The Property Ombudsman Strengthens its Independent Board

Published on Friday, 20 October 2023. Posted in Press Releases

The Property Ombudsman has welcomed two new non-executive directors to its Independent Board. Louise Baxter, Head of the National Trading Standards Scams Team, and Nick Samuels, Non Executive Director at Gaughan Group and Group Chair at Stone Circle (Wiltshire Council), will replace Gerry Fitzjohn, former Chairman of TPO Board, and Mark McLaren.

As well as her role as Head of the National Trading Standards Scams Team, Louise Baxter was previously Chair of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and Non-Executive Director on the CTSI Board. As a recognised expert in consumer regulation, fraud and consumer vulnerability, Louise started the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team in 2012, providing a service that offers a fundamental support system for victims of fraud and scams. She was awarded an MBE for protection of vulnerable consumers from financial abuse in 2017.

Commenting on her appointment to TPO’s Independent Board, Louise said: "I am delighted to be appointed to the Property Ombudsman. I am excited to work with the Board. With all the current landscape developments I couldn’t think of a more exciting time to join. I am hoping to put my consumer expertise to good use and support the Property Ombudsman in making life a bit easier for consumers.”

Nick Samuels joins TPO with 20 years’ experience in the property industry. As Chair of the Board for a subsidiary of Wiltshire Council, Nick has been responsible for driving the change management and governance of the business, devising a strategy and plan for the purchase of affordable housing, and overseeing new sites. Nick has worked with vulnerable communities including homelessness and abusive support to improve the PRS model within Wiltshire and beyond.

Nick’s previous roles have included Chief Operating Officer at Bold and Reeves, Group Chief Operating Officer at Myrooms, Growth Director at Residently and Property Hub, and also Director of Expansion at Foxtons.

On joining TPO’s Independent Board, Nick commented: “I’m very proud to be joining a very successful organisation at an exciting time in its growth. I’m looking forward to the challenges and hope to bring my many years of experience growing businesses to an already successful business.”

Commenting on the appointments, Baroness Diana Warwick, Chair of the TPO Board, said:

“I would like to offer a warm welcome to Louise and Nick as part of TPOs Independent Board. Both have extensive and wide-ranging experience which will be of immense value to TPO as the property sector, and specifically the PRS, transitions through once in a generation legislative change to raise standards in the industry and protect consumers from unfair practices. I would also like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to both Gerry and Mark for their dedicated years of service to TPO, we wish them both the very best for the future.”