John Phillips to become joint CEO of Spicerhaart

John Phillips to become joint CEO of Spicerhaart, the UK’s largest independent estate agency and financial services group.

Spicerhaart has announced that two of its directors will take over the helm as joint CEOs.

National operations director John Phillips and group managing director Antony Lark will start their new roles with immediate effect. They will be supported in their new roles by owner and current CEO Paul Smith, who is moving into a new position as the company’s Executive Chairman.

Mr Smith set up the business with his father Alick in 1989 and has transformed it into one of the top performing property services businesses in the UK, with a £140m turnover.

John Phillips is currently responsible for Just Mortgages which he has grown from 100 brokers to 650 since he joined the company in 2015. He also runs surveyor, Valunation, Spicerhaart Corporate Sales and Spicerhaart Part Exchange. He will continue to run all of these divisions while Antony Lark will continue to run the estate agency and lettings side of the business.

Prior to joining Spicerhaart and Just Mortgages in 2015, John Phillips spent 23 years with Kinleigh Folkard and Hayward.

Antony Lark joined Spicerhaart in 2013 as Just Mortgages’ managing director, having previously been with Countrywide for almost 17 years. He became Spicerhaart’s group managing director in 2019.

On announcing the new appointments Paul Smith said:

“This strategic decision marks a new era of leadership and reflects our continuing commitment to growth, innovation and digital transformation.

“Both Antony and John have a proven track record and complementary skills and they are the ideal candidates to lead our company.”

In the past eight years John Phillips has launched a number of new services into Just Mortgages, introducing self-employed mortgage advisers and a new client services division to ensure every client is contacted at least annually. He has also established a new build arm and set up Just Wealth, incorporating wealth management, pensions and investments to ensure that the company can look after ever part of a client’s financial needs.

Just Mortgages now has over 650 advisers, with a back-up team of 75 trainers, compliance and administration staff.

John Phillips to become joint CEO of Spicerhaart

John Phillips

John Phillips says:

“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved, transforming our financial services and surveying businesses and ensuring that our teams are fully compliant and process-driven.

“We’re now very focused on growing both our number of employed and self-employed finance specialists and our wealth division.

“I feel very honoured that Paul – an industry legend – has entrusted the running of his business to Antony and me, as we too, are great believers in supporting others to come into the industry and helping them fulfil their dreams.”

John Phillips to become joint CEO of Spicerhaart

Antony Lark

Antony Lark, who is celebrating a decade with the business, explained:

“John and I have always worked closely together and we see this as an amazing opportunity to continue the great work that Paul has done in developing the Spicerhaart family.

“Over the last few years, Paul has spent a lot of time in educating us in the finer details of the business, giving us a very rounded knowledge of all aspects, and he will continue to provide strategic decisions as we move the business forward.

“We have been working on some very exciting plans to grow our partnership model, particularly in lettings where we have very successfully trialled the model of employed staff members based at home.”

Paul Smith added:

“I will continue to play a very active role in strategic, financial and digital decision making but will also offer extensive support to the wider team, our executive board and our main board in the process.

“I believe very strongly in rewarding those who have consistently gone over and above in helping to make Spicerhaart the great success that it is today and we have a dynamic duo in Antony and John, who both have strong backgrounds in financial services and will lead the business to new heights.”

Spicerhaart has seven agency brands – haart, Chewton Rose, Felicity J Lord, Darlows, butters john bee, Haybrook and Howards. It also operates Just Mortgages, Valunation surveyors, Spicerhaart Corporate Sales and Spicerhaart Land and New Homes.


Kindly shared by Spicerhaart