EYE NEWSFLASH: Emoov – administrators are appointed

Russell Quirk has sent this email out to staff:
“All

They say that entrepreneurs should never give up. But at the same time one needs to know when efforts have been truly exhausted and when you simply have to call it a day.

Regretfully and despite my significant endeavours over this weekend to achieve such, the prospective purchasers that have been in the wings have not come through with viable offers to acquire the Emoov business.

In good faith, my absolute quest over the past few weeks has been to secure the future of Emoov under a new owner in order that staff and customers would have continuity and certainty. Sadly, that is not now to be.

At 1pm today I held a call with Emoov board members where it was agreed to appoint James Cowper Kreston as administrators.

Once this intention is filed with the court later today they will take charge of the affairs of the company and its staff, customers and creditors and will work to secure an ultimate buyer.

Today is a truly sad day – but at the same time I am sincerely grateful to you all for your support, your loyalty and your hard work over the nine years since I founded the business.

I’m especially touched by those that have attended the office and that have continued to work with me over the last few days in spite of the dark clouds that have gathered of late.

I am also extremely grateful to specific shareholders such as Simon Murdoch of Episode 1; Gaby Salem of Wharton Capital; and Alexander Lazarev of Maxfield Capital who have been of immense support and professionalism since investing and in the last few weeks and months, fighting with me to preserve the company.

We built a business together that made positive noise, punched well above its weight and sought to make the home buying and selling experience better.

We commanded a position as a well recognised thought leader and commentator and that led with a customer first, value led, tech enabled proposition.

I’m proud of that and I am proud of all of you on that journey as the integral part of it. Our tech, systems, brand, TV, profile etc were all important components – but the team remains THE most important aspect by far. This is often under-estimated by others.

So, thank you. But above all, I’m so sincerely sorry that it has come to this.

Peter Whalley and Tom Russell at James Cowper Kreston will be in contact and will guide you through the important aspect of claiming monies.”

 

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55 Comments

  1. Light

    “positive noise”….

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    1. jeremy1960

      More like a whimper! At last the emperor’s new clothes syndrome is staring to be revealed for what it is!

      I hope that he had the respect to ensure that staff get paid their salaries whilst at the same time I doubt that he’ll be penniless over the festive period!

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      1. emoov1

        We got paid absolutely nothing!

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    2. Moveaside01

      ’Oh that’s a shame, who’d of thought?’……..

      Dot Com anyone?

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  2. P-Daddy

    And now here comes a pre pack offer, clearing the debt legacy or the need to retain the services of Russell Quick

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  3. smile please

    Well we all saw it coming years ago.

    Its not viable, the public do not want it.

    Lets look at the list Emoov, Tepilo, Urban, Hatached, Countrywide, Easy Property (rehashed) – All failed or failing.

    YOPA, PurpleBricks, HouseSimple, and others … Just a matter of time.

    LONG LIVE THE HIGH STREET!

     

     

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    1. WestMidsValuer97

      Couldn’t agree more….these hybrids need to sod off so we can get back to normality and make the industry what it used to be with a firm concentration on service.

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    2. ALOnline

      I’ll give you my honest take on Online versus High Street in terms of how the public perceives them (i.e not my opinions).

      The High Street is: slimy, unreliable, untrustworthy and expensive. They are also ‘a safe bet’, local (with all of the advantages that this brings) and motivated to sell.

      Online agents are: Cheap, modern and more similar to other familiar industries like retail or telecomms. They are also impersonal, have no motivation to sell and are just a fad.

      In my opinion, the only way that the High Street can survive at their higher price is if they dispel the negative ideas surrounding them and change their culture to being a more modern customer-facing industry.

      Similarly, the only way that Online agents can survive is if they continue to prove themselves as being ‘just as good’ as the High Street, prove that they are motivated to sell and brand themselves in such a way that makes them feel as local and as supportive as the family-run independent branch.

      Both tasks are difficult with no clear answer and how Rightmove or Zoopla or Brexit change the industry are closely tied to each of them.

      If, for example, Rightmove and Zoopla went bust there would be no online model at all.

       

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  4. AgentV

    and sought to make the home buying and selling experience better.

