Column Eight: A special treat for auditors

Chris Swinson has surfaced swiftly after being ousted from his senior partnership at BDO Binder Hamlyn by a boardroom depth charge. True & Fair, a newly-launched newsletter for auditors, has taken him on as a specialist contributor. 'He has a keen understanding of the professions and the external political and commercial pressures to which we are subject,' reads the blurb.

How well he copes with internal politics is clearly another matter.

THE MIRROR Group Newspapers AGM on Thursday will be a bit like Hamlet without the prince. Anyone hoping to grill John Talbot, the dry, reserved administrator of the Maxwell private companies who controls 54.8 per cent of MGN's shares, will be disappointed. We can reveal that Mr Talbot has gone away for a well-earned holiday.

THE FINISHING touches were just being added to GQ's September issue last week when its carefully-crafted, 3,000-word feature on Sir David English's possible successors at the Daily Mail became suddenly redundant. The magazine says its money had anyway been on Paul Dacre, who will indeed be the new editor. Of course it was.

SPARE A thought for mainland Greece if you thought the recession was bad here. A colleague found its normally buzzing holiday resorts as empty as Blackpool in a February snowstorm. The main problem is the impenetrability of Yugoslavia by car-bound Germans, used to setting the Audi on cruise control and heading south-east.

APPARENT moves by Lloyd's of London to convert potential trouble-makers on the outside into industry insiders continue. You will recall that Antony Heynes, sometime chairman of the Association of Lloyd's Members (thereby looking after the affairs of more than 8,000 members, including a majority who do not work at Lloyd's), was transported to the chairmanship of Wellington Underwriting Agencies, one of the largest agency groups in the market. There he picked up pounds 80,000 a year on a part-time basis and two other directorships at Lloyd's.

Now the merchant banker Sir David Berriman is going the same way. Sir David, who leads the Rose Thomson Young Action group - representing syndicates facing more than a few million pounds worth of losses - is becoming chairman of the Knightstone Group, managing the affairs of 2,765 members with a capacity of pounds 66m. His salary is said to be commensurate with a non-executive chairmanship of a professional agency group at Lloyd's.

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