Gongs ring out across City's boardrooms
Saturday 15 June 1996
Sir John Craven, chairman of Morgan Grenfell Group, has got his knighthood "for services to banking and to the City". The South African-born banker resurrected Morgan Grenfell following the Guinness debacle in the 1980s, and then sold Morgan on to Deutsche Bank.
Sir John recently stood down from the Vorstand, Deutsche's ruling council, but he remains influential as Morgan Grenfell continues its pell-mell hiring of talent. Whether Deutsche Morgan Grenfell will succeed in becoming one of the world's 10 leading bulge-bracket investment banks remains to be seen, but Sir John's impact has been undeniable.
Sir Nigel Rudd is one of the few 1980s whizz-kids to have survived that dizzy decade and reinvent himself as one of the great and the good. Born in Derby, and having built his first modest fortune while still in his twenties, Sir Nigel then teamed up with Brian McGowan to build an industrial conglomerate from the detritus of British manufacturing. Despite the failure of similar go-go companies such as British & Commonwealth, Williams Holdings was more conservative in its growth rate and is still there.
Sir Clive Thompson, chief executive of Rentokil Group, has presided over one of the best-performing shares in the last 15 years. Sir Clive is known as "Mr Twenty Per Cent" because he has delivered 20 per cent earnings growth per annum over that period. He has also emerged battered but unbowed from the recent takeover battle for BET.
Sir Richard Evans CBE, chief executive of British Aerospace, gets his knighthood "for services to the aerospace and defence industries." Having been roundly criticised for BAe's poor performance he is now getting plaudits for turning it around.
Other knights include Sir David Barnes CBE, chief executive of Zeneca Group, "for services to the pharmaceuticals industry", and Sir William Brown CBE, former chairman of the Scottish Arts Council and of Scottish Television, "for services to the arts and to broadcasting". Sir Leonard Chalstrey, Lord Mayor of London, also gets a knighthood for services to the City. A leading surgeon, Sir Leonard has spent much of his professional life at Bart's Hospital in the City.
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