    And there in one half sentence is the real crux of it all. They didn’t make it better, because the only way you can do that is to provide a very high level of personal service which does not synergise well with Call Centre Listing.

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    1. Woodentop

      Anyone who thinks they can buy customers in Estate Agency are delusional. We are a SERVICE INDUSTRY, end of chapter, verse and book. It will not be long before the rest will go, as they are all based on cheap fee’s, non-profit making (ALL) and all fail miserably at level of SERVICE and standards. All they have ever achieved is be a disruptor to a profession that has strived to prove its worth to the consumer, while coming under attack from these failing and franking dishonest marketing tactics of online only agents. No sympathy, you have costs misery for many, jobs and viability of many a good business. You didn’t give a damn about these people, so why should we with you? You all knew what you were up to.

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  5. Quags

    Shock, horror.

    Sorry for those employed, not sorry to see it fail.

     

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  6. Hillofwad71

    It’s a very sad day for all those unwittingly caught up in this.  The seeds were sown sometime ago

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  7. EAMD172

    It is a sad day when any company goes pop for all the staff involved. For companies that try to disrupt an industry without sound base it is also sad that they did what they did in the first place. Our industry requires money to be able to provide the service that the clients want. There is space in it for online only agents but not enough for all of them charging at the levels they do. The whole online only agency sector will have to fight it out amongst themselves now for market share and to find fee levels that are economically viable or there will be more staff across our whole industry that will be out of work next year. Please take a good look at yourselves as there is no one else to blame.

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  8. mro123432

    Wouldnt surprise me if Mr Humberts thinks its a cracking buy at a £1

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  9. MartinMass53

    Spare a thought for all those investors who have funded this business and lost. It damages confidence in our sector.

    So investors stop putting money into online models that cannot endure. It is a seaside pier not a road to a new dawning. Invest your money in Property Agencies with a History, a Geography and a Future – on The High Street!

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    1. Typhoon

      No sympathy for any of those investors. They should have done more DD before sinking their money in. Untested and so many warnings that it wouldn’t work.

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  10. Lollipop04

    You really pay for what you get. Long live the high street! But how about the public? Seriously selling or buying a house is never going to be ‘cheap’ we need a documentary, LouisTheroux anybody? To educate the public of the perils of the online cheap agent world and the ‘too good to be true’. We need a break and some positive angles on why the high street has survived all of these years despite the online fly by nights, we should up our fees to teach them a lesson…ha ha ha

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    1. Gavin Brazg

      You must have missed this – https://www.propertyindustryeye.com/high-street-agents-get-a-5-better-price-than-onliners-in-almost-three-quarters-of-cases-claim/

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    2. marymck

      Agents rubbing their hands in glee with a jolly “ha ha ha” (to quote Lollipop04) at people’s property chains being thrown into disruption and staff out of work and pocket will do nothing to improve the public’s view of high street agents.  I’d give a wide berth to any agency that does that.

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      1. Lollipop04

        ‘ha ha ha’ if you read the message and understood it meant that we should be putting our fees up as high streets agents. I’m sure a wide berth is given to high street agencies like mine when online agents charge next to nothing and throw chains into disruption as they go down. They can’t offer the service a high street agent can for the prices they charge. I feel for the staff out of pocket and work but not for these business models that always seem to fail and try to put high street agents out of business therefore giving the industry as a whole a flaky reputation. Anything too good to be true should be given a wide berth

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      2. Woodentop

        I doubt very much peoples property chains will be affected. They handed it all over the the conveyancers long ago. How about giving a wide berth for an agent that tries to put agents on the high street out of business that supports their local community and jobs.

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  11. mrtickle

    The only way I will give Mr Quirk any respect out of this is if he pays his staff’s salaries.

    The email can sod off… claptrap at its worst.

    It takes no bravery to say he is sorry and that he failed.

    The only bravery is if he stands up and takes the (financial) hits that come his way.

    Pay the staff. Don’t ruin their Christmases. And then I’ll stand and applaud someone who deserves to be called a man.

    But until then…

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  12. 365 Residential

    EYE, you really shouldn’t delete comments by real estate agents. As long as they are not rude or have bad language, we are only saying what everyone thinks.

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    1. JVSOZ

      Yes mr EYE, It’s bad enough you gave Russell a guest writer’s spot. Why delete my comment?

