David Prosser: Rothschild's gain is the country's loss

 

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The Independent Online

Outlook When Sir John Rose stood down in February from a long and illustrious term of office running Rolls-Royce, this column was one of many to heap praise on the contribution he had made to British manufacturing and technology. I also urged the Government to find a way to use his skills and experience.

In that sense, the announcement yesterday that Sir John is to become the deputy chairman of the Rothschild banking group is a disappointment. No offence to Rothschild intended, but our need is greater than the bank's.

To be fair, Sir John is a member of the panel advising the government-appointed Kay Review of stock markets and short-termism. It is useful work for if his tenure at Rolls-Royce proved anything, it was that the day-to-day vagaries of equity investors are a poor guide to the long-run prospects of corporates.

Still, at a time when barely a day goes past without government ministers talking of the need to rebalance Britain's economy away from financial services towards hi-tech manufacturing, what a pity to lose such an expert in the latter to the former.

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