People & Business: An accountant's life can be exciting - just ask Hamilton

The London Society of Chartered Accountants, the largest and most active of the district accountancy societies with 23,000 members, has moved into new offices in Basinghall Street, just round the corner from the Guildhall, and has elected Nick Hamilton, a managing partner of Hereward Philips, as its chairman.

For an accountant he has a distinctly purple patch in his CV. After qualifying at the age of 22 in 1971, he decided to spend a year travelling from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and back by the Amazon and the Caribbean before settling down to the graft of accountancy.

High points included being given shelter in a YWCA when he found himself in the freezing Yukon with no winter clothing, and then crewing a cargo ship in the Caribbean. Low points included a 6,000-foot climb up the side of the Grand Canyon to find the bars all shut for election day, and a month picking tobacco in Canada.

Married with two children, his hobbies include scuba-diving and underwater photography, and playing cricket and tennis, although he is currently nursing a cracked ankle from paint-balling with his children.

He is expected to stand up for the 23 district societies in the face of proposals to merge them into a smaller number of larger regions, and to fight to retain activity-based funding from the Chartered Institute itself rather than the proposals to switch to direct funding by the local membership.

The London Bullion Market Association has appointed Peter Fava, a former managing director of Alexanders Discount and now head of precious metals at Midland Bank, as its new chairman.

Born in Malta, the son of an army doctor, Mr Fava was given a choice of foreign exchange or bullion when he joined Johnson Matthey from Lloyds Bank in the early Seventies and has never regretted the advice that bullion was the more interesting option.

Married with two children, his interests include golf and hill-walking near his Dorking home and in Italy, and opera, especially Italian.

The bullion market has always been a by-word for traditional practices with representatives of five old-established City firms (mostly now in new ownership) sitting round a table "fixing" a gold price twice a day and silver price once a day.

The fixing still provides a reference point for the rest of the world but there are now 12 market-makers, trading in both physical gold and derivatives, and in spite of recent rate rises interest-bearing gold loans are a cheap and attractive alternative to currency loans for mining houses keen to maximise their cash-flows.

Other reforms including electronic clearing are on the way and Mr Fava believes the hatching of the EMU will simultaneously reduce the number of currencies available for the foreign exchange market and promote gold as a realistic trading competitor to the dollar, yen and euro.

Meanwhile, on the subject of bullion, Mahatma Ghandi's face was the only real choice to adorn the gold rupee coin struck to mark the golden jubilee of Indian independence on 15 August.

It was designed in London by the Patwee design partnership and will be manufactured by Pobjoy Mint in Surrey.

The reverse is pretty functional too, but the new coin weighs 10 grammes of 24 carat gold and is expected to sell in India for an estimated pounds 100 including import duty, a premium of about 40 per cent on its bullion content.

It will also be a bankable item, which will earn interest at about 3.75 per cent on minimum quantities of 500 coins. Some 30,000 pieces will be available for sale in the UK.

I hear of a major addition to the world of whisky tourism with the opening yesterday of a new visitors' centre at the Glenkinchie malt whisky distillery, just 15 miles by road from the centre of Edinburgh.

The centre was opened by Lord Macfarlane, the honorary life president of United Distillers. It already contained a scale model of a distillery and is now blending the art of the distiller with the techniques of son et lumiere. For pounds 3 a head visitors will get a 60-minute tour, a dram and a pounds 3 discount voucher.

The distillery hopes to double the number of visitors to 60,000 a year and popularise the malt which, I am told, is in the mid-price range for malts, light in colour and character and an ideal aperitif.

Suggested Topics
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
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

Financial Analyst - Forecasting - Yorkshire

£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...

Business Architect - Bristol - £500 per day

£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...

Regulatory Reporting-MI-Bank-Cardiff-£300/day

£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable