De La Rue swaps a toff for a fragrant accountant

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The Independent Online
De La Rue, the maker of bank notes and money transaction systems, has named Brandon Gough as chairman to replace the Earl of Limerick.

Mr Gough was an accountant for years and years at Coopers & Lybrand, rising to chairman before he retired in 1994. He then joined the De La Rue board as a non-executive director. We thought it would be appropriate to mark his new job with a limerick, with due respect to his predecessor:

There was an accountant called Gough,

Who suffered a terrible cough.

Then he joined De La Rue,

Barked "How do you do",

And replaced an honourable toff.

As a fully paid up member of the Great and the Good, Mr Gough is also chairman of Yorkshire Water, chairman of the Higher Education Funding Council for England and chairman of the Doctors' and Dentists' Pay Review Body.

Nicholas Brookes, chief executive of Bowthorpe, the electronics group, also joined the De La Rue board yesterday as a non-exec.

Returning to Mr Gough, it was at Yorkshire Water, of course, where former managing director Trevor Newton told the public that he didn't bother with baths, and urged them to do the same in the name of water conservation.

Happily, I am informed that Mr Gough is a regular bather, and is in fact positively fragrant.

Yet another bauble for Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the Accounting Standards Board, whose wit is drier than a Highland Park malt. Now he's won the 1997 Founding Societies Centenary award, "the chartered accountants' top accolade".

Keith Clayton, president of the Liverpool Society of Chartered Accountants, will host this year's ceremony in Liverpool Town Hall in May.

Mr Clayton says: "Sir David has done a remarkable job in gaining universal acceptance of the Accounting Standards Board within the profession in such a short time. He is widely admired not just for his technical expertise and judgement, but also for his unfailing sense of humour."

Sir David, a fanatical supporter of the Scottish rugby team and a Murrayfield stalwart, is in Australia at the moment for a meeting of international accounting standard-setters. He says it was a "great thrill" to be in such company as the likes of Lord Benson (formerly of Coopers), Sir Bryan Carsberg and Sir Trevor Holdsworth."

Barings Asset Management, one of the few bits of the old Barings operation to come out unblemished from the Nick Leeson fiasco, has decided at long last that it needs a marketing department.

BAM already has pounds 24bn under management, much of it from high-quality pension and charity mandates. Now it has hired Mark Weber as global head of marketing, to be based in Boston, and Mark Skinner as deputy back in London. Mr Weber joins from Paribas Asset Management in New York.

More larks from Grip, the London-based Lloyd's broker that brought us insurance against abduction by aliens. Now Financial Adviser, the weekly magazine, reports that Simon Burgess, managing director of Grip, is to offer cover against the possibility of legal disputes with clones.

Mr Burgess is reported as saying: "In the absence of a will, it is our understanding that an estate will pass to a clone and the established rules on intestacy will be bypassed."

Intestacy apart, might this not be a way of avoiding an impending row over whether Prince Charles should become King? An endless succession of Queen Elizabeth IIs sounds rather fun.

Last Friday it was red nose day and this Friday it will be blue clothes. Nothing to do with party politics - this week water industry staff are being encouraged to dress down and pay pounds 1 each to don blue outfits for WaterAid, the international charity.

Thousands of staff are being challenged to take up the Grey to Blue fundraising challenge in time for this year's WaterAid Day on Saturday, 22 March.

And if nothing else, it should be fun to see Brandon Gough, chairman of Yorkshire Water (see above), flapping around in a blue costume.

WaterAid hopes the event will raise pounds 15,000 for safe water and sanitation projects in developing countries. That's enough to bring safe water to another 1,500 people. For more information contact Kelly Jones of WaterAid on 0171 793 4505.