feel like this when I worked there 😀

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      1. Ostrich17

        Did you always greet Kenny with a “G’Day Bruce!” ?

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        1. JVSOZ

          No, it was “G’Day Kenny!” and he likes a drink or 3 so a lot of “Cheers mate!” too.

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  6. Moveaside01

    My advice would be to stay out in Oz. You might as well fail in the sun rather than fall flat on your face in the wet and windy (UK)……….

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  7. Essjaydee51

    or maybe as a tax exile he is coming home for his allowed 3 months before he goes off to rescue Canada!

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  8. Countrybumpkin

    In fairness he never was a proper estate agent. They just professed to be proper estate agents. What the Bruce brothers were, were entrepreneurial men who saw a gap in the market, took it and what they should do now is enjoy their fruits and accept game over. The fool will keep trying to feed the elephant in a sand desert.

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  9. J1

    Tin Hat day Ros

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  10. Bigbee73

    Why don’t they just employ that RQ bloke, I know he may be slightly over qualified (?) but i’m pretty sure he’s available!

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  11. man perero

    The shareholders can breathe a massive sigh of relief ……. Having sorted out Australia , Kenny is coming back to the UK to impart his particular style and property wisdom to his teams!!! Michael is now doing the same in America …………….What could possibly go wrong?

     

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    1. JVSOZ

      Australia is a dead duck for them, so whatever he did hasn’t worked at all. 

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  12. Leespoon

    Purplebricks….. the Brexit of the Agency world….. zzzzzzzz

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  13. Property Pundit

    Fighting more fires than Red Adair!

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  14. smile please

    I was having a chat with a good friend last night, both of us are in the property industry but work in very areas. Both of us worked in financial services in the past and again very different areas.

    PB came up in conversation, and we both agreed they are the bottom rung of the ladder in regards to service and that the public are mad for using them.

    We agreed the marketing is great which is why they have got to where they are (marketing themselves NOT property).

    I then proceeded to have a pop at their share price and although he agreed its madness that PB are at X where CW is Y he also pointed out that looking at other ‘Property’ listed businesses they are performing better than most. Which i guess he is right which is a bit of a worry!

    He also gave some pretty good points of why we are heading to another financial crisis which scared the heck out of me but bit deep for a Friday morning!

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    1. dave_d

      Smile, don’t think for a second that a stock price is reflective of how successful a company is performing.

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  15. WiltsAgent

    Well 2 months into 2019 and given they will have smoked another £10m or so since 1st Jan no wonder he’s back. He needs to find another investor/mug with very deep pockets to keep the show on the road beyond the summer.

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  16. AgencyInsider

    At Purple Towers, with the arrival of Kenny, and the news that they will have to be clearer about referral fees, I bet they are bricking it.

    See what I did there? 🙂

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  17. Thomas Flowers

    So what happens if you buy/merge with a major conveyancing business?

    Would you only have to declare a much smaller LPE referral commission then?

    Coincidence?

    https://www.propertyindustryeye.com/mega-merger-of-conveyancing-firms-will-create-stand-out-powerhouse-market-leader/

     

     

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  18. Woodentop

    Has someone had to leave OZ or runaway? Has someone had to come back to the UK because the warning is that the big purple elephant is about collapse and some very strong minded and influential investors want answers to questions? Has the whole sorry saga of the purple circus reached a point that has been looming for some time … its has failed as a going concern for many years and teetering on going under? The market is imploding and the only way forward for PB is a rising market? The emporia has at last been seen with no clothes.

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  19. estate_agent_one

    Michael and Kenny Bruce are the industry’s biggest frauds taking millions from investors and taking advantage of loyal employees and LPEs on a dream while they sold millions in shares and hired family members and friends from the pub, putting them in roles in each market. In the last 12 months alone they pushed Purplebricks stock lower on sales for personal gain. Their booze party is over and the purple ship is sinking.  They try to buy loyalty, but that has faded, at least in the UK. Kenny is full of air with no substance while Michael is awkward at best, trying to play his global role but is lost. At least he got new teeth 🙂

    https://www.afr.com/real-estate/residential/purplebricks-cofounders-michael-and-kenny-bruce-sell-44m-of-shares-20180423-h0z4oc

    https://www.propertyindustryeye.com/its-pay-day-bruce-brother-set-to-cash-in-over-17m-from-purplebricks-share-sales/

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    1. jackobabe70

      Do you know Michael, Kenny and these “mates”?

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