Bunhill: Banham on board

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The Independent Online
TALKING of boardroom greed, is there any limit to Sir John Banham's?

It's not so much the money as the sheer number of boardroom jobs the former CBI boss has snapped up since leaving the employers' organisation in 1992. Eight to date, culminating with his elevation to the chairmanship of Tarmac, the construction group. I don't know whether it's his masonic connections - Banham rolls up a nifty trouserleg - or the fame engendered by his unending soundbites and Question Time appearances, but he seems to be the ultimate boardroom accessory.

How on earth does he find time to do them all? Banham assures me: 'I work rather hard - late at night and at the weekend. No one has ever accused me of not doing what I'm supposed to do. It's just a question of putting in the time.'

But wouldn't it have been kinder to leave some of the juicier non-executive directorships to other people? 'In the past I've been very bad at saying no to things.'

That is going to change. He won't take on any more work, he promises, and he plans to resign his chairmanship of the Local Government Commission, which takes two days a week, at the end of 1994. His job with Labatt, the Canadian brewer, means six trips a year to Toronto. By my calculations he's pulling in well over pounds 200,000 a year. 'I haven't worked it out, but I suppose so,' he tells me. Purely in the spirit of helping out with the Banham household accounts - they must be in a shocking mess if he hasn't done such an elementary calculation - I hereby reproduce Sir John's sources of income (two are my estimates):

Tarmac (chmn) pounds 75,000

LGC (chmn) pounds 33,170

Westcountry TV (chmn) pounds 15,000

ECI Ventures (chmn) pounds 30,000?

Labatt Europe (chmn) pounds 50,000?

National Power (dir) pounds 17,500

NatWest Bank (dir) pounds 17,500

Merchants Trust (dir) pounds 7,500

Nice lolly, though he assures me he was earning more as a McKinsey management consultant 12 years ago.

SCHOOLS needing to beef up pupil numbers may soon advertise on telly, I suggested last week. It has already happened, I'm told. The Indefatigable School, the naval college on Anglesey, ran a small campaign on HTV two years ago.