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Our board

The brains of the operation

Jeff Blood

Group Chairman

After 10 years working as an Accountant for Shell Jeff decided that corporate life was no longer for him. He went on to develop his skills in a variety of privately owned companies including local commercial radio, economic regeneration, manufacturing, venture capital, tourism and a contract catering business. He has also been involved with several charitable and community organisations as a Non-Executive Director.

Jeff started working with IAM Sold as Finance Director in 2012, the role has really excited and challenged him with so much to do to build the business foundations that now underpin our success. After nearly five years of frenetic activity, he was ready to step down at the end of 2016 and hand over to the next generation. Jeff now chairs the Board of Directors’ monthly meetings.

Ben Ridgway

Group Managing Director

Ben Ridgway is the Managing Director of iamproperty. Ben co-founded the group with Jamie Cooke and has overseen its expansion from a primarily Auction focused business into other markets such as Conveyancing and Compliance. Ben’s main role is to explore new opportunities and develop the businesses digital strategy by focusing on investing in and developing technology based solutions that allow property professionals to enhance their proposition and profitability.

Ben recently received recognition for his hard work by winning the coveted Scale Up Entrepreneur of the Year award in conjunction with Jamie Cooke. Ben is originally from the Lake District and moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in 2004 where he completed a degree in Estate Management at Northumbria University which he completed with first class honours in 2008.

Ben met Jamie in their final year at Northumbria University while studying, initially going their separate ways but ended up working together at a Local Property Business based in Newcastle, this was where the idea of starting a white label outsourced property auction service was conceived. Ben enjoys spending time with his young family and occasionally, when allowed, likes to watch international rugby and socialise with Friends. Ben also runs the occasional Marathon and has successfully completed both the London and New York Marathons.

Jamie Cooke

Auction Managing Director

Jamie Cooke is a Director of iamproperty, focusing day to day as the Managing Director of IAM Sold. Jamie co-founded the group with Ben Ridgway in 2009 and has overseen its expansion from a primarily Auction focused business into other markets such as Conveyancing and Compliance. Jamie recently received recognition for his hard work by winning the coveted Scale Up Entrepreneur of the Year award in concurrence with Ben Ridgway.

Jamie is originally from Comber, N. Ireland and moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in 2003 where he completed a degree in Estate Management at Northumbria University which he completed with 2.1 honours in 2008. Jamie met Ben in their final year at Northumbria University while studying, initially going their separate ways but ended up working together at a Local Property Business based in Newcastle; following that the cornerstone to where the idea of starting a white label outsourced property auction service was conceived launching in 2009.

Away from the day to day running of the business Jamie has a wife and two young boys, he enjoys golf and water sports in the summer and loves to snow ski in the winter when time allows.

Eoghan Johnston

Group Finance Director

Eoghan Joined iamproperty in November 2016, instantly making an impact on the company’s financial direction as the Group Financial Director. Eoghan is a qualified accountant who studied at Newcastle University taking part in their pioneering ‘flying start’ degree course, a collaboration between Newcastle University, PwC and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

On leaving university, he joined PwC, where he completed his professional training. Eoghan enjoyed a variety of roles and experiences with PwC before moving into industry as part of the sale of Tekmar Energy Limited to private equity investors Elysian Capital. Eoghan played a key role throughout the growth and diversification of Tekmar, which culminated in his achievement of the Accountant of the Year 2016, awarded at the North-East Accountancy awards.

Upon joining iamproperty, Eoghan added: “I immediately saw something unique about the group, and knew I could bring a lot to the table. I am excited by the opportunities and challenges of joining such a vibrant and rapidly growing SME. The foundations have already been built across the North of the UK and the Midlands, and the plans to further expand in the South mean there is real potential to realise the ambitious growth target. Exciting times lie ahead.” Eoghan is now responsible for all Finance, Insurance, Commercial, Legal and Compliance activity within iamproperty.

Ross Cooney

Chief Technical Officer

With over 20 years in ecommerce and IT, Ross joined iamproperty in 2016 from SGP Consulting where he was an interim CTO. He has also held a number of other senior level roles within Smith Electric Vehicles, Rozmic Wireless and StormMQ, where he introduced, implemented and delivered large scale transformation projects across multiple industries.

Ross Cooney, comments: “iamproperty has an expanding set of software platforms enabling hundreds of online house sales and conveyancing every month. The company has plans to grow its technological scale and scope in the next 24 months which is a complex task.  I am a highly technical person attracted to such technical challenges, so I look forward to working with the team and evolving the group’s online capabilities.

