City People

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The Independent Online
Anne Simpson, the scourge of British boardrooms, is decamping to Washington and the World Bank, lured by the promise of bringing corporate governance to the world stage.

Ms Simpson, 41, who officially started work as the Bank's senior private sector specialist this week from her Islington home, says her new bosses have been very understanding about waiting for the school term to finish before she and her three children move across the Atlantic. Let's hope they are as receptive to her particular ways of dealing with standards which don't come up to scratch.

Key campaigns which stand out in her ten years with PIRC, the Pensions and Investment Research Consultants, include the `Just Say No' campaign which mobilised Lord Hanson's shareholders, and6 her role in the `Cedric the pig' affair. She says: "If they were going to approach it in a stuffy, traditional way they wouldn't have gone out of their way to recruit an outsider. My value to them is that I have not spent the last twenty years as a civil servant. I've been at the grassroots trying to make corporate governance work in practice."


The first of the three M&S directors to take "early retirement" has emerged from the fray.

Chris Littmoden, the former director of Marks' US operations, who was sacked in February alongside Derek Hayes and John Sacher, has reappeared in an altogether different guise. Nowadays Mr Littmoden is gainfully employed by the MoD and the Home Office immigration department, where he is advising them on efficiency. But don't expect him to stay under cover for too long.

As retailing goes global, he has big plans to use his overseas, and in particular American, expertise. "I turned Brooks Brothers round and got rid of Canada. As the business goes global it's going to be driven by Anglo-Americans," he says. And now the dust is beginning to settle, what of his old employers of 25 years standing? Mr Littmoden doesn't mince his words, telling me: "I'm absolutely staggered with the way they dealt with my departure. I can't believe it's the same company."


What a week for Kingfisher to lose its chief spin-doctor. Mike Hingston, corporate affairs director, resigned on Friday in what appear to be acrimonious circumstances which, we are told, had nothing to do with Wal-Mart.

Gwen Gober, the Texan lady who is replacing him, says: "He tendered his resignation last week but he very graciously agreed to come back and help with the Wal-Mart announcement." Sources say Mr Hingston had problems with the investor relations department.


There are more red faces at Deutsche Bank, the German financial juggernaut, as it seeks to bed down its $10bn takeover of Bankers Trust.

Pure coincidence no doubt, but the bank yesterday succeeding in losing the services of Dick Daniel, the Bankers Trust chief financial officer and the second most powerful man in the firm after Frank Newman, the chairman. Also going after 27 years is Christian Strenger, the man credited with building up the bank's asset management business from nowhere.

As if that were not enough, chief executive Rolf Breuer has been all over the German press after it emerged that he and three other board members are facing an investigation by the German tax office into allegations the bank helped customers dodge tax.

Dick Daniel had been in line for a $9m golden handcuff payment. But when push came to shove it seemed that there would not be much of a role for him in the new set-up.

American regulators and Deutsche Bank are also looking into an alleged $19.1m black hole in Bankers' past accounts. Yesterday the bank was keeping mum about the affair.