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      1. 365 Residential

        Eye, can you explain why you deleted my comment. Just curious as i thought Russell Quack Quack Quack was humerous, obviously not!!!!

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        1. JVSOZ

          Maybe Russell has access to delete comments as a past contributor?

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          1. 365 Residential

            Why would that not shock us, he had access to Millions for years on the back of investors who fell for his **** and it all ended exactly how we all said it would. Crowdcube still allow funding pitches for online agents and investors are still investing. Either they know something we dont or they clearly are not avid readers of EYE lol.

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            1. smile please

              I do think Eye is being a bit too over protective of Quirk. He has made his bed, now let him lay in it.

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  13. Agent Derbyshire

    Yes, it’s all coming full circle. Finally, investors (although lots of them are still throwing money at crowd funding bubbles) are beginning to realise that this business that lots of us have been in for a long time, takes time, passion and an unwavering commitment to customer service. This costs money and that’s why you need to charge a decent fee. If you think you can sell a home for less than a £1,000 and do a decent job, your days are numbered! #fact

     

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  14. AgencyInsider

    I am trying so hard to find a modicum of sympathy for Russell Quirk. Some flicker of admiration for his effort in trying to disrupt the world of Agency. Some small spark of dazzlement that he managed to get all that investment. An iota of praise for his ability to spout into a microphone at any opportunity.

    Nope. Sorry.  Can’t.

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    1. Woodentop

      None of the on-line brigade “Revoluntionised” the industry, they could have eassily brought it to its kness, AS THEY  did for themselves.

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  15. PatrickW53

    “d” for dancing on the grave of Emoov.

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    1. Gruntfuttock

      I’m happy that finally the chickens are coming home to roost. The old adage “there is nothing good that’s cheap” still holds true. But I’m not celebrating because genuine people who probably put their all into trying to earn a living at the same time as bailing out a sinking ship have lost their jobs at the worst possible time of year.

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  16. Robert May

    I would like to congratulate Mr. Quirk  for all he attempted to achieve, though I cannot applaud many of the things he has said or done.

    The disruptors have show up that many agencies offer a truly shocking service and are no better than passive intermediaries themselves.

     

    From the outset I have consistently explained why disrupting  a service industry is not possible,; it is not possible to compete against cheaper £100 true FSBO passives and full service #local agency  using investors  cash to subsidise fixed costs.

     

    I have a quiet  respect for Mr Quirk  and although this will be a very hard day for him personally his explanation of the finances of disruption  could do untold damage to those  direct sector competitors who have not outperformed him, not out promoted him, they simply found investors with more money to waste on disruption.  Russell already hinted at his shift in thinking, publicly explaining why that is necessary would go some way to sooth some of the pain he is now feeling felt  a lot of other small independent business owners who are simply trying to  do all the things he says in respect of looking after his and his own.

     

    Disrupting a service industry with investor subsidised fees doesn’t work and won’t work. All that will happen is investors will fund removing some of the competition but in doing so will educate and strengthen those left behind to compete more strongly against them.

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  17. Property Poke In The Eye

    Are the administrators going to administer the DISRUPTION…..;)

    The disruption of the disruption!!

    The proptech of proptech!!

    The Virtual of Virtual!!

     

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  18. South of the City EA

    Firstly, so sorry for all the staff. They don’t deserve it!

    Whatever Quirk does next please can we not hear about it on here. The man deserves no free publicity. If he claims to be a ‘property expert’ anywhere and I miss it, please will someone report it to the ASA or trading standards!

    Good riddance!

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    1. DarrelKwong43

      well said

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  19. PepeM

    Let’s not forget Ms Beenys role in all of this. Wasn’t that long ago we were seeing her rather self assured irritating, smile smirking out from our screens professing to be the future of estate agency ! Another great example of how to blow away huge amounts of other peoples money !

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  20. Hillofwad71

    Something will need to happen in the next 24 hours or their inventory will disappear and will have absolutely no value.

    Its clear Quirk has handled this all very badly .It sounds as if the administrators should have been called in weeks ago,He  will have to  answer some questions

    What is clear is that the overfund of 150% was never  enough on Crowdcube. Reading his pitch  as an investor I would  be very angry  as it does seem he was  relying on a “promise” which never materialised

    Perhaps it didn’t help saying he had been shafted by Desmond.Suffice to say he won’t be on Purplebricks or Yopa list either It looks as if he has been winging it all the way

     

     

     

     

     

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    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      Its too late the damage is already done.

