Bock will demand big shake-up at Lonrho

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The Independent Online
DIETER BOCK, the German businessman who is trying to bring the affairs of Lonrho into line with modern business practice, will today confront Roland 'Tiny' Rowland, the trading group's dominant executive, and demand instant changes.

As relationships between the two men deteriorate, Mr Bock will insist that a remuneration committee is set up to review directors' pay and an audit committee is appointed to review the way in which the accounts are prepared.

Mr Bock holds an 18.8 per cent stake in Lonrho, which he acquired at the beginning of the year. Since then, Mr Rowland has left him to run the company and carry out relatively modest deals.

But Mr Bock, in his capacity as joint chief executive with Mr Rowland, is determined to introduce tighter management controls within the group, reduce the size of the board and remove directors who have reached pensionable age and who are drawing pensions as well as salaries on the board. At least three directors, including Mr Rowland, are receiving pensions as well as salaries.

Mr Rowland reluctantly agreed to Mr Bock's demands for the appointment of two non-executives to the board - Stephen Walls, chairman of Albert Fisher, the food processing group, and Peter Harper, a director of Hanson, the Anglo- American conglomerate.

Mr Bock wants his two candidates to form a majority on the remuneration and audit committees, but Mr Rowland is certain to insist that his own candidates have representation.

A spokesman for Mr Bock said that at today's board meeting there would be no attempt to remove any existing directors. However, it is almost certain to increase tension while Mr Rowland tries to retain control of the company he has built up over the past 30 years.