View From City Road: Question of succession

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The Independent Online
Bank of England alumni have had mixed success when moving on to staid parts of the City such as clearing banks. So it is brave of Sir David Walker, whose skills were honed in Threadneedle Street, to risk his reputation by moving from Lloyds to the cut- throat world of American investment banking at Morgan Stanley. No doubt the Americans hope for an early return from Sir David's extensive contacts and experience, although history suggests such appointments are not always as rewarding as expected.

We shall see. The question he leaves behind at Lloyds Bank is what happens to the succession there. Sir David has been favourite for chairman when Sir Robin Ibbs retires, but Lloyds high-ups have shown no great hurry to vacate their seats in recent years.

Sir Brian Pitman, the 63-year-old chief executive, recently deferred his retirement again to the end of 1996, and Sir Robin, who took over from Sir Jeremy Morse apparently on an interim basis has settled in so comfortably that it will now be hard to prise him out much before April 1997.