People & Business

It was a good day yesterday for former Tory ministers looking for new ways to scrape a living. General Accident snapped up Lord Lang of Monkton, formerly trade minister Ian Lang, as a non-executive director. Another Scot, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC, former energy minister and Lord Advocate, was appointed non-executive chairman of JKX Oil & Gas, a London listed exploration and production company.

For the urbane Lord Lang, once the MP for Galloway Upper Nithsdale, this is a return to well-known pastures. He spent 18 years working for an insurance broker north of the border before concentrating on politics. "GA was very well known to me then. I'm delighted to be renewing my acquaintance," he said.

He's also currently deputy chairman of European Telecom, an equipment distributor based in Slough, and sits on the board of a number of Scottish investment trusts. "I've got one or two other things in negotiation," he adds enticingly. Lord Fraser likewise has a deep well of experience in his chosen field. While at the DTI he led trade missions to more than 25 countries, and he is a non-executive director of Elf Exploration UK and a lay director of the International Petroleum Exchange.

Bob McCrackin, chief executive of JKX, says the company's main asset is a 49 per cent stake in Poltava Petroleum, an oil a nd gas company operating in the Republic of Georgia and the Ukraine. JKX has also recruited Viscount Asquith OBE, a former diplomat at the British Embassy in Kiev, and Leoned Tiahlo, a Ukrainian oil man, as non-executive directors.

When asked where he came from, Mr McCrackin replied: "In 1645 I was Scottish." In fact he's from Ohio, and spent 14 years with Mobil.

British-owned investment banks may be a bit of a dog's dinner at the moment, but Dutch giant ABN Amro continues to go from strength to strength in London. ABN has poached Keith Edginton from UBS to supervise the bank's move from half a dozen different sites in London to a flash new City building now under construction at 250 Bishopsgate.

Mr Edginton, 41, will report to Chris Tupker, who has the business-card- busting title of "senior executive vice president, Directorate General Network Management and Services, ABN Amro Bank NV".

Mr Tupker says disarmingly that the bank realised it needed someone of a higher calibre than it already had to supervise such a complex move, and when they went out into the recruitment market "the right person was very difficult to find."

Both commercial and investment banking activities will be moving under one roof, and Mr Tupker says that ABN will be leaning heavily on Mr Edginton's experience of running UBS's settlement and IT activities in Europe.

Mr Tupker is more than happy to squash speculation that ABN is considering a bid for a British investment bank (not that there are many left): "We're happy to grow organically at the moment."

Which doesn't stop ABN's corporate finance operation in the City from hoovering up big signings. It has already made half a dozen this year. Yesterday it signed up Steve Gregg, an Australian with a bushy moustache, from Lehman Brothers as head of a new consumer products team. Hugh Scott- Barrett, head of corporate finance, says he is on the look out for more talent.

John Simpson, chief executive of Mayflower, the UK engineering group which may or may not bid for Vickers, was pictured last week posing proudly in front of a Chrysler Plymouth Prowler, a mighty American sports car for which Mayflower provides the body panels.

This week Autocar magazine reports that the Prowler, launched by Chrysler this year, is in huge demand in the US. However, the magazine notes: "Problems with paint quality and alignment of the aluminium bodies - made by British company Mayflower - have slowed production, which means Chrysler will only build 700 cars by the end of this year."

A Mayflower spokesman said yesterday: "The Chrysler Plymouth Prowler is a new and innovative product for which Chrysler has exacting standards. Mayflower has not delayed the ramp-up [the build up in production] and is unaware of alignment problems in the body. We don't paint, so paint quality can't be down to us."

If you're interested in buying a Prowler, by the way, you'll have to go the US and fork out $39,000. The "modern hot rod" is available in shocking yellow and purple.

Clare Rodway, director of marketing at Nicholson Graham & Jones, the City law firm, recently fired off a series of announcements that the firm has "doubled in size in the last six years", with turnover up 17 per cent in the last financial year.

Ms Rodway called only days later to add that her pregnancy had just doubled in size as well - she's having twins. The intrepid spokeswoman is battling on at work until the end of November, and the sprogs are due in February.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
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

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

Technical Support Analyst (C++, Windows, Linux, Perl, Graduate)

£30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global leader in trading platforms and e...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice