Richard Broadbent has unexpectedly left Schroders, where he was group managing director of corporate finance, in order to "pursue other interests".
Win Bischoff, the chairman of Schroders, said he didn't know what those other interests were - it may be that Mr Broadbent "just wants a break. He's got to decide what he's going to do with his life," Mr Bischoff said yesterday.
Mr Broadbent, 46, joined the investment bank 13 years ago as a high flyer from the Treasury. His departure is "very sad, both personally and from the business point of view", the chairman said.
Schroders is very busy advising on deals in the UK and Europe, said Mr Bischoff.
It is advising Credit Lyonnais in France, for example. Will Samuel, global head of investment banking, will take over Mr Broadbent's job, while Panfilo Tarantelli, joint group managing director, securities, will become head of European investment banking.
Mr Broadbent told Mr Bischoff of his intention to leave a fortnight ago. They decided not to appoint headhunters to find an external replacement.
"I think its very difficult to recruit someone at that level from outside - it's a question of culture," said Mr Bischoff.
DID YOU know that the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has its own corporate song?
"We don't sell no dogmas,
what we've got is skill,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, for each and every client's will."
So sings Ruud Mulder, lead guitarist of 1980s Dutch pop group Spargo (I've got all their albums).
The song was commissioned by the Dutch arm of the global firm when Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand cemented their union last July.
A UK spokeswoman for the firm says each country had the choice of how to celebrate the merger. "I think the UK had a drinks party," she said.
Roger Holmes has been promoted from managing director of Woolworths to be chief executive of Kingfisher's entire general merchandise sector, putting him in a key position in the post-Asda merger pecking order.
Mr Holmes will now be in charge of Superdrug and MVC (Music Video Club) as well as Woolworths, making 1,500 stores in the UK.
Sir Ronald "Ronnie" Hampel is retiring today as chairman of ICI, having joined the company way back in 1955. He says his first job when he leaves will be to "re-ingratiate myself with my wife Jane".
"Perhaps the most significant error I made when I became chairman four years ago was to tell her that it was a part- time job. Her confidence in my management of time has been significantly reduced," he says.
She also recently teased him that he had a new American girlfriend - Augusta. She was referring to the American golf course, where he recently shot an admirable 81.
He is also a ski nut and sits on the All England committee at Wimbledon.
Sir Ronnie's last act at ICI will be to unveil a portrait of himself tonight at a staff drinks do.
"I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the painter David Poole. It took six sittings. I will be joining the rogue's gallery [all 12 previous chairmen have their portraits hanging in the Millbank headquarters]," he says.
As for the merits of the portrait, he adds modestly, "I must leave that for others to judge."
THE TREASURY is advertising for new non-executive directors for the Court of the Bank of England, with the first advertisement appearing yesterday in the Financial Times.
The Court - which plays a key role in reviewing the Bank's performance and controls - will shortly lose two current non-execs, Sir Colin Southgate and Sir David Lees.
Appointments are made by the Queen for a three-year term.
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