The Business Week In Review: AstraZeneca, Bob Dudley, the Financial Services Authority and Clinton Cards
Sunday 01 April 2012
AstraZeneca boss David Brennan graced the downstairs bit of this column last week. An error, we now admit: he's done all right for himself.
Despite the ignominious failure of an antidepressant once viewed as the company's next blockbuster and the oft-argued case that Astra's drug pipeline is well and truly plugged, Brennan was paid £9.1m in 2011 according to the Monday's annual report.
The GMB union went nuts, as national officer Allan Black reportedly fumed: "It's a shame that Mr Brennan wasn't prepared to share some of the company's largesse in preserving some jobs in the UK."
While we're eating some crow, it's time to cut BP chief executive Bob Dudley a little slack. Before we do, a quick reminder that Dudley has made some avoidable misjudgements, not least the proposed $10bn share swap with Rosneft that so infuriated BP's existing Russian partners in TNK-BP. But, he has succeeded in selling assets to fill the war chest for costs of the Gulf of Mexico disaster. On Tuesday, BP sold North Sea gas assets in the North Sea for $400m.
On Wednesday, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich received a $79m dividend from his stake in FTSE-100 steelmaker Evraz.
...at a loss
Now into its final year, the Financial Services Authority is having a good crack at going out in style. On Monday, the regulator fined Coutts £8.75m for lax security checks on whether funds paid into its accounts were the result of money laundering.
Boss Michael Morley was told the bank had "serious, systemic" deficiencies, particularly over accounts from countries with historical corruption issues. However, it could have been worse, as by settling early and not fighting the allegations Coutts saw nearly one-third slashed off its fine.
But the FSA didn't stop at fining The Queen's bank. On Wednesday, it sued three ex-directors of doorstep lender Cattles and its subsidiary Welcome Financial Services a total of £700,000, though one is contesting his £100,000 charge.
The trio, which included former Cattles finance director James Corr, have also been banned for life from working in the finance industry after the group all but collapsed in 2009.
On Thursday, Don Lewin confirmed that he will retire from Clinton Cards, where he is still chairman 44-years after opening his first store in Epping, Essex in July. He leaves on a sour note: the first-half loss was £3.67m.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
- 5 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Scottish independence referendum live: Markets rush to gamble on vote with final poll showing eight-point lead for No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
iJobs Money & Business
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...
Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...