NHL shareholders not told of executive's role

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The Independent Online
DAVID HOARE, a management consultant with close links to Olivier Roux, the former finance director of Guinness, and Michael Ashcroft, the chairman of ADT, has been filling a senior executive role at National Home Loans for the past seven months with his role not declared to shareholders.

Jonathan Perry, the executive chairman of the troubled mortgage lenders, said that Mr Hoare, a partner at the consultants Talisman Management, had been brought in to run NHL's Solihull main mortgage processing operation in February, along with two other Talisman executives, David Petersen and Peter Waterson.

Mr Hoare's role, according to Mr Perry, was to take charge of the Solihull operation while Mr Perry negotiated with the bankers that lent NHL pounds 540m.

The banks restructured NHL's debts in June.

Mr Perry said that he was looking for a chief operating officer for NHL who would replace Mr Hoare at the Solihull operation. Mr Perry said that Mr Hoare's replacement would be appointed to the board of NHL.

However, he said he did not feel Mr Hoare was acting in a role where he should attend board meetings, nor that he would be construed as a shadow director.

'It has not been an issue we have raised nor, do I think, would it be an issue,' Mr Perry said.

Talisman, which the Independent disclosed last week was consulting on strategy at the US side of Maxwell Communication Corporation, is staffed by former employees of Bain & Co, the management consultants.

Mr Hoare and his partner, Rick Grogan, led the buyout of the packaging company Cope Allman, which was backed by ADT, the Bermuda-based group headed by Mr Ashcroft. Cope Allman was sold earlier this year to Bowater in a complex deal that enabled ADT to recover the money it had lent to the group.

Mr Roux, the Bain partner who was finance director of Guinness during its controversial bid for Distillers, works with Talisman as an associate.

Morgan Grenfell, the merchant bank, advised Guinness on the bid.

However, Mr Perry, who was a director on the banking side of Morgan Grenfell until January 1988, says he had no contact with Bain while he was at Morgan Grenfell and came across Talisman when he met Mr Hoare at a social function.