ZPG purchase of Expert Agent to be reviewed by competition watchdog

first_imgZPG’s purchase of software company Expert Agent earlier this month has been called in by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and is now under review, prompting shares in ZPG to drop this morning.The CMA has served an initial enforcement order to ZPG under section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002.The announcement was made by ZPG this morning, saying that “having been informed of the review and the order ZPG is now engaging in a consultation with the CMA and will make a further announcement in due course”.The move has been widely anticipated within the industry after ZPG acquired Expert Agent – which trades under the name Websky Ltd – from private equity firm Metropolis. It in turn bought the company off founder Mike Griffiths in 2004.The ZPG acquisition of Expert Agent gave it a substantial slice of the UK agent software market, as it had already bought Property Software Group in April 2016.PSG at the time of acquisition by ZPG claimed to be used by over 40,000 estate agent letting agent branches across the UK, while Expert Agent is used by over 2,500 branches.The CMA has been in the warpath within the property industry of recent, fining four estate agents in Burnham on Sea a total of £370,000 over an illegal price-fixing cartel in the seaside town, and is now offering £100,000 rewards to agents who report similar anti-competitive in their areas.PSG CMA Competition and Markets Authority Expert Agent Zoopla March 31, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » ZPG purchase of Expert Agent to be reviewed by competition watchdog previous nextAgencies & PeopleZPG purchase of Expert Agent to be reviewed by competition watchdogShares in the group drop after announcement first thing this morning.Nigel Lewis31st March 201702,568 Viewslast_img read more

Oxford academics deliberate strike action

first_imgOxford faces the possibility of severe disruption to teaching at the start of term as university staff vote on whether to take industrial action.The ballot, which began on the 25th September, ends on the 10th October, coinciding with the beginning of term.The University and College Union, which represents the staff at higher education institutions, claims that the action was prompted by four consecutive years of pay cuts, with real wages dropping by 13%, and with just a 1% increase offered.Michael MacNeil, UCU head of higher education, commented: ‘What is very clear is that the employers can afford to pay their staff more than the miserly 1% on the table but they are making a calculated choice not to.   ‘Those in charge are cynically using a more competitive funding environment to justify driving down terms and conditions and pay for the majority of staff. At a time when staff have been under great pressure to improve the student experience and workloads have increased, they have had their pay held down.’If the vote is ‘yes’, action would be taken later in Michaelmas.last_img read more


first_imgWHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?“IS IT TRUE” will be posted on this coming WednesdayTodays READERS POLL question is: Do You feel its time for City Councilwoman Anna Hargis CPA to speak out on the city budget shortfalls?Please take time and read our newest feature articles entitled “HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS” posted in our sections.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Thomas H. Heist Insurance Agency Treats Customers Like Family