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  21. Bolton Agent

    I feel for the staff, if they don’t get paid that’s just shocking. As for the call centre agents, its just a matter of time before the money runs out…

    On a positive note at least Emoov took teplio with them… 2 for the price of one.

     

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  22. GeorgeOrwell

    Reap what you sow Russell. ReMooved

    I always find it interesting that those in charge seem to suffer the least, financially

    Commiserations to the staff who appear to have been led a merry dance

    I would have thought the brand is now toxic in the publicity sense and the systems? are part of a failed business

    Publicity is fine Russell, however one actually has to do the business

     

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  23. Probably Pork in the Pie

    Mr Quirk.  Time to ditch the cheap soundbites, and the sniping at the High Street agents.  Time to pay your staff, or you will have ZERO credibility left in this industry.

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  24. David Laycock

    This is such sad news…

    For customers – who have gambled and lost their money by making an upfront payment for a service which was never guaranteed to deliver – even if Emoov had not collapsed.

    For staff – most of whom will have commitments and costs they can no longer pay in the short term, and will be facing a somewhat different Christmas and new year than they would have been hoping for.

    For Smaller Investors –  those probably closest to the business (friends and family) and those who invested on the crowd funding platforms (which I consider a car crash / future PPI type scandal waiting to happen), many of whom will have lost money they probably should never have invested, and could ill afford to lose.

    For Smaller Suppliers – most of the big boys can absorb knocks, but inevitably in any situation like these, it’s the small suppliers that are hit the worst, and have the least ability to absorb the losses.

    For the Industry – Love em or loath em (and I know where the majority on this forum are on that!) but new competitors – with different business models and offerings – are the lifeblood of any industry. Competition overall is good.

    Whilst I don’t and have never liked the pay up front business model, I do recognise that it was (and still is) a valid model and a business model that can work for some clients (although certainly not all). It is no different to the similar propositions in other analogous industries eg the service offered by AutoTrader to car sellers.

    To say customers don’t want this model is just wrong.

    Some customers do want this model – just nowhere near as many as people like Russell and others thought.

    And in terms of competition being good – Take Uber. There are lots of things not to like about their business model. And many things to like too. But where ever you stand on the pros and cons, you cannot deny that the service customers receive from ‘old school’ taxis has improved as a result of the Uber effect. The market as a whole is better for them being around, and would suffer if they (or equally, the taxis they are competing with) were to fail, and no longer be competing in the marketplace.

    So that’s why I think it’s a sad day for the industry too, despite not being a fan of the Emoov or Tepilo models.

    The fact that so many customers will have lost money they have paid up front in good faith will do nothing for the reputation of the industry.

    When customers, politicians and media criticise the Banks – it’s the whole industry that it tarred with the same brush, and everyone that works within it. When they talk about greedy bankers, they fail to recognise that 99% of people who work (or worked) in the Banking industry were anything but greedy. They were normal people and no different to all the teachers, nurses, restaurant workers, call centre workers, cleaners, IT workers, engineers – or any other employee in pretty much any other industry.

    So I think that sadly the industry as a whole will inevitably (but wrongly) get a knock from this in the mindset of the public.

    With this in mind, I wish the industry would stop obsessing with online, call centres and high street premises, when the real debate / battleground should be about:

    – Up Front Fees vs No Sale No Fee models and

    – Full Service Agency vs DIY / Listing Only model

    I think every agent is (or should be) online, and to my mind whether they have premises on a high street or elsewhere is a small consideration, but not the primary one from most customer’s perspectives.

    It’s also a sad day for Russell, and those who are close to him.

    I’m willing to go as far as to say that I feel sorry for him – (just not as much as I feel sorry for the others I’ve listed above!)

    I’m sure he’ll quickly recover from this and move on to new things.

    Others may not be so resilient, or able.

    I’ve no doubt that he has thrown everything he has got at this to try and make it work – not just for himself, but for all those I’ve mentioned above – and not least because I’m sure that he absolutely believes in what he has been trying to do.

    Of course he’s made mistakes (as we all do), and there are many things I think he could and should have done differently. I’d like to think that  he would say the same himself.

    But it’s far too easy to judge others, without the benefit of insight and knowledge, and based upon a very superficial impression of the facts.

    History shows us that it’s such a fine line between success and failure.

    11 years ago, Blackberry and Nokia were riding high, and everyone said that a smartphone needed a keyboard.

    Apple didn’t listen to the experts already in the industry, launched the iPhone, and changed the industry forever.

    The world is full of similar stories, and to say ‘estate agency is different’ is just ostrich thinking.

    You can’t get more personal than Banking, and yet this is a perfect example of a service industry that has been transformed by technology / self service, with young and old alike loving the speed and simplicity with which they can carry out simple banking transactions on their phone, pay with contactless payments, get cash from cash dispenses, and even now pay in cheques by taking a photo on your phone – all without having to waste time trekking to a high street branch, struggling to park, and then waiting to get served.

    Likewise – whilst I personally hate self checkouts at the supermarkets, there are people I know who love them – exactly because they don’t have to engage in polite conversation with the checkout operator, or they simply prefer to do it themselves rather than be ‘served’ by another person.

    Finally, the saddest thing for me is the delight that it’s clear some people take in today’s news. I love to win as much as the next guy, but I’ll never understand how anyone could be happy about news like this – so it’s nice to see some on here recognising the travesty of what has happened too.

    As someone who rarely puts his head above the parapet, I should probably know better than to have shared my views and rambled on like this. Most unlike me, and I’ll probably regret it later! Clearly too much time on my hands at the moment.

    (-:

    But I have already made the decision not to comment further or get into a debate with any contrary (to be clear, from my perspective, equally valid) views from the usual suspects and others.

    One last thing on a much more positive note…

    I know that there are very many great agents and people out there, operating all sorts of different estate agency business models and doing a fantastic job for their customers.

    I’ve no doubt that those people will be ready, willing and able to step in and help those customers who now find themselves needing a new agent, and hopefully with the additional business be in a position to offer new opportunities to some of those staff who find themselves looking for a new job just before Christmas.

    David

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    1. Bertie

      Perfect summary in my opinion. Well said

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    2. Property Poke In The Eye

      Banking in my opinion is not a service Industry.  It falls more on the retail side.

      The cashier is the order taker.  So you are moving something from A – B or B to A.  The banking app/cashpoint/self service Check out does the same thing without human contact.  All these transactions are transparent.

      Now compare the above with what actually is involved in estate agency and list them down on paper and you will see what I mean.

       

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  25. smile please

    Anyone spotted the ironic header on their Twitter page ….. “Daylight Robbery”

    DONT DELETE EYE – Its fact its on their page.

    Yes i am being a smug so and so, only because of the pain he has caused many good high street agents.

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    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      Lol…  Don’t Delete Eye.
      I’ve had a few of those this week.

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  26. Blue

    On a positive note, the investor/crowdfunding gravy train just lost some wheels.

    Plus, competing with pay up front, you just got more ammo.

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  27. Woodentop

    Question .. will this send shock waves through the stock market for on-line agents valuations?

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    1. J1

      Not today if you look at the figures 

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  28. Hillofwad71

    Ah well seem to get a post deleted for just saying Quirk should not be running a company  for sometime I am sure some disgruntled Crowdcube investor will be reporting him to the FCA for his pitch there

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    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      He can’t be reported to FCA as he is not regulated by the FCA.

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  29. Hillofwad71

    Well he just doesn’t  learn does he This Tweet  tonightis the measure of the man ME ME ME
    plying to @Adam_Hosker @montysblog @walloyd

    Better to try and fail than not to have the guts to try at all

    11:15 AM – 3 Dec 2018

    He has no empathy  Jobs lost  no money for Xmas investors money down the pan and he comes out with this crass statement

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  30. J1

    It won’t be the last we hear from this self publicist who has for too long been too rude about a profession the likes of him have called an industry.

    Handling high stakes transactions is not a game, it’s not an easy thing to do and cannot be done cheaply nor without quality people who know what they are doing.

    Its a series of sensitive processes that need management – not a production line; not yet anyway.

     

     

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