John McGrath to retain seat on REA Group board after Sam White's departure

Larry SchlesingerJanuary 10, 20120 min read

John McGrath will remain on the board of the REA Group, which owns Australia's largest property website, realestate.com.au.

As chief executive of McGrath Estate Agents he is now the only board member directly connected to the real estate industry, following Sam White’s decision to step down earlier this week to focus on the Ray White family’s real estate and mortgage broking businesses.

White, deputy chairman of the Ray White Group and executive chairman of Loan Market, quit the board on January 9 without notice after nearly nine years as a non-executive independent director and member of its HR committee, fuelling industry speculation that Ray White might throw its support behind a rival website.

Following White’s departure, McGrath is now one of only three independent directors on the board, the others being Roger Amos, director at Austar, and Kathleen Conlon, a non-executive director at CSR Limited.

The other board members are chairman Richard Freudenstein (CEO of Foxtel); REA Group managing director Greg Ellis, News Ltd executives Diana Eilert, John Pittard and Stephen Rue; and Rebecca Liatis, the company secretary.

The board of REA Group will consider the appointment of a new independent non-executive director to replace White early this year.

McGrath is the longest-serving board member, having joined in September 1999.

He is also a member of the HR committee and attended all nine board meeting in the 2011 financial year.

McGrath estate agents specialise in high-end property sales and rentals in Sydney and NSW with smaller operations in Queensland and the ACT.

There are currently about 800 properties listed on the McGrath website.

The company also provides mortgage broking services through its Oxygen Home Loans division.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer
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