first_imgThe Thomas H. Heist Insurance Agency has five offices, with the main one in Ocean City. Here are some of the 70 employees. (Courtesy Thomas H. Heist Insurance Agency) By Maddy VitaleTom Heist IV sat down for an interview to discuss what keeps his family’s agency, Thomas H. Heist Insurance Agency in Ocean City, thriving, how in a competitive market the business remains a longstanding staple to customers and their families and how they continue their tradition of providing sound advice and insurance to fit specific needs.“The world is changing, and you want to align with insurance companies that could guide you through the issues,” Heist said. “We are here to serve our customers. Our job is to make sure our customers are taken care of, they get the right coverage to fit their needs and we make sure it is affordable.”But there is a lot that goes into being a good agent. Heist explained there are many responsibilities that go along with doing a job that his father and his entire family would approve of. You do what is best for the customer — nothing less.“You want people to feel they can go to bed at night and have the right protection,” Heist said.Heist, 54, a father of three, and his brother, John Heist, 47, a married father of twin girls, work together to run the Ocean City office and four other branches in the area.Heist is the president and his brother handles the sales side of the business.Their 82-year-old father, Tom Heist III, who started it all, continues to play an integral role in the agency, offering his expertise as the CEO.“We are just carrying on the legacy of our father,” Heist said. “He really is the heartbeat of the agency. John and I are partners. The three of us continue to meet and stay current with industry trends.”The brothers continue to learn from their father.“Our father is really good with the way he handles people. He has really set the tone and culture of having employees who love to be here,” Heist pointed out. “If they love their jobs, it affects how they treat the customers.”Another member of the team is their sister, Kristina Roberts, who lives in Massachusetts. She logs on to the agency website and helps the team with projects, Heist said.Brothers Tom Heist and John Heist have worked together in their family’s agency for 20 years. (Courtesy of Thomas H. Heist Insurance Agency)According to the agency’s website, www.heistinsurance.com in 1965, Tom Heist III, a graduate of Ocean City High School, returned home after college. He joined the D. Allen Stretch Agency to open its life insurance division in Ocean City.When D. Allen Stretch passed away in 1985, Heist III purchased the business and changed the name to the Thomas H. Heist Insurance Agency, Inc.The office moved to 701 West Avenue, and in 2001 moved to its present main office at 700 West Avenue in Ocean City.Heist IV returned home in 1989 and joined the company. In 1995, he was appointed president.Over the next 20-plus years, the agency grew. There are now branch offices in Margate, Egg Harbor Township, Marmora and Vineland. Altogether, there are 70 employees.The agency is licensed to conduct business in seven states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Virginia and Florida.Heist said it just made sense to expand.“Really, the purpose was to give customers in the different communities convenience. We also support a lot of organizations in the communities,” he said. “That is what it is about.”He explained there are different insurance needs in the communities and each office has five agents to assist customers.The shore communities, especially post-Superstorm Sandy, have specific needs that, for example, homeowners in Vineland would not have to concern themselves with.Because of the variables in the communities, it is so vital that agents are knowledgeable about a variety of insurances.“There are a lot of different types of insurances out there. The agents need to have a good understanding of the products,” Heist said. “We are lucky. Our employees have a vast knowledge and understanding of the different insurances.”Heist added that the agency makes it a point to keep current on trends and attends educational seminars and classes on insurance. Certain insurances, especially ones concerning flooding and Medicare, are constantly changing.The Thomas H. Heist Insurance Agency with Thomas Heist III, center, is all about providing the best service to its customers.Sometimes being a good insurance agent simply means being there to explain some of complex matters to clients in an understandable way and helping them to navigate the insurance issues, Heist noted.“It is all about dealing with customers, seeing changes to codes for their homes, for instance, making sure their homes are in compliance,” Heist said. “We also help people navigate mortgage and Medicare issues.”It is often just a matter of listening.“We have consumers say, ‘I know I need to lift my house. What do I have to do?’ We can help guide them. There is a lot we do besides selling insurance,” Heist said.The agents are available to help with auto, dental and life insurances as well.“Our life is wrapped around helping people solve problems,” Heist added.There are matters when sometimes the Heist Insurance Agency acts as a broker. The agent will make sure a carrier is notified if, for example, there is a fire or flood. The agents coordinate the connection between the different parties.“If there is a fire, we go out and make sure the adjuster is there. If your house burns to the ground, we try to assure people they are in good hands and we will help them every step of the way,” Heist noted.More than ever, agents have a lot of insurances to offer to consumers.“We have Uber, Airbnb. People are using their cars and homes in different ways. There needs to be insurances for those ways,” Heist explained.Another newer, and extremely important piece of insurance, deals with cyber liability, Heist emphasized.He and the agents urge owners of large and small companies to consider this type of insurance.“Cyber liability is a huge issue. For a business, it can be very expensive. Every business needs to examine the need for cyber liability,” he said. “I think it is potentially the largest exposure of loss. You think of loss as a building burning, but today, people can suck the funds right from your bank account.”Whether it is dealing with the latest or more traditional forms of insurance, Heist Insurance Agency is all about helping customers who, over the years, have become more like family, Heist said.“There are so many customers who say they are so thankful. When you help people, you give them peace of mind. I feel blessed that we are able to do that. People are truly appreciative of what we do,” Heist reflected. “We hear feedback from customers sometimes when they are in their toughest times, who call just to say thank you. It makes me know we are in a great business.”The main office for the Thomas H. Heist Insurance Agency is located at 700 West Avenue in Ocean City. For more information, visit www.heistinsurance.com or call the office at (609) 399-0655 or toll free at (800) 220-6613.The main office for Thomas H. Heist Insurance Agency is located at 700 West Ave. in Ocean City.last_img read more

