Bunhill: Family fortunes

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The Independent Online
THE APPOINTMENT of Commander George Churchill-Coleman as head of the Metropolitan Police Fraud Squad will have caused a frisson of unease in certain corporate corridors.

The former head of the Met's Anti-Terrorist Branch will no doubt be looking forward to a quieter time than on his last visit to the City, when 100 pounds of explosive was detonated in St Mary Axe.

Only a few minutes' walk from there is the head office of merchant bank Kleinwort Benson, where the head of corporate affairs is Mr Churchill-Coleman's younger brother, Peter.

'No, I certainly can't comment about my brother's appointment,' Peter said. 'It would be quite inappropriate, but I do hope our paths don't cross on anything to do with business.'

Peter, 49, is five years younger than George. Their parents died when the brothers were children, and Peter was brought up by an uncle in Newbury. He joined the Newbury branch of Robert Benson Lonsdale, later to be taken over by Kleinwort, in 1960 - the same year George joined the Met.

While George was doing everything from dealing with the Iranian embassy siege in 1981 to solving the murder of seven Chinese people in a Soho gaming club, Peter was quietly making his way through the back offices of Kleinwort. He landed in the City in 1969 and eventually became the group's company secretary. He added his present role two years ago when his predecessor, Charles Anson, moved on to be the Queen's press spokesman.

At least one other City figure will not be best disposed towards George as he settles in to his new job: Piers Pottinger, head of the City public relations firm Lowe Bell Financial, which is owned by Sir Tim Bell, the top PR adviser.

Mr Pottinger's father, William, was a civil servant in the Scottish Office who had his collar felt by Mr Churchill-Coleman on corruption charges involving John Poulson, the Leeds architect. Mr Poulson and Mr Pottinger were each jailed for five years in 1974.

So one way and another, Mr Churchill-Coleman should feel at home in the business world.

(Photographs omitted)

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