People and Business: ProShare move

GILL NOTT handed on the chief executive's baton at ProShare to her deputy, Tony Hobman, at a lively City bash on Monday night, after five years at the helm. The non-profit outfit aims to encourage wider share ownership.

The do at the Coq d'Argent, opposite the Bank of England, attracted a number of equities luminaries, including Brian Winterflood of Winterflood Securities, the Close Brothers subsidiary which dominates smaller companies market-making.

Mr Winterflood was in animated conversation with Iain Saville, formerly of the Bank of England and the man who drove the design and development of Crest, the automated share settlement system, which he now heads.

Also wishing Ms Nott well was Daniel Godfrey, director general of the Association of Investment Trust Companies, who is currently embroiled in a very public row with the head of Electra over the hostile bid for that trust by 3i.

Meanwhile Peter Hammonds, company secretary at NatWest, took exception to being described as "a banker", despite having worked over 20 years in the industry, much of that with Sir Brian Pitman, chairman of Lloyds TSB.

"I may work for banks, but I'm a died in the wool company secretary," Mr Hammonds protested. Perhaps he should start a rock band.

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