Bristol man killed in motorcycle crash at S.R. 15 and U.S. 20

first_imgIndianaLocalNews WhatsApp Facebook Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest By Jon Zimney – August 19, 2020 1 576 (95.3 MNC) A Bristol man lost his life in a motorcycle crash.The collision happened around 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at State Road 15 and U.S. 20.Barry Chitwood, 64, was traveling northbound on State Road 15 south of U.S. 20 when he lost control of the Harley Davidson he was operating and ran off the roadway.Chitwood was pronounced dead a the scene.There was no immediate information about the factors that contributed to the crash. Bristol man killed in motorcycle crash at S.R. 15 and U.S. 20 Google+ Google+ Twitter Pinterest Previous articleNiles woman, 90, killed in crash at U.S. 12 and M-60Next articleNotre Dame puts football practice on hold due to virtual class change Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more

News story: Appointment of 3 Commissioners to the Judicial Appointments Commission

first_imgBrie Stevens-Hoare (Barrister) and Sarah Lee (Solicitor) have been appointed as Professional Commissioners from 9 April 2018 to 8 April 2021, and HHJ Anuja Dhir has been appointed as a Circuit Judge Commissioner from 9 June 2018 to 8 June 2021.JAC is an independent body that selects candidates for judicial office in courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and for some tribunals with UK-wide jurisdiction. Candidates are selected on merit, through fair and open competition.JAC Commissioners are appointed by Her Majesty the Queen on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor.Appointments and re-appointments to JAC are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. These appointments have been made in line with the Commissioner’s Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies.BiographiesSarah LeeSarah Lee was appointed to JAC as a professional (solicitor) member on 9 April 2018.Sarah qualified as a solicitor in 1990. She was appointed as a partner of Slaughter and May in 1999 and sits on the firm’s Partnership Board.She is currently Head of the Dispute Resolution Group. Her practice covers all aspects of major commercial disputes, often involving multiple jurisdictions.Sarah is an accredited Centre for Effective Dispute Accreditation mediator and trustee, and member of the Management Committee of the Royal Courts of Justice Legal Advice Bureau.Brie Stevens-Hoare QCBrie Stevens-Hoare was appointed to JAC as a professional (barrister) member on 9 April 2018.She has been in practice as a self-employed barrister since 1986 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 2013.Brie is a property specialist whose practice extends to probate and professional negligence. She leads the property team at Hardwicke.She was appointed as a Deputy Adjudicator to HM Land Registry in 2005 and sits as a fee-paid judge of the First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber (Land Registration Division). She is also a regular mediator through the tribunal and otherwise.Brie was chair of the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (LCLCBA) and is currently Vice Chair of the Property Bar Association. She has also previously served on Bar Council and Bar Standards Board committees. Brie was a founder member of FreeBar the Bar Community LGBT+ group and a Bencher at Lincoln’s Inn where she is actively involved in advocacy training and equality and diversity issues.Her Honour Judge Anuja Dhir QCAnuja Dhir QC will be appointed to JAC as a judicial member from 9 June 2018.Anuja was appointed as a judge at the Old Bailey in 2017, a Circuit Judge in 2012 and a Recorder in 2010. In 2018 Anuja was authorised to sit in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.Anuja was called to the Bar in 1989. She practised as a barrister for 23 years, mainly in crime and from 2007 as a special advocate in national security cases.Anuja was a member of a number of Bar Council committees, including the equality committee, the professional conduct committee and the law reform committee.Anuja has been involved in advocacy training in the UK and abroad for over 20 years. In 2015 she was appointed as a Tutor Judge for the Judicial College.last_img read more

