People Roundup: CoStar Group, Holo, Dubizzle and OLX

June 20, 2024
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This week's people roundup is finance-heavy, with two CFO appointments coming out of Asia and the United States.


CoStar Group appoints new Chief Financial Officer

CoStar Group has announced the appointment of Christian M. Lown as Chief Financial Officer.

Lown joins from the Fortune 500 home loan company Freddie Mac where he is working his notice as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He will join CoStar on the 1st of July and report directly to the company's founder and CEO Andy Florance.

Lown brings over 25 years of experience in banking, finance, and real estate to CoStar Group. At Freddie Mac, he was responsible for accounting, capital oversight, sustainability, financial controls, investor relations, financial planning and reporting, procurement, and tax functions. His previous roles include EVP and CFO at Navient Corporation and Managing Director of the Financial Institutions Group at Morgan Stanley.

Andy Florance, Founder and CEO at CoStar Group, commented:

"As we seek to build upon our strong performance in recent years, I’m confident Chris is the right person to lead CoStar Group’s financial operations.

"He brings an unparalleled understanding of M&A, capital markets and corporate finance and, through his time at Freddie Mac, an intricate knowledge of the homebuying market at a time when our platform is experiencing exponential growth. I look forward to working with him to make CoStar Group even stronger in the years ahead."

Lown will focus on scaling CoStar Group's operations, developing robust systems and processes, and recruiting top talent to support the company's growth. He will oversee accounting, financial planning, internal controls, reporting and compliance, treasury, investor relations, tax, and corporate facilities.

“I’m thrilled to join CoStar Group, which I’ve always held in high esteem for its incredible trajectory from startup to market leader in commercial real estate data and online real estate marketplaces,” said Chris Lown. “Joining CoStar Group is a career honor, and I am very much looking forward to driving it forward with the rest of the senior management team to even greater heights.”

CoStar Group owns and operates residential real estate portals in the United States ( and the UK (OnTheMarket) as well as a host of other real estate marketplaces and products. The company is on a well-documented mission to overtake Zillow and Rightmove in their respective markets.


Holo appoints a new Chief Financial Officer

The UAE-based proptech Holo has appointed James Evans as the firm's new CFO.

Evans joins Holo—a digital mortgage platform operating in the Middle East—from the staffing startup Ogram, where he also served as CFO.

Holo has grown rapidly since its launch in 2020 and is currently expanding its offering to new markets outside the UAE. The firm recently closed an investment round but the amount raised remains undisclosed.

Holo commented: "James’ impressive background includes recent leadership roles with Ogram and prior to that, Tarabut. James brings unparalleled expertise in steering finance teams and driving fundraising success across start-ups in the MENA region."


New Head of PR for Dubizzle and Bayut

Dubizzle Group has promoted Noor Nablusi to the head of PR and strategic partnerships for both Dubizzle and Bayut.

Nablusi has been at the Group since 2016 as a marketing manager.

In a post on Linkedin, Nabulsi said:

"I am grateful for the support and trust of my colleagues and the amazing leadership team and I look forward to contributing to our continued success to achieve new milestones!"

Bayut is the UAE's biggest real estate portal, while Dubizzle is the leading generalised classified website.


Online classifieds veteran leaves OLX Europe

The online marketplace operator OLX Europe is set to lose its CEO, Marcin Urbanczyk.

The industry veteran took to LinkedIn to announce his departure from the company after 13 years with OLX (four and a half as CEO). Urbanczyk thanked his colleagues as well as OLX's customers and competitors for helping drive the business to more than $600 million in revenue.

In his role, Urbancyzk was responsible for overseeing the performance of well-known real estate marketplaces such as Imovirtual (Portugal), Otodom (Poland) and Storia (Romania) as well as the group's general classifieds and autos assets.

The experienced executive would be high on the wishlist of many companies in the industry having spent more than 15 years in online classifieds (starting at Vivastreet before moving on to EasyRoommate and then OLX) but has decided to spend the coming months with his family.

June 20, 2024
Harvey is an experienced property journalist and copywriter. He has written about the property industry since 2015, starting at The Property Franchise Group in the UK, before moving to Spain to work for Spotahome. He has blogged for the private rented sector, ghostwritten for UK property experts and written case studies for franchise owners around the UK. Harvey joined Online Marketplaces as a News Editor in 2022.

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