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
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Administrator

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...

Customer Service Executive / Inbound Customer Service Agent

£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...

ASP.NET Web Developer / .NET Developer

£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album