THE NEW YEAR HONOURS: Wait over for Dixons chief

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The Independent Online
BUSINESS

Stanley Kalms, founder of Britain's best-known chain of electrical retailers, is one of a handful of businessmen knighted in a New Year honours list which saw rewards go to high-profile figures including the economist Professor Patrick Minford; Peter Wood, the multi-millionaire founder of Direct Line insurance, and Andrew Large, the chief City regulator.

Sir Stanley, who floated Dixons on the stock market in 1962, has enjoyed a good year. Dixons' shares have recovered from less than 190p to 446p at yesterday's market close and the company re-entered the FTSE 100 Index of leading company shares only last week.

When asked how he felt, the 64-year-old chairman, a staunch Tory party supporter, said: "He who waits gets his reward. We have been around for 46 years and we are now a fairly substantial company.''

Also knighted is Peter Bonfield, chairman of ICL, for services to the information technology industry. He is soon to replace Sir Iain Vallance as chief executive of British Telecom.

Colin Hope, chairman and chief executive of T&N, is knighted for services to the motor manufacturing industry. Shares in T&N, formerly Britain's biggest asbestos group, leapt earlier this month after an American court threw out a $185m (pounds 120m) asbestosis case.

Charles Davies, former chief executive of VSEL, is knighted for services to the defence industry. Ian Dixon, CBE, chairman of Willmott Dixon, is knighted for services to the construction industry and Francis Hurn, chairman and chief executive of Smiths Industries, is knighted for services to the engineering industry.

Andrew Large, chairman of the Securities and Investment Board, the City's lead regulator, gets a knighthood for services to financial regulation.

Peter Wood, the man who revolutionised the insurance industry with his dancing red telephone, is appointed CBE, as is Professor Patrick Minford, Professor of Applied Economics at Liverpool University and one of the Chancellor's "wise men''.

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