CITY DIARY

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
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future