People & Business

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Nice to see that entrepreneurs are not driven solely by money. As well as the chance to become multi-millionaires, managements buying out their companies have the chance to win the Cartier "venturer of the year" award.

This year's lucky recipient is Julian Blogh, a 53-year-old Irishman with a string of academic qualifications ranging from Russian to radar.

Once a toiler at TI, he saw the possibilities for the defence business he was running, but was blocked from buying it out when it was put up for sale. Not one to give up easily, he resigned from the engineering group and organised his own buy-out with backing from Phildrew Ventures.

The rest is rather predictable. The company, Ultra Electronics, quadrupled in size, profits rose more than 16 times and a year ago the group floated on the stock market capitalised at over pounds 160m, only to see the shares rise a further 25 per cent since.

But it was not his ability to make pots of money that won Mr Blogh the award (a Cartier Pasha watch and a Cartier pen). Rather the judges were looking for his "substantial contribution to the economy, employment, innovation", plus his sound financial performance, return to backers and "overall consistency". It just goes to show that entrepreneurs are all heart really.

Dick Saunders, press secretary to Norman Lamont when the pound was kicked out of the ERM and the Chancellor sang in his bath, is on the move again. He is leaving Labour peer Lord Hollick's United News and Media to become a director of Anthony Cardew's eponymous upper-crust PR agency. It will not be a complete parting of the ways, however, since Cardew & Co already handled the United account.

"Dick brings a wealth of expertise and a new perspective to Cardew & Co," says Anthony Cardew, the cigar-puffing chairman. You could say that. Whereas Mr Cardew is to be found as often as not in his early morning bath at the Reform Club, Mr Saunders graduated from Trinity College Cambridge with an athletics blue to match his double first in mathematics.

At last the puff of white smoke from Stanhope Gate that the world of corporate governance has been waiting for.

Sir Christopher Harding has been given the unenviable job of chairing GEC's remuneration committee. In his other job as non-executive chairman of insurance group Legal & General, Sir Christopher took home pounds 120,000 last year - modest by the standards of GEC's pounds 2m-a-year managing director George Simpson. Sir Christopher was already serving on the committee so had a hand in the super-options scheme which so enraged institutional shareholders at the annual meeting this month. We wait to see what effect, if any, the burden of chairing the committee produces.

With pounds 6bn of its pounds 56bn under management coming from clients of its operations in Japan, Australia, the US and France, Gartmore has appointed a head of its overseas businesses. Chris Russell is to join Gartmore in November from Jardine Fleming in Hong Kong and will report to Andrew Brown, joint chief executive.

Anthony Nelson, former Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Economic Secretary to the Treasury, has bounced back from the Tory drubbing in May. From October, Mr Nelson, 49, will be managing director of European investment banking at Salomon Brothers, where he is expected to oversee the US bank's expansion on the Continent. Mr Nelson was an MP for 23 years before retiring at the last election to "resume his business career". Before that he worked at NM Rothschild. He was at pains yesterday to point out that the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments had given the green light to his appointment. A chap's got to be so careful these days.

Comments