PEOPLE & BUSINESS

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The Independent Online
There was one high-level departure from Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) in London yesterday and another this week from its takeover victim, the equities division of BZW. But neither move had anything to do with the impending reorganisation of both banks, you will be relieved to hear.

Ian Molson, CSFB's head of investment banking, is leaving to spend more time with his Canadian-based family business, the Molson group.

"Ian is leaving for personal reasons," a CSFB spokeswoman said, adding that Chris Carter would become head of European corporate and investment banking in his place. Mr Carter is currently head of global equities at CSFB.

Coincidentally, Karen Collins, chief accountant of BZW's equities division, has jumped ship to join Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in a newly created post, that of global research accountant and analyst.

Jamie Stevenson, head of global research at DKB, is horrified at the very suggestion that Ms Collins's departure from Barclays' stricken investment banking unit has anything to do with the takeover by the Gnomes of Zurich. "She's on gardening leave at the moment. She joins us in the new year," Mr Stevenson said. He said she is a leading expert in training analysts how to evaluate companies. As for when her recruitment was initiated, he said disarmingly: "I can't remember."

Mr Molson, 42, has been with CSFB for 20 years. In 1996 he became co- head of investment banking with Franz von Meyenburg of Credit Suisse Group, when Credit Suisse integrated its investment business with CSFB.

Mr Molson recently became chairman of a new executive committee of the Molson board. The Molson family owns more than half of the voting shares in the eponymous Toronto-based group.

Two of Britain's most important receivers are joining forces in a merger spurred by the growth of "behind the scenes" business rescue work, as opposed to the traditional pursuit of corporate undertaking. Begbies Traynor, whose senior partner David Sapte is serving president of the Insolvency Practitioners Association, is merging with Geoffrey Martin and Company, the Leeds and Newcastle firm which includes Brendan Guilfoyle, the current president of the Society of Practitioners of Insolvency.

The IPA is a regulator of the profession, while the SPI is more of a trade body, representing 90 per cent of the country's licensed receivers. Nice to have poachers and gamekeepers around the same table for a change.

Speaking of which, the IPA has just handed down a record pounds 37,500 fine plus "six-figure" costs and a series of severe reprimands to Ray Hocking, a well known receiver and partner of BDO Stoy Hayward. Mr Hocking has agreed to the IPA's Investigation Committee making orders against him concerning his actions as liquidator of four separate companies. He has agreed that he "drew remuneration without obtaining the appropriate authority to do so" and that he drew remuneration in excess of the authority he was given to do so. He also admitted two other transgressions of the IPA's rules.

David Sapte commented: "The business community and the general public must have confidence in the insolvency profession. These cases show that the profession's monitoring system is effective in uncovering irregularities and that our disciplinary bodies are effective in disciplining members who fall short of the profession's high standards."

James Miller, the chairman of British industrial conglomerate Wassall, has died, the company announced yesterday. Mr Miller, who had been chairman since he helped launch the company in 1988, died on Wednesday night, the group said in a brief statement. He was until 1988 a director of Hanson, and he set up Wassall with two other former Hanson executives, his son Chris "Jock" Miller, who is chief executive, and Phillip Turner.

The other key player in Wassall is David Roper, Lord Prior's son-in- law, who qualified as an accountant at Peat Marwick, now KPMG.

Jim Miller, 72, chaired the company from the start and quite a lot of his family money is wrapped up in the company. Previously he was boss of company called Harris & Sheldon, which he took private in 1981, long before it was fashionable to do so. Harris & Sheldon spanned automotive engineering, property and fishing. It owned many of the best fishing areas of the river Tweed, including Junction Pool, a mecca for fishermen, I'm told, as well as Hardy's, the maker of rods and tackle.

Rouse & Co International, a law firm, and its associate Willoughby & Partners, have gobbled up Dallas Brett, an Oxford-based firm which specialises in intellectual property. "Dallas Brett has blown up," says a legal source, and its partnership will be dissolved. Willoughby will gain Anna Booy and Ben Goodger, leading IP specialists, while Hugh Brett, the founder of Dallas Brett and author of a racy piece of bedside reading, European Intellectual Property Law Review, will become a consultant to the firm.

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