For Scottish Amicable to lose one senior executive may be considered a misfortune. To lose two is carelessness. Followers of the Glaswegian life company are asking themselves how it is possible for Graeme Knox, the 50-year-old former MD of its investment arm, to bow out in such an unceremonious manner.

Despite the usual fluff about "looking forward to fresh challenges," seasoned observers point out that the ebullient Mr Knox, who served ScotAm man and boy, was one of a trio hoping for the company's top job when its then managing director Bill Proudfoot stepped down for health reasons in 1990.

Roy Nicolson succeeded, with another contender for the top slot, Maurice Paterson, as his deputy. Paterson left suddenly last year. On Monday, also without warning, it was Knox's turn. The upper echelons at ScotAm appear to be jinxed. Or is there another reason for this seeming coincidence?

Some big cheeses look as if butter would not melt in their mouths. But beware. They are as prone to telling porkies as the rest of us mere mortals. Neil McLaughlin of GKRS Search & Selection tells me that, far from an unusual occurrence, fudging the issue and gilding the CV is commonplace amongst the highly placed. "The problem", he says "is that people don't often check up on the facts given and simply rely on written references."

CVs are often hazy on age and sport an upgraded degree result. McLaughlin relates the true story of a highly placed individual who claimed for over 10 years to hold a degree and was only unmasked when GKRS ran a routine check that showed the qualification to be fictional. The sector most prone to expansion of qualification facts is unsurprisingly, in sales.

Beware the fund manager who holidays in August, for he returns to his desk refreshed, intent on shaking up his portfolio. Or so says Matthew Windridge, head of research at MarketScope Europe. After digging into the reasons behind consistent falls in the equities markets in September he concludes that because of "the high incidence of holidays in August, fund managers have more of an inclination to change portfolios in September." New companies wishing to avoid the "September effect" should pick on March, June or December to report, although the reasons for this are equally obscure.

Matthew Nayler, brewing analyst as Williams de Broe, shows a dedication to his profession beyond the call of duty. For his most recent note on the brewing and leisure group Bass, he details a trawl through the group's latest concept pubs. "As ever," said Nayler, "the best way to judge how the building blocks are progressing is to visit the pubs." So off he went to sip orange juice - with the odd swift half to relieve the tedium - in a total of thirteen varied `concepts' over one long weekend. Nayler is diplomatic about whether or not he enjoyed the experience but he did add that it was not a match for his most arduous trip - 27 pubs in one evening in Newcastle. Such is the brewing analysts' lot.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life