People & Business

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CHAIRMEN and chief executives are image-conscious creatures at the best of times and it seems that Archie Norman, chairman of the Asda supermarket chain, is no different. He is quite sensitive, it can be revealed, about how he is photographed. Or more precisely what he is wearing when photographed.

Now this might seem surprising considering some of the get-ups Stormin' Norman has been pictured wearing - quite voluntarily - during his long campaign as consumer's champion and one-man Asda PR machine. These have included bright pink jerseys for till duty and pretty yellow badges bearing the upbeat message "Archie: happy to help".

But even the camera-friendly Mr Norman draws the line at being photographed wearing a short-sleeved shirt. These were considered acceptable a couple of years ago and Mr Norman was snapped wearing one for a PR shot which has found its way into the picture libraries.

Now they are now seen as a sartorial no-no, like wearing white socks or grey shoes. Mr Norman hates the picture and moans every time it appears in the papers - which it did again recently.

He looked for all the world like a British Airways flight steward lacking only a few pens clipped in his breast pocket, a tray of drinks and a trolley.

This image will no longer do, of course, now that Mr Norman is an Even More Important Person, an MP and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. Check that wardrobe now.

THE RAMIFICATIONS of the Government's decision to lump all financial services regulators under one roof just seem to go on and on. From 1 June, responsibility for banking supervision transfers from the Bank of England to the spanking new FSA, and poor old Eddie George, the Bank's governor, won't be allowed to chair the board of banking supervision any more.

With this in mind, those forward-thinking chaps down at the Bank have chosen a new chairman. The lucky man is Sir Alan Hardcastle, a long-standing member of the banking supervision board and formerly chief accountancy adviser to HM Treasury.

From 1 June, the banking supervision board will need another independent member, so if you're interested, get your CV in double quick.

Not a job, though, for the more materially-minded among us. Independent board members receive a measly pounds 14,000 a year, plus expenses, of course.

CITY UNIVERSITY Business School won't know what's hit it with a new influx of visiting professors of economics. Four, all colourful characters in the occasionally grey world of economics, have just been appointed for three years.

All four have what academics like to describe as "real world" experience - indeed, a record of entrepreneurship. Even more surprisingly, CUBS has achieved an even gender-balance in a very Boys' Own subject.

The four are Tim Congdon, an ardent monetarist who heads the consultancy Lombard Street Research; Nick Morris, who co-founded the ultra-successful London Economics with Oxford's Professor John Kay, after both men had set the highly respected Institute for Fiscal Studies on its feet; Ann Robinson, director general of the National Association of Pension Funds; and Bridget Rosewell, founder of another thriving consultancy, Business Strategies.

FANCY yourself as a trailblazer? Full of flair? You could be the person the Treasury is looking for to "design a regulatory system to further enhance Britain's reputation as the foremost financial centre in the world".

The post-Nolan Committee spirit means appointments for non-executive members of the new Financial Services Authority, headed by Howard Davies, will be advertised in the national, regional and trade press next week.

DOUGLAS HURD, the former foreign secretary who has since been elevated to the House of Lords, has snapped up a new job. He has been appointed a non-executive director at Coutts, the blue-blooded bank where the Queen holds her account.

Lord Hurd of Westwell is a suitably upper class recruit. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, the young Hurd went straight into the diplomatic service and then spent two years running Edward Heath's private office between 1968 and 1970 He spent 16 years in the Foreign Office, rising to Foreign Secretary until he stepped down in 1995. He is already a main board director of NatWest Bank, Coutts' parent company.

Also joining the Coutts board is Paul Myners, a former financial journalist who went on to join Rothschilds and then Gartmore. He is also on NatWest's main board.

A NUMBER of City dignitaries have just been handed honorary degrees by City University. Rolf Schild, the executive chairman of Huntleigh Technology, was described as personifying "the successful combination of innovation and entrepreneurship in British engineering endeavour". Jack Wigglesworth, chairman at Liffe, was also honoured.