People and Business: Godfrey scores at trusts association

THE LEADERSHIP crisis at the Association of Investment Trust Companies (AITC) has been resolved with the appointment of Daniel Godfrey, a 36-year-old Arsenal fanatic from Fleming Investment Trust Management, as the AITC's director general.

This follows the shock departure of Michael Hart after just two months in the director general's hot seat. Mr Hart, a former boss of Foreign & Colonial investment trusts, resigned after F&C clashed with shareholders over corporate governance at one of its trusts, the Brazilian Smaller Companies Investment Trust.

Mr Godfrey has his work cut out at the AITC, which one City critic described yesterday as "in need of a shake-up". The AITC has an old-fashioned board which is seen as an obstacle to modernisation. Far more investors' money has been flowing into unit trusts than investment trusts recently, not surprising perhaps given the ever-widening discounts to net asset value seen in the share price of many leading investment trusts.

The good news is that Mr Godfrey is keen to bring the AITC up to date: "I want to create an environment where investment trusts can create exceptional returns, and where shareholders can enjoy those returns," says the Flemings man.

Mr Godfrey's arrival means that David Harris, the trusty deputy at the AITC who held the fort while the head-hunters did their work, didn't get the top job.

Meanwhile at Flemings, young Godfrey has been replaced by Simon Crinage, product development director for investment trusts. Patrick Gifford, chairman of Fleming Investment Trust Management, commented: "Whilst we are very sorry to see Daniel go, it had gradually become apparent that he was going to run out of headroom in his current role with us." Let's hope there are plenty of high ceilings at the AITC's City offices in Chiswell Street.

UNIGATE, THE dairy group, has set up an exercise bike in the lobby of its west London head office. Sir Ross Buckland, Unigate's smooth Australian chief executive, is taking part in a simulated Lands End to John O'Groats sponsored cycle ride, in which employees pedal away for the equivalent of the length of the British Isles.

Given that the exercise bike provided for this task is in such a public area, Sir Ross has chosen to don his Lycra shorts and do his bit "at some ungodly hour", according to a colleague, so that underlings don't see him sweating profusely.

At least he's digging deep to help the cause. The company hopes to raise pounds 5,000 for the Save the Children Fund, and the benevolent Sir Ross has pledged to double whatever is raised, from his own fat wallet.

A DENTIST who "developed a phobia of dentistry" and retired from his work was refused a payout by his insurance company, prompting him to complain to the Personal Investment Authority's ombudsman.

The insurance company refused his claim saying that "it did not consider a phobia to be a recognised medical complaint".

Perusing the annual report from the Personal Investment Authority (PIA), as one does, I noticed the reference to the dentist's disputed claim on a Permanent Health Insurance (PHI) policy.

The dentist had taken the advice of two psychiatrists and his GP, and had taken early retirement. He was receiving a substantial NHS pension.

The complainant underwent two independent psychiatric assessments, "both of which confirmed that he was totally unable to follow his occupation as a dentist, and that he was a danger to himself and his patients".

Happily for the dentist, the ombudsman over-ruled the company, opening up a whole range of possibilities for work-related phobia claims. Aargh, there's a desk...

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Guru Careers: Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant

£16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine