Meet the Team
Richard MartinNon-Independent Non-Executive Chairman
After leaving Bristol Technical School, Richard became an apprenticed stereotyper for the Bristol Evening Post in 1967. In 1975 he moved to The Western Gazette, another newspaper in the same group based in Yeovil. Ahead of the introduction of computerisation into the industry, Richard moved into the commercial side and in 1981, became trained in advertising design and sales. After a few years he gained promotion to Advertising Manager for the group's free press titles distributed throughout Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Wiltshire.
Following the profitable sale of a retail business in early 1986, which Richard set up and was managed by his wife Kathy, he left the newspaper business to pursue his interest in property and forge a career in estate agency. Richard founded Martin & Co in 1986 in Yeovil. In 1995, Martin & Co became a franchise operation and the brand has grown from strength to strength since.
Gareth SamplesChief Executive Officer
With 30 years’ industry experience, Gareth brings a wealth of Estate Agency, Financial Services and digital marketing knowledge to the Group.
In his 21 year career at LSL Gareth was appointed Managing Director of the Your Move brand, which was the largest single brand estate agency in the UK at the time. In this role he was responsible for Your Move’s franchise operation as well as having overall control of Financial Services and Lettings and the strategy of the brand.
Following his successful career at LSL, Gareth became Managing Director of Briefyourmarket.com where he gained significant digital marketing experience and knowledge and since 2014 he has served as Chairman of Legalforlandlords. Gareth formally joined the Group as CEO on 30 April 2020.
David RaggettChief Financial Officer
Since qualifying with PwC as a Charted Accountant David has spent his whole working life in franchising as franchisor and franchisee. Initially David held financial responsibility for several Ford franchises before, in the mid 90s, moving to Porsche's UK headquarters. Here he held financial responsibility for its distribution, retails and financial services businesses at various times, as well as being their company secretary and, for several years, Head of Legal.
In 2007 David took up the role Finance Director for the Motability Scooter and Powered Wheelchair Scheme to restore its financial stability, to improve its offering and to expand its customer base. After successfully turning the scheme around and leading it into new ownership, David joined the Group in February 2013.
Paul LathamIndependent Non-Executive Director
Paul is a Chartered Surveyor. Until 2014, he sat on the Residential Board for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors of which he was Chair until 2011.
Paul served as Deputy Group CEO of LSL Property Services plc until 2010 having been part of the management buyout in 2004, which ultimately saw the business successfully list on the London Stock Exchange in 2006. During this period Paul was managing director of a number of the LSL Group’s subsidiary businesses including e.surv Chartered Surveyors and also sat on a number of external company boards and trade bodies.
Subsequently Paul served as a Non-Executive Director of LSL until 2012. Paul was appointed as an Independent non-executive director of The Property Franchise Group PLC’s Board and Chair of its Remuneration Committee in December 2013.
Phil CrooksIndependent Non-Executive Director
Phil Crooks is a Chartered Accountant and currently a partner in the Forensic and Investigations Services at Grant Thornton UK LLP with more than 40 years experience in accounting, auditing and investigations.
He was previously UK Head of Audit for 6 years and a member of the International Assurance Advisory Board at Grant Thornton. Previously he spent 15 years at Price Waterhouse. Phil has extensive audit and advisory experience, addressing financial reporting and accounting issues and has worked with a wide range of listed and private international companies. Phil was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of The Property Franchise Group PLC's Board and Chair of its Audit Committee in May 2015.