People & Business: He's 86, but Jimmy can't drag himself away from the City

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The Independent Online
Congratulations in advance to Jimmy Herbert, Britain's oldest full-time working stockbroker, who celebrates his 86th birthday on Friday. As a partner of Branston & Gothard, Mr Herbert still works from 7.30am to 4.45pm daily - "probably because I'm an idiot," he says.

Not many people can remember the Wall Street Crash of 1929. So what changes strike Mr Herbert as he looks back over his career?

"The sheer volatility of the market nowadays is amazing - movements up and down totalling 100 points a day seem common. The other truly staggering change is the technology. Companies give out so much information nowadays, you can practically find out the colour of the chairman's underpants at the push of a button," he says.

He has no intentions of letting up, either. "The City is still a great place. Although we don't meet on the floor of the House [Stock Exchange] any more, we still meet around the City. I would miss it enormously. I became a member of the Stock Exchange in 1943 and I've enjoyed it."

"The 1974 crash was possibly the worst moment, looking back. But one always felt there was a way ahead."

No doubt Mr Herbert will have plenty of memories to share with colleagues at his party on Friday in the Fox, a suitably traditional City watering hole just north of Finsbury Square. Yuppies, weep your heart out.

George Mallinckrodt, president of Schroders, the most successful British merchant bank to remain independent, has got his just deserts: an honorary knighthood.

The honorary bit comes because he is a German national, having been born and brought up there. In fact his full German title is Georg Wilhelm von Mallinckrodt, and he has already been honoured by the then Federal Republic of Germany in 1986 with the Verdienstkreuz am Bande des Verdienstordens, roughly translated as "a medal for services rendered".

Mr Mallinckrodt joined Schroders in New York in 1954 and in 1958 he married Charmaine Schroder, sister of Bruno Schroder, the family member who sits on the bank's board and represents roughly 40 per cent of the bank's shares.

In 1960 Mr Mallinckrodt was transferred to London and he became a director in 1977. He served as chairman from December 1984 until May 1995, and together with chief executive Win Bischoff turned Schroders into a premier merchant banking and fund management house.

It seems ironic that a German and a South African have managed to escape the overseas predators while rivals such as Warburg and Kleinwort have passed into overseas ownership.

Mr Mallinckrodt is a fully paid-up member of the great and good, sitting on a host of committees. He also played a leading role in the Bank of England's attempt to save Barings, and sat on the Treuhand, the east German privatisation board. He'll be a hard act to follow.

Talking of which, so will Ian Carr, who is due to retire from Carr's Milling Industries after 33 years as chairman - a distinction he shares with Sir Arnold Weinstock, who recently retired from GEC, also after 33 years as chairman.

Chris Holmes, chief executive of the Carlisle-based food and engineering group, laughs. "Its just a coincidence. Ian is 68. The firm was founded by his great-grandfather in 1831. He'll be replaced by David Newton, chief executive of Hillsdown Holdings until last year."

Mr Newton, a mere spring chicken at 54, will take over next September. Mr Carr will remain as non-executive vice-chairman until August 1998.

Mr Holmes says: "He's an active sort of chap. He's still the chairman of the North Cumbria Health Authority."

Outside work, Mr Carr's main passion is golf. He's a member of the Royal & Ancient, St Andrew's, and Silloth Golf Club. He will have to wait until September, when he stands down officially as chairman, before he has more time to practise reducing his handicap.

Honor Chapman CBE, a partner in Jones Lang Wootton, has been appointed a Crown Estate Commissioner. A challenging job for a surveyor, as the Crown Estate is valued at over pounds 2bn and is the largest property organisation in the UK.

The portfolio, which dates back to Edward the Confessor, includes urban property in London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and elsewhere totalling almost 120,000 hectares.

The estate also owns around half the UK's foreshore and almost all the seabed out to the 12-mile territorial limit.

Although part of the hereditary possessions of the Sovereign, since 1760 all of the revenues from the Crown Estate, which last year totalled pounds 94.6m, have been paid to the Treasury, in part to fund the Civil List. Mrs Chapman joins the seven other commissioners following the retirement of Dick Caws.