Press release: Work begins on new homes for Northampton’s South West District

first_imgBuilt by Morris Homes, the scheme will form part of a wider 860 home development on land owned by the Government’s housing agency, Homes England, who have also invested £77 million in infrastructure for the district, including roads and parkland.Morris will deliver a mix of apartments and two, three and four bedroom houses at the site. Alongside almost 1,000 homes which have already been built at Upton, Upton Park and Upton Lodge will collectively deliver over 2,200 new homes for people in Northampton.Stephen Kinsella, Executive Director for Land at Homes England said: “The start on site at Upton Park marks the beginning of a new neighbourhood for Northampton.“The development will offer a range of homes to meet the needs of local people, building on the success of the new community at Upton.”Homes England is currently seeking planning permission from Northampton Borough Council for its Upton Lodge site, which it is anticipated will deliver a further 1,400 homes for the town.Martin O’Toole, Regional Managing Director (Eastern) from Morris Homes said: “We are delighted to be working with Homes England on this new phase of development in the village of Upton. The Upton Park development will be a welcome addition to Northampton, and we are looking forward to it opening during summer 2019.”Cllr James Hill, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for planning, added: “It is extremely important that we support the delivery of new – particularly affordable – housing which is in high demand in Northampton.“These sites have been identified in our Local Plan as being appropriate for housing and we will continue to work with developers to ensure high-quality schemes are brought forward in a timely fashion.”It’s anticipated the first phase of homes at Upton Park will be available by spring 2020.For more information contact Sarah Foulkes, Communications Officer at Homes England.Tel: 0161 200 6130/ 07967 782 162 or email [email protected] Work begins on 212 new homes at Upton Park to meet the needs of local people The site forms part of a wider development of 860 homes A further 1,400 homes are proposed at Upton Lodgelast_img read more

Why social media policy matters more than ever

first_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Social media has been around for a while now. In fact, social media applications have never been more mainstream than they are today. Facebook, not surprisingly, is the big winner, with nearly three-quarters of American adults liking and posting and sharing daily—a number that jumps to a staggering 82 percent when you pinpoint the 18–29-year-old age range. Then you have the rapid growth of the visual-sharing social platforms: Video is on a fast climb to the top when it comes to social media popularity, and if you haven’t already, you should familiarize yourself with Instagram Video, Facebook Live, and Snapchat.So, you would assume most of those users have a relatively firm grasp of what is considered appropriate in social media sharing, right? Wrong. In fact, you couldn’t BE more wrong. Consider the Emmy award winning TV anchor fired for her racially insensitive Facebook post. Or the Ohio school bus driver fired for posting a selfie—while on her bus—purporting to show her drinking from a beer bottle.”Not convinced? How about the Texas teen who tweeted herself out of a pizzeria job after her boss saw her less than enthusiastic tweets (complete with ‘thumbs down’ emojis)? And then, in what might be the most head-shaking, “Just what were you thinking?” social media sharing story yet—there’s the Buffalo police officer suspended without pay for posting Vine videos cracking jokes about enjoying illicit drugs from the evidence room. He even wore his uniform in some of them! continue reading »last_img read more

