City People

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The Independent Online
BANKERS DON'T often crack jokes, so we should treasure them when we get them. Yesterday Keith Whitson, chief executive of HSBC, boasted: "We had a Canadian chief executive years before it became fashionable".

Mr Whitson, who was referring to the appointment of Matt Barrett at Barclays last week, had Midland Bank's Bill Dalton in mind. Mr Dalton himself said he'd known Matt Barrett for 37 years, but tantalisingly refused to elaborate further.

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DON'T MENTION the words "junk bonds" to Jay Nawrocki.

The 49-year-old executive director at Warburg Dillon Read is moving to WestLB Panmure to head up the latter's "high-yield bond" operation.

Such high-yield bonds may have been tarred with the "junk bond" description when Mr Nawrocki was working at Drexel Burnham Lambert in New York in the 1980s.

But all that "greed is good" stuff is dead and buried. High-yield bonds are needed to fuel high-growth companies, explains a WestLB Panmure spokesman. This follows the bank's hiring of Derek Jones from JP Morgan in March; he specialises in high-yield research.

Mr Nawrocki, who has had stints at Citibank, Bankers Trust and JP Morgan, will now report to Mark Ebert, Head of Investment Banking at WestLB Panmure. He will be in charge of all aspects of high-yield capital markets, including research, trading and sales.

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ROGER DICKENS, former deputy senior partner of KPMG and fanatical West Bromwich Albion supporter, has been appointed chairman of the West Bromwich Building Society.

Mr Dickens (pictured), a lifelong stalwart of the Birmingham business community, replaces Ray Dickinson, who was once a partner in Peat Marwick, now part of KPMG.

Mr Dickinson, who will be 65 in April, succeeded John Baker when the Society changed its retirement age last year to 65.

The Society's management has had its hands full fighting off demutualisation proposals. The last resolutions were ruled "not valid" at a lively agm in May. Mr Dickens is determined to carry on the fight, saying: "Recently carpetbaggers have distracted building societies from what should be their goal - delivering mutuality."

Quite so. Still, I'm sure the West Brom is worth a punt.

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FOR THOSE of you who thought the national minimum wage was designed to help shop workers and the like, spare a thought for trainee barristers.

I always assumed m'learned friends did all right for themselves, but according to a report in "The Lawyer" nearly 200 pupillages (training schemes) out of a total of 700 ending last year were "unfunded".

Now a High Court action has been launched to establish whether the national minimum wage applies to trainees. Judges will decide whether Rebecca Edmonds, a pupil at 23 Essex Street whose first six months of pupillage was unpaid, is entitled to the minimum whack. It's enough to make you feel sorry for lawyers. Well, almost.

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CHAS LAWRENCE, chief executive of Wincanton Logistics, the distribution arm of Unigate, has been working on emergency plans to keep shops in the South-west supplied with adequate food in the run up to the solar eclipse on 11 August.

Mr Lawrence has also just been appointed a non-executive director at T&S Stores, the UK's largest "neighbourhood" chain.

T&S runs the "Dillons" shop chain, which its about to rebrand to match the "One Stop" stores it bought this year. Jim McCarthy, chief executive of T&S, says Mr Lawrence's expertise in "just in time" delivery is going to be important for T&S.

As it will for the shoppers during the eclipse.

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LAST BUT not least, the Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) has agreed to merge with the Independent Financial Advisers Association (IFAA). It makes you wonder when they get the time to sell all that insurance....

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