People & Business - Business - News - The Independent

People & Business

Mick Newmarch is back. And he's pulling no punches. Just 18 months after walking out of the top job at the Prudential after an almighty row with the Government and regulators over the pensions mis-selling scandal, Mr Newmarch has been appointed a non-executive director of Bourne End Properties.

After a lay-off spent travelling the world salmon fishing, "my first love", Mr Newmarch is keen to set the record straight on why he left the Pru, the insurance giant he joined back in 1955.

"I left because the environment was increasingly distasteful. The constant attacks by the regulatory authorities were really unselective, not objective, and emotional. A great deal of nonsense was being talked about the industry (and mis-selling). It was wholly unsatisfactory. The industry had a very strong case to defend.... It has been blackguarded."

No one can accuse Mr Newmarch of sitting on the fence. Since he left the Pru he has collected just one non-exec position, at Celltech, but he says he is about to make "another more substantial announcement soon". Perhaps Howard Davies is recruiting him to help run NewRo.

Only joking. Mr Newmarch says he was approached by Bourne End and liked their management. Bourne End Properties chairman Don Hughes said Mr Newmarch will become chairman on 30 September when Mr Hughes retires from the board.

Bourne End was originally a pounds 50m property investment vehicle for Leo Noe, the former chief executive. He's still a big shareholder. It's now run by David Roberts, based in Wigmore Street, and specialises in shopping centres. And no, it doesn't sell pensions.

I've just received a press release from Nick Bravery, general manager of the AA Driving School. I'm sure he's heard all the jokes before, so I won't bother.

Hard to know what to make of the latest developments in the plant hire market unveiled yesterday by Alistair Napier, new managing director of Hewden Stuart. As well as its traditional areas of renting road rollers and the like to navvies, he reveals that the UK's biggest plant hirer is "spreading into agriculture", with tractors that can measure the productivity of the operator.

"At the other end of the scale, we are also hiring out more toilets. So there's also growth in the bottom end of the market."

Is this all code for plans to launch the world's first hi-tech super loo to measure productivity? Or is it just a barometer for Blairite Britain?

Trevor Smallwood and his fellow directors at Firstbus, the bus and train company, had a more stressful meeting than usual with analysts this week. The financial performance of the company wasn't the problem. Around a dozen analysts were travelling to Firstbus's operations in Ipswich, and departed from Liverpool Street Station in the City using a Firstbus train.

The train broke down. It ground to a halt in Kelvedon in Essex, to be precise. The marooned analysts managed to battle their way to Chelmsford, and Firstbus's management team, showing commendable initiative, travelled post haste from Ipswich to meet them there.

I understand the questions about reliability had a bit more bite than usual.

Carol Galley, the "Ice Maiden" of Mercury Asset Management, is off to a German beer festival at the weekend. MAM's deputy chairman and highest paid woman in Britain (pounds 6m) is married to Reinhard Winkler, a German stockbroker. No doubt they often swig a few steins together.

BAA has appointed Lawrence Urquhart to the new role of deputy chairman and said it is expected that he will succeed Dr Brian Smith as chairman on Dr Smith's retirement in July 1998. With the greatest respect to the urbane Mr Urquhart, he is unlikely to have much of a material impact on the airport company, since its chief executive Sir John Egan rules it with a rod of iron.

Mr Urquhart, 62, has been a non-exec at BAA for four years and is chairman of no less than three companies - Burmah Castrol, ECC (the former English China Clays) and Scottish Widows Fund Life Assurance Society. He's also a non-exec at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.

He was an executive boss of Burmah until 1993, then handed over to Jonathan Fry and became chairman. That was when Mr Urquhart's non-executive portfolio took off.

He is described by a colleague as "an average but extraordinarily enthusiastic golfer, a country pursuits man of limited ability - originally trained as an accountant, a tough Scot with a sense of humour. One of the great and the good of the Scottish mafia."

And as such, no doubt Mr Urquhart will be applying for the new credit card being launched by The Scotsman newspaper and backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Flushed by the "Yes-Yes" vote, the newspaper has launched the card featuring famous Scottish inventors who are a "credit to the nation".

I wonder if Bruce Patullo, Governor of the Bank of Scotland, will apply for one. He was practically disembowelled by his fellow countrymen for daring to suggest that devolution might lead to higher taxes and the like.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week