One of Cirencester’s oldest firms has appointed its youngest ever managing partner.

Moore Allen & Innocent – a residential and commercial property agent, antiques auctioneer and provider of agricultural expertise across the Cotswolds and north Wiltshire – has appointed Mark Halliwell to its most senior role.

Nine years ago Mark was making headlines as the youngest ever partner of the firm. Now he’s leading a team of seven partners and more than 40 employees through what he says he will a period of expansion for a firm that first started trading way back in 1845.

“Acquiring chartered surveyors Graham Singer last year has given us a taste for expansion, both to compliment the services we already offer and to move us into new geographical territories too,” said Mark.

And Mark intends to be a visible managing partner. “I’m right at the coalface. I’ve kept my desk in the residential sales department – the most public part of the building.” said Mark. “And I’ll still be out and about selling houses.”

When he was appointed as a partner in 2009, Mark – who joined the firm in 2005 from a corporate background as regional director of a relocation company – predicted that digital technology would change the way that various strands of the business would operate.

“That’s clearly come true in the property sector,” he said. “If people are looking to buy or let a new home, it’s the internet they turn to first.

“But then they want human interaction to guide them through a big financial commitment – nothing beats a friendly and knowledgeable professional offering advice and support.

“We’re still a ‘people business’ in a digital world.”

Mark’s appointment is a break from tradition at the firm, where the new managing partner is normally the most senior partner after a retiring incumbent.

And also breaking with tradition is Mark Hill, who is vacating the managing partner position – but will continue to work full time in the business rather than stepping into retirement or consultancy.

“Mark (Halliwell) is an excellent appointment – enthusiastic and bringing a fresh perspective, he is respected by the partners and loved by the staff,” said Mark Hill.

“I’m also very pleased that the position has been accepted by a younger partner. As a firm we’ve put a lot of effort into identifying and nurturing young talent, bringing them up through the ranks, and securing the future of the firm for decades to come.

“I’ve very much enjoyed being managing partner for the past seven years, but stepping away from the position will allow me to spend more time advising our agricultural clients during what will be a busy and potentially confusing time for them, as the country negotiates its way through Brexit.”

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