The Business On... Mehmet Dalman, Senior independent director, ENRC
Friday 30 September 2011
Is this the worst job in the City?
Can't be far off. As ENRC's new SID, Mr Dalman's role will be to mediate between the natural resources group's independent investors, its board and the three Kazakh oligarchs who call the shots. Mr Dalman emerged as the SID after surviving a coup and following, ahem, a corporate governance review by the board designed to make the company at least look like a functioning PLC.
Right man for the job?
He's a former investment banker, and was a big noise at Commerzbank before that company's retreat from the City. Much has been made of the intrigues and infighting at ENRC, but that shouldn't worry Mr Dalman – he did after all help the Glazer family win out in the battle for control of Manchester United. And the shake-up at ENRC does see independent directors (like him) in the majority at last.
What's his background?
Mr Dalman is a Turkish Cypriot who was on the books at Crystal Palace FC. However, he ultimately chose education (the London School of Economics) and finance over football and even though journeyman footballers are millionaires these days, that was probably wise. He's Premier League City-wise, having had stints in investment banking at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. He's been banker to Daily Express owner Richard Desmond and was on the supervisory board of Deutsche Börse during (one of) its ill-fated bids for the London Stock Exchange.
What's he up to now?
Mr Dalman is one of those City people who has a portfolio to match his portfolio of investments. He set up his own hedge fund company after leaving Commerzbank only to leave to join Toscafund, another hedge fund outfit, as vice chairman. He's on the board of Toscafund's parent too.
Can he pull it off?
Well, if anyone can Mr Dalman can. But Liberum Capital has already published a note questioning how much has really changed, saying confusion still reigns over who actually drives this company. But remember, Ken Olisa, a director who was ousted, has described ENRC as "more Soviet than City". Few would disagree.
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