PEOPLE & BUSINESS

Tradepoint, the electronic share dealing company that nearly went bust in the summer, has poached a heavyweight new boss from Barclays to spearhead its renewed attack on the London Stock Exchange.

Nic Stuchfield, 37, has spent the last nine years in a series of high profile roles, including chief executive of equities at BZW and a senior director of Barclays Global Investors, the world's largest indexed fund manager with $420bn of assets.

Mr Stuchfield replaces Michael Waller-Bridge, who stepped down in July. The former decided to leave long before Barclays' recent decision to flog off parts of BZW, says Peter Stevens, chairman of Tradepoint. But it still looks like good timing.

Mr Stevens himself was appointed at the time of the rescue refinancing at the end of July, which was led by Apax Partners and its chairman Ronnie Cohen. "The new investors were very keen to get a new chief executive to provide a new impetus to the company," says Mr Stevens.

City analysts think Tradepoint has an excellent chance of doing well when the LSE introduces American-style order-driven trading next month - the same system Tradepoint has been pushing for years. It may also benefit from some inside knowledge. Mr Stevens and another Tradepoint director, Stanislas Yassukovich, were once deputy chairmen of the LSE at the same time. As Mr Stevens trenchantly observes: "We think we understand the competition."

Nigel McGinley is stepping down next year as chief executive of Tie Rack after what will be 12 years with the company, in a mini-boardroom shake-up. Two board members are promoted, Martin Morgan to deputy chairman and Ronnie Flax to joint managing director, while Brita Eickhoff joins the baord as joint managing director.

Mr McGinley says he will stay on as a consultant with Tie Rack, and that he has a few projects up his sleeve. So will he be getting a gold watch from a grateful company on his retirement? "I don't know about that. The company's only 16 years old, so its a bit soon to have traditions like that," he says.

Roy Bishko, chairman of Tie Rack, is confident the new team will make their mark. "We discovered Brita Eickhoff, a South African, when she was backpacking in San Diego. She helped us open our first store in the US, and she did the same thing in Australia."

Congratulations to Vicky Wright, who has has been elected only the second- ever female President of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA). "The last (female president) was Ann Shaw exactly 30 years ago, so its truly time we had another one," said Brian O'Rorke, executive director of the MCA.

Ms Wright has also just been promoted to become managing director of worldwide knowledge management and integration at Hay Management Consultants. It certainly sounds grand. How will she fit it all onto her business cards?

Anyway, she will be joined at the MCA by Mike Freedman, a partner of Kepner Tregoe, who has been elected the Association's vice-president for the coming year.

Quilter & Co, the private client stockbroker, has recruited David Franklin from BWD Rensburg Unit Trust Managers in Leeds as a divisional director in order to grow its QUIPS.

This has nothing to do with smart repartee, however, but is a reference to the Quilter Unit and Investment Trust Portfolio Service. Quilters was bought eight years ago by Commercial Union and is now aggressively growing its retail funds, and Mr Franklin looks the man for the job. Prior to his two year stint with Rensburg Mr Franklin spent ten years with Johnson Fry Asset Managers, where he designed and launched three investment trusts which raised a total of pounds 100m.

I've just received another "postcard" by satellite phone from Gerry Acher, head of audit at KPMG, who is driving his 1932 baby Aston Martin from Peking to Paris.

He has just left Greece and is heading for Italy by ferry, and is due to complete the vintage car rally in Paris this Saturday

He says: "Our wonderful visit through Iran and the tremendous hospitality we received from all the Iranians was unfortunately marred when we passed through the last village before the Turkish border and were pelted with stones and rotten fruit". Sounds like an average shareholders' meeting to me.

"We are now at the Greek port of Patras awaiting our ferry to Italy. This is a really tense time - so near yet so far."

My fingers are crossed. Lets hope there's no rotten fruit throwing in Paris.

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