People and Business: Why the FSA is in search of a BLT

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The Independent Online
THE QUEEN has inadvertently forced over 1,000 staff at the Financial Services Authority to roam Canary Wharf in London's Docklands in a daily search forsandwiches.

Let me explain. The newly formed financial regulator is in the process of relocating all its staff to a gleaming new building in Canary Wharf. Around 1,000 are already there, including 400 banking supervisory staff who arrived last week from the Bank of England. Another 700 will arrive in coming months.

But they have nowhere to eat. The FSA's state-of-the-art canteen, designed to feed up to 2,000 people at one go, is still uncompleted, because the regulator's funds had to be switched to completing the building's reception area last autumn when the Queen announced she would be officially opening the building.

The reception area was completed ahead of schedule, but the canteen fell behind. At the beginning of December the FSA was forced to start paying staff pounds 2.50 day in sandwich money, a total of pounds 20,000 a week.

"It's just a temporary payment until the canteen opens," says a spokeswoman. Hence the crowds of regulators besieging Pret a Manger in Canary Wharf. As for the Royal visit, she added that there was "a lot of of republicanism around". I'm not surprised.

RUMOUR HAS IT that Martin Taylor, recently ousted from Barclays Bank, harbours ambitions to be the next editor of the Financial Times. After all, he rose to be editor of the FT's Lex column in the early 1980s before he left the world of journalism for that of commerce.

There is one problem with this rumour. The present incumbent, Richard Lambert, 54, shows no signs of wanting to leave. Mr Lambert recently returned from the US, where he led the successful drive to expand the pink 'un's American readership. Even when he does step aside, the FT has traditionally promoted its deputy editors to the top job.

The present deputy, Andrew Gowers, 41, held the reins in London while Mr Lambert was in the US. Robert Thomson, 37, currently editing the FT's US edition, is also well thought of.

So Mr Taylor faces stiff competition for the top job at the FT. Other rumours of his intentions are that he might serve the Government in the House of Lords, that he might join a think-tank, or that he might write a book.

THE VETERAN top-rated commercial property analyst Roger Moore retired from Warburg Dillon Read on Monday after a quarter of a century as an analyst. But he's not finished yet. Yesterday Mr Moore joined the board of Hemingway Properties as a non-executive director.

Hemingway, based in the West End of London, boasts the omnipresent Stanislas Yassukovich as its chairman. The company is run by two well-known operators, Michael Goldhill (chief executive ) and Andrew Browne (finance director), who shared the distinction last year of being the highest paid directors in the UK property sector, trousering a handsome pounds 1.6m each.

If Mr Moore can get in on that kind of action, he can look forward to a comfortable retirement.

THE MANAGEMENT team at Anita Roddick's Body Shop got an infusion of new blood yesterday with the appointment of Alastair Murray as finance director.

He joins the green toiletries company from PIC International (the Pig Improvement Company) where he was finance director of pet food producer Dalgety Food Ingredients for four years.

Jeremy Kett, Body Shop's current finance director, switches to the corporate finance division. The day-to-day running of the company's 1,640 stores has been left to Frenchman Patrick Gournay, headhunted from the yogurt firm Danone. He was joined by Rick Corcoran in November as head of human resources, joining from the US arm of Danone