Leigh-Pemberton becomes a life peer: Bankers and accountants feature strongly in Birthday Honours awards to business community

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ROBIN Leigh-Pemberton, Governor of the Bank of England, headed the list of honours to business and City figures. He was awarded a life peerage for his 10 years in charge of the Bank.

His term of office included Britain's entry and exit from the exchange rate mechanism, and interest rates as high as 15 per cent in October 1989 and as low as 6 per cent now. He retires at the end of this month and will spend more time on his estate in Kent, where he is a dedicated countryman.

Samuel Brittan, principal economic commentator and assistant editor on the Financial Times, was made a knight for services to economic journalism. The doyen of economic commentators' Economic Viewpoint has been appearing in the FT since 1968. His publications include The Role and Limits of Government and How to end the monetarist controversy. He has been a keen advocate of British membership of the ERM. His brother is the European commissioner Sir Leon Brittan.

Jim Birrell, Halifax chief executive, received a knighthood for services to the building society movement. He joined Halifax, the UK's largest mortgage lender, as an accountant in 1968 and became chief executive in 1988. He has defended the mutuality of building societies and resisted pressure to take Halifax public. He retires in August.

Michael Lickiss, senior partner of Grant Thornton since 1989, received a knighthood for services to accountancy. He was president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1990-91 and has twice been an inspector into fraud cases for the Department of Trade and Industry.

Ronald Miller, chairman of Dawson International, was knighted for services to the textile industry. Dawson is the largest textile company in Scotland. Mr Miller is an accountant by training.

Robin Biggam, chairman of BICC, received a knighthood for services to the cable and construction industries. Yet another accountant by training, he moved on to work for ICI and ICL, becoming chief executive of BICC in 1986 and chairman last year.

David Cooksey, knighted for services to local government, is a leading light in the venture capital industry and was inaugural chairman of the British Venture Capital Association.

Eddie Kulukundis, knighted for charitable services to sport and the arts, is best known as a theatre producer and 'angel' - or investor. He is married to the actress Susan Hampshire. He is a high-profile name at the Lloyd's insurance market.

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