April 2, 2011 2:53 am

Retired chiefs eye the chairs

Sir John Rose and John Varley well-placed for boardroom roles

Of the crop of chief executives who have retired recently, who will get a chairmanship first?

Former Lloyds’ chief Eric Daniels will probably want to keep a low profile after Aviva’s shareholders kicked up a stink about his presence on the insurer’s shortlist for its chairmanship, but Sir John Rose, the forthright Rolls-Royce ex-boss, is on headhunters’ lists for boardroom roles, as is ex-Barclays head John Varley.

Mr Varley has been on the AstraZeneca board since 2006. If the drug group wants to start succession planning for chairman Louis Schweitzer, the 68-year-old who has been in the role since 2004, he will be well placed as a candidate.

. . .

Myners triumph

It was a busy start of the week for Lord and Lady Myners, who were at Claridge’s for the Veuve Cliquot Woman of the Year awards on Monday.

Giving the keynote speech at the champagne-filled event, the former City minister criticised the private sector on its failure to promote female directors, saying the sector had been “blinded by tradition and prejudice”.

Lord Myners, whose name has been linked to the chairmanship at insurance market Lloyd’s of London, brushed aside speculation, telling the FT he was not interested in jobs that required him to take wads of board papers home on a Friday.

He has recently agreed to chair the cash shell being set up by the “homeless” billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, as well as research firm Autonomous, and has a few more offers on the table.

The following day, Lady Myners, chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, hosted the institute’s annual fundraising gala, themed on “psychedelica”. Wearing a bright-red Hawaiian shirt, Lord Myners, once chairman of Marks and Spencer, chatted with his old chief executive, Sir Stuart Rose.

. . .

Channel hopping

Andy Barnes, the only sales director Channel 4 has ever had, is to leave the broadcaster.

Mr Barnes, who is looking forward to a sojourn in his beloved weekend home in Brighton, will form his own consultancy with C4 as its first client. He said: “I am leaving C4, a great employer, with a sweet taste in my mouth.”

He is the second high-profile departure among the old guard of TV airtime sales, following the end of Gary Digby’s reign at ITV. Both men have been at the top of the business, renowned for its arcane practices, for more than two decades.

Mr Barnes has been sales director of the state-owned but advertising-financed broadcaster since 1993, when it took over the sale of its own airtime from ITV.

Some media buyers are expecting C4, like its big rival, to seek a more internet-friendly approach to sales in the future. But any heralding of a new era in airtime sales may be premature: industry gossip is that Mr Digby might be sounded out to succeed Mr Barnes.

. . .

Marathon man

The City’s bankers have rallied to support Old Mutual finance director Philip Broadley, who is running the London Marathon – his first – at the age of 50.

The former Prudential finance man and Takeover Panel member has seen donations from Goldman Sachs’ Matthew Westerman, Conor Hillery of JPMorgan Cazenove, Henrietta Baldock of BofA Merrill Lynch, UK Financial Investments boss Robin Budenburg and Lloyds’ finance director Tim Tookey as well as headhunter Anna Mann, so far raising £76,000 ($122,500) for two charities for disadvantaged children.

. . .

New port of call

The City put aside concerns about the swirling Portuguese debt crisis for a night and celebrated Banco Espírito Santo’s London investment banking launch with 600 guests at the Tate Modern on Tuesday.

Keen to diversify away from Portugal, the bank completed the purchase of a majority stake in Nick Finegold’s Execution Noble last November, and has entered the hiring fray for analysts and bankers.

Espírito Santo’s newly appointed UK investment banking chairman Anthony Fry was seen mingling with Aberdeen Asset Management chief Martin Gilbert and Shaftesbury finance director Brian Bickel.

. . .

Trichet’s tales

By the time European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet steps down from his post on October 31, he may be relieved that his eight years – coloured by financial crisis and the eurozone debt turmoil – are over.

But, before he goes, he will share some thoughts with bankers of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, at its inaugural annual dinner on October 12. The event will be one of Mr Trichet’s final public engagements and AFME is this week sending out invitations for the dinner at St Pancras’s newly refurbished Renaissance hotel, next to the Eurostar terminal.

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