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Cheffins announces new strategic framework

Monday 23 January 2017

Market-leading multi-disciplinary property and auctioneering business, Cheffins, has announced a new corporate framework in order to accelerate its growth within the markets in which it operates.

Cheffins will be intensifying its focus on the estate agency, rural consultancy, commercial property and machinery sectors, where it will be positioned for long-term leadership, ensuring the firm retains its status as a key player within these spheres. 

Following an outstanding legacy of over 192 years in operation, Cheffins has undertaken the necessary changes in order to ensure that the business is sufficiently robust and progressive to meet the challenges which will be presented over the next five years and beyond. The firm’s new five year plan includes a number of major strategic choices around growth, profitability and efficiency, whilst maintaining its core values of customer service, loyalty and integrity at the forefront of any changes.

With the purpose to provide a greater business focus through all of Cheffins’ unique range of services, the firm has made a number of changes to its management framework. Simon Gooderham and Philip Woolner are have been announced as joint Managing Partners, with each concentrating on different areas of the business. The role of Chairman will continue to be held by William King.

New divisional heads have also been announced; Mark Peck is now head of the Residential Department; Jonathan Stiff leads the Rural Professional Department; Philip Woolner is continuing to lead the Commercial Property team; Bill Pepper is heading up the Machinery Department whilst Jonathan Law continues in his role of head of Fine Art.

William King, Chairman, Cheffins comments:

“No one could have predicted the year we saw in 2016. With a new prime minister, the Brexit vote and Trump’s election, to say that there are challenges ahead would be an understatement. However, against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty, each department at Cheffins has risen to the challenge and has seen some notable achievements throughout the year. To name but a few, estate agents in our residential offices continue to be market leaders in each of the towns and cities in which we operate; the commercial property team has grown in strength and reputation; the planning team is leading some of the largest developments in the region and our rural team have sold more farms in 2016 than it has seen for many years, despite a land market which is stalling following the Brexit vote. With industry-leading talent driving the core of our business and creating further separation from our competitors, it is triumphs such as these which are keeping Cheffins at the forefront of the market.

"In reality, Brexit has brought both its challenges and its opportunities. Whilst it has caused an element of uncertainty in the residential and commercial property sides of the business, we have been relatively unaffected due to the strength of the Cambridgeshire region and have spent time reassuring clients of the resilience of the property market. Conversely, Brexit has actually been profitable for the machinery and fine art departments. The fall in sterling has led to an increase in sales for both of these areas of the business, with dealers, exporters, collectors and end users looking to make the most of relative savings to be made on purchases. Both Fine Art and Machinery are the global side of the business and this has been an opportunity which our auctioneers have capitalised on with record sales following the EU Referendum.

"Cheffins has always had the ability to face challenges head on, whatever the political or economic landscape. I am pleased to say that the new strategic framework which has been put into place will allow us to continue to expand the business and to ensure we are in the position to adapt expeditiously and efficiently to the challenges which will no doubt come our way. However, as one of the most established businesses in the region, the power of the brand and the strength and momentum of the business gives us confidence in our ability to capture and harness the opportunities ahead.”

The announced changes have also given way to a number of promotions throughout the firm. Including Ben De’Ath, Edward Barker and Christina Harris being promoted to Associate, whilst Ian Kitson has been promoted to Departmental Director following their contributions to the firm in recent years.

Photograph: Left to right: Philip Woolner - Managing Partner, Simon Gooderham – Managing Partner, William King - Chairman