The credit union difference

first_imgImagine setting out to do something good in your community and the service you provide is so valuable that the demand for it rapidly increases to the point you’re nearly overwhelmed.Demand for services is good, right?But what if the service you’re offering is free? In the credit union industry, that could be good, too and it could create a boon.Such was the situation that led to the formation of Partners in Education Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) committed to bolstering education, primarily financial literacy, within the community they serve. Conceived by Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU), Partners in Education was the solution to an overwhelming demand for financial education.Like most member-owned cooperatives, FMFCU set out decades ago to provide financial education within the community. The CU hired a certified educator who understood curriculum, could identify needs, and could coordinate lessons using subject matter experts from within the Credit Union. FMFCU management understood the value of the service and were pleased by how rapidly the demand for this type of service increased. As the CU tried to meet the demand, it became clear that the best method was to partner with organizations that shared its mission. So, FMFCU created a Foundation to carry out this philanthropic work and over time took on partners, thus morphing into Partners in Education.When Delco Hi-Q, the nation’s oldest continuous academic quiz competition, was in need of a major sponsor, FMFCU stepped up and filled the void, partnering at the time with the chamber of commerce and the local intermediate unit to carry out this tradition that serves 21 schools outside Philadelphia, PA. Major funders like the Wilbur C. and Betty Lea Foundation, Kimberly-Clark, and CCRES have since committed to the cause. The competition also thrives in Washington,  Wisconsin, and Alabama.FMFCU now employs about a dozen certified educators to carry out the mission of Partners in Education. While the CU covers administrative costs, the Foundation raises funds to help defer the cost of books and material used in lessons, as well as transportation for school field trips to Bear Country Credit Union, Hi-Q, and the annual Partners in Education Celebration, a premier academic recognition event that awards more than $50,000 in scholarships and prizes to students, teachers, and schools.The prestigious awards ceremony held in suburban Philadelphia is the talk of local academia. “It promotes healthy competition off the athletic field,” said Rick Durante, Executive Director. “As much as the schools appreciate cash awards, they compete even more fervently for the trophies, which are a testament to the efforts put forth by teachers and those rival athletic trophies.”While too-big-to-fail FIs affix their logos to sports arenas in big cities, credit unions are in the schools, community centers, and libraries working one-on-one to help people become financially independent. This is the credit union difference, and it is most evident in April—Financial Literacy month. This type of community outreach is one reason more and more young people are choosing credit unions over traditional FIs.The credit union difference is also an example of servant leadership at work. Because credit unions serve their communities, the credit union movement is alive, well, and growing. 37SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lorraine Ranalli Lorraine Ranalli is Chief Storyteller & Communications Director, as well as published author. Her most recent work, Impact: Deliver Effective, Meaningful, and Memorable Presentations, is a pocket book of public … Web: LorraineRanalli.com Detailslast_img read more

WHO confirms avian flu case in Indonesia

first_imgSep 22, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed a new human case of H5N1 avian influenza in Indonesia, but said there is no evidence that the virus is easily spreading from person to person there.The agency said the Indonesian government confirmed a case in an 8-year-old boy who is being treated in a hospital. A WHO reference laboratory in Hong Kong did the confirmatory testing.But despite a growing number of patients being treated for suspicious respiratory illnesses in a Jakarta hospital, the agency said, “Current investigations in Indonesia have produced no evidence that the H5N1 virus is spreading easily from person to person.” Consequently the WHO has not raised its level of pandemic alert, though it promised to keep watching the situation closely.The newly confirmed case means the WHO now recognizes three cases in Indonesia, including a 38-year-old man who died in July and a 37-year-old woman who died Sep 10. The government counts the 38-year-old man’s two young daughters, who also died in July, as cases, but the WHO has said their test results did not meet the criteria for H5N1.The new case increases the WHO’s avian flu tally since late 2003 to 115 cases with 59 deaths, of which 91 cases and 41 deaths occurred in Vietnam.The WHO statement did not say where the 8-year-old boy lives or how he might have been exposed to avian flu. The previous cases have all been in the Jakarta area.Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that 13 people were being treated for possible symptoms of avian flu today at Jakarta’s Sulianti Saroso Hospital, four more than yesterday. A doctor there said the three newest patients had visited Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo Sep 18, just before officials closed it because 19 birds there had tested positive for the H5N1 virus.Today’s WHO statement suggested that the rash of suspected cases of avian flu in Indonesia mainly reflects increased vigilance. Because of growing public and governmental concern, “several patients with respiratory symptoms and a history of possible exposure to the avian virus are being evaluated as part of ongoing surveillance efforts,” the agency said.The WHO also said today that tests on samples from the 37-year-old Indonesian woman who died of avian flu earlier this month showed that the virus had not mutated, according to news services.Georg Petersen, the WHO representative in Jakarta, said the virus that killed the woman appeared to be the same as viruses circulating in poultry in Indonesia, according to a report yesterday in the New York Times. The finding, which he called reassuring, was based on a genetic analysis of the virus by Malik Peiris at Hong Kong University.According to the story, Peiris said his analysis, not yet complete, suggests that the virus had not exchanged genes with human flu viruses, an event that could enable it to spread more readily from person to person.See also:Sep 22 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/disease/influenza/2005_09_22a/en/index.htmllast_img read more