People & Business: Lord Younger adds colour to army museum

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Lord Younger, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, presented two regimental flags from City units to the National Army Museum in Chelsea this week. Both colours belonged to the 18th-century equivalent of Dad's Army, raised in London to repel Napoleon Bonaparte's troops if they invaded.

Ian Robertson, director of the museum, received the flags, the Bishopsgate Ward Association Regimental Colour 1798-9 and the 6th Regiment of London (Loyal) Volunteers King's Colour of 1810. These "home guard" units were encouraged by the government and usually led by a local squire or businessmen. Perhaps this is the next logical step in cutting defence costs and contracting out to the private sector. "Lord Younger's Volunteers" has a certain ring to it.

Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth, who is due to retire as chairman of Tesco in May, is to join the board of Vodafone as a non-executive director with effect from 1 January.

The Tesco boss is gearing up to be "an active peer". He will be sworn in at the House of Lords on 17 November and he is likely to be a keen worker for the Conservative cause.

Lord MacLaurin was appointed to the board of Tesco in 1970 and made chairman in 1985. Now 60 years of age, though, he seems to be getting more busy rather than less.

He's keen on helping English cricket get out of the doldrums, and is chairman of the Test & County Cricket Board. He's also mad about golf, and is chairing the organising committee for the Anglo-US Ryder Cup in Valdarama, Spain. All that and a director of NatWest too. Other non-exec positions could also be in the offing, a source tells me.

Roger Oldfield, the KPMG insolvency practitioner who sold Broadgate to John Ritblat's British Land last year, was spotted in a bohemian Italian trattoria in London yesterday having lunch with colleague Emma Strack.

Ms Strack, from KPMG's corporate recovery credit services team, has just returned from New York, having run her first marathon in the very creditable time of 4hr 14min, Mr Oldfield informs me. "She achieved this in spite of having to stop for physiotherapy at the 16-mile mark on an extremely sore knee," he says.

Mr Oldfield is no mean runner himself. He did the Great North Run half- marathon in Newcastle in September, with a time of 1hr 28min. "Liz McColgan pipped me by 18 minutes," he says.

The way Mr Oldfield tells it, KPMG's receivers sound like they are too busy running to wind any companies up. Mike Wheeler, head of KPMG's UK Corporate Recovery department, has also completed the New York marathon. "We are a force to be reckoned with," trumpets Mr Oldfield. "This is not a profession for couch potatoes."

Chairman Philippe Bourguignon did not announce Euro Disney's final results yesterday as scheduled. They were postponed last week because French journalists are on strike. The figures will be released next Tuesday instead. Apparently people in France depend more on the press for financial information than they do here.

This excuse seems weedy. After all, last month when les hacks were also on strike, the French government pressed ahead with announcements on cutting the budget deficit.

Just think, if all British journalists went on strike then the Budget might have to be cancelled. What a delightful thought.

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