RBS hires Wharf man

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The Independent Online
ROYAL Bank of Scotland has looked to Canary Wharf, the struggling Docklands property development, for its next finance director, writes Lisa Vaughan.

Robert Speirs, finance director of Olympia & York Canary Wharf Ltd, will join RBS on 1 July, succeeding Kenneth Thompson, who retires in July after five years in the position.

Mr Speirs, 56, moved to Canary Wharf in 1988 to help build the company up and was finance director during its collapse. Canary Wharf's administrators are believed to have wanted to keep him on as they try to reconstitute the company in coming months.

He came to Canary Wharf from Britoil, where as finance director he tried unsuccessfully to prevent a takeover by British Petroleum. Before Britoil, he worked with British National Oil Corporation and Texaco.

He started his career with the Inland Revenue and specialised in tax for some years before moving into finance. He is also a chartered secretary.

Lord Younger, chairman of RBS, said Mr Speirs will bring a wealth of experience to the bank, particularly in treasury management, financing and financial planning.

Mr Speirs is just three years younger than Mr Thompson, who is approaching the bank's retirement age of 60.

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