Malcolm McClen

Operations & Sales Director

Previously Operations Director at Access Intelligence plc and head of Sales at Sage plc, Malcolm has an extensive background in business, with a particular specialism for operations and business development. He spent ten years at Sage plc, working his way up to Head of Sales in 2012.

During his time as Head of Sales at Sage plc, Malcolm was responsible for leading and motivating the sales teams. He delivered appropriate sales models, strategies and tactics to support delivery of revenue streams across a range of customer segments, with revenue budget in excess of £25m, covering multiple channel models.  As Operations Director at Access Intelligence plc, he developed and implemented the Due North strategy to achieve profit targets and key performance indicators. He was responsible for leading and motivating teams to drive new and existing business growth, as well as customer retention.

Upon joining iamproperty, he said “IAM Sold is projected to double in size over the next two to three years so I am excited to join as Sales and Operations Director. An ambitious target ahead requires a clear and coherent strategy, which is what I am looking forward to getting involved in most.”

Dawn Reay

Group HR Director

Dawn has over 30 years’ experience in private sector management, contributing a wealth of experience to iamproperty around ‘managing people’. Her previous roles include Customer Service Manager for a large rail company along with other roles in Corporate Account Management, Business Development and Customer Services.  Having joined in 2012, Dawn has developed her career in the property sector, moving from her first role with the company in Operational Management through to her current position as Group HR Director. 

Dawn is qualified with a First Class Honours degree in counselling and her skills are proving invaluable in supporting the welfare and development of a growing group of businesses, offering both professional guidance and pastoral care. When Dawn isn’t offering her expertise and knowledge to the iamproperty family, she gives her time as a volunteer counsellor for the ‘Changing-Lives’ charity and enjoys travelling to other countries.

Jon Cooke

Non Executive Director

For almost three decades, Jon has have worked across the UK estate agency market at a local and national level in positions ranging from Branch Manager to Founder of the luxury brand Fine & Country and more recently, CEO of the hybrid agency, easyProperty – a business backed by Sir Stelios’ easyGroup.

Jon’s entrepreneurial spirit has enabled him to lead successful start-up businesses into dominant market players. This began with Intercounty, which grew organically and by acquisition to a turnover of £30million as part of an M&A vehicle LSLi – owned by LSL Property Services Plc.

At the helm of YourMove, the UK’s largest single-branded agency and a subsidiary of LSL, Jon’s M&A acumen assisted with the expansion of the business particularly focused on acquiring reoccurring revenue via lettings businesses. At the time, YourMove’s turnover grew to in excess of £100m.
In 2012, Jon was recognised by The Sunday Times’ Estate Agency Events Awards where he received the Outstanding Contribution to Estate Agency Award.

Beth Hazon

Non Executive Director

Beth has worked within marketing and advertising for over 15 years and joined creative design and marketing agency Drummond Central in 2006 and became Managing Director in 2015 at the age of 33. She was responsible for the operation of a diverse international client portfolio and has led the team to become one of the most successful creative agencies outside of London. She is the woman behind #DrummondPuddleWatch – the biggest stream ever on Periscope, which has been described as a global phenomenon.

Honoured with a prestigious IPA Women of Tomorrow Award. The awards, run in partnership with industry magazine Campaign, recognise women who are leading the way in disciplines including creative strategy, client services, media planning, HR, tech and innovation.

Beth is also Chair at Ouseburn Farm Charity, an inner city visitor attraction providing programmes to help adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Graham Wilson

Non Executive Director

Graham has extensive experience in the property sector having been the Managing Director of the regional estate agency DDM Residential since 1999. Graham started in estate agency back in 1993 as a ‘stop gap’ after returning to North Lincolnshire from London. Six years later he put forward a proposal to buy the loss making business and built it into what was widely acknowledged as one of the most profitable and progressive agencies in the UK.

Graham met Ben and Jamie in 2009 when they joined forces to launch the first property auction for DDM Residential and for IAM Sold.

In 2016 Graham sold his majority stake in DDM Residential to a private investment company and remains a shareholder and consultant. Graham is also a National Advisory Council Member for Fine & Country and is actively involved in property investment and developments.

As a client of iamproperty, though DDM and Fine & Country, Graham provides valuable feedback to the board on initiatives from a client’s viewpoint. This helps the board to develop new services and products that actually add value to property professionals.