July 5, 2011 2:37 am

Rank and file announcements

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Gaming group appoints advisers: Chris Treneman, Peter Brown and Nick Harper

Another day, another announcement from Rank.

Former Inchcape chief and chairman Peter Johnson, who announced his departure before the Guoco approach, has been leading Rank’s negotiations, but confused investors and analysts will also be able to get additional information about the ongoing saga from the gaming company’s advisers.

Investec’s Chris Treneman and Peter Brown at Bank of America Merrill Lynch are Rank’s brokers, and Nick Harper at Goldman Sachs is also advising the board as financial adviser.

. . .

Doing the maths

While Rank chief Ian Burke has returned, it is unclear whether finance director Paddy Gallagher – who announced his resignation together with Mr Burke last week – will also be rejoining the group.

Mr Burke can probably rest easy. Of the six non-executive directors, four – Owen O’Donnell, Bill Shannon, John Warren and Tim Scoble – are chartered accountants and will be able to pitch in on the numbers front. Richard Greenhalgh, Rank’s senior director, who is an ex-Unilever man, where his last role was chairman of the UK operations, is billed as a brand and human resources expert.

. . .

Bidding farewell

Carpetright chairman Lord Harris is to bid farewell to a Weston.

Guy Weston – who is the older brother of Associated British Foods’ chief executive George – is stepping down as a Carpetright director in September. Mr Weston chairs furniture retailer Heal’s and the Weston family investment company Wittington Investments.

. . .

Flotation fever

Towergate Insurance has appointed Lloyds Banking Group executive director Truett Tate as a board member, fuelling expectations of its flotation.

The 61-year-old American oversees Lloyds’ wholesale operations and chairs independent hotel chain Arora Holdings, run by property entrepreneur Surinder Arora. He is also a non-executive director of BritishAmerican Business and Association for Financial Markets in Europe.

. . .

Accounting gains

Doing a U-turn back into accountancy, Citigroup’s insurance analyst James Quin is returning to PwC.

Mr Quin – who was at PwC for a decade until 2000 before becoming an insurance analyst – is joining the auditor’s financial services accounting advisory business, helping clients with their dealings in capital markets as they face new solvency regulations.

Prior to Citi, he worked at Lehman Brothers, HSBC and SG Securities.

. . .

Mark Ovenden

Power Player: Mark Ovenden, Ford UK MD

In his rise through the ranks at Ford Motor, Mark Ovenden has worked at the US carmaker’s Dearborn, Michigan head office and its European headquarters in Cologne – predictable stops for a man just named to head Ford’s sprawling UK operation, writes John Reed.

In his new role, the 47-year-old will need to head off intense competition to defend Ford’s position as the top-selling carmaker in Britain. The group also has a large UK manufacturing presence, with Transit van operations in Southampton, engines in Dagenham and South Wales, and transmissions in Halewood.

A Ford lifer, Mr Ovenden faced one of his biggest tests as a manager in Russia, where he arrived in November 2008, just as the country was entering a “V-shaped recession”. As the oil price tumbled and the rouble collapsed, car sales dropped like a stone, to half the 3m volume originally forecasted for 2009. Then Russia’s car market roared back in 2010.

Back in the UK, things on the home front should be better for the University of Nottingham graduate. He will be reunited full-time with his wife, who has been splitting her time between rural Essex and Moscow, and his two daughters.

people@ft.com

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