Sir Philip Hampton, the City grandee who chairs the J Sainsbury supermarkets chain, is being lined up to become the new chairman of the crisis-hit Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), The Telegraph reveals.
Last night, the appointment had yet to be rubber-stamped by the RBS board and remained uncertain. People close to the bank said it could be announced within the next week, although they warned that it could be delayed or that Sir Philip could still turn the job down.
The RBS directors conducting the search to replace Sir Tom McKillop have compiled a list of alternative candidates in case Sir Philip's appointment falls through. The alternatives are understood to have included Sir Keith Whitson, the former chief executive of HSBC.
Gordon Brown, the prime minister, had also sounded out Mervyn Davies, the chairman of banking group Standard Chartered, who was yesterday named minister for trade promotion and investment, about the post.
More than half the profits generated by private equity firms in recent years have been made by piling debt on to the books of the companies they invest in, reports The Guardian.
The findings of the first annual report on the industry, designed to increase transparency and improve the image of private equity, instead provided further ammunition for the industry's critics.
The analysis by accounting firm Ernst & Young claims that just one fifth of the returns achieved come from strategic and operational improvements.
But the report, published jointly with the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) and covering 42 deals, does counter some of the other criticisms levelled at the industry. It suggests employment across the 42 firms grew organically by 3% between 2003 and 2007, adding 10,200 jobs and far from the blood letting commonly associated with private equity.
US prosecutors failed yesterday in their second attempt to have Bernard Madoff jailed, when a New York court rejected the Government's argument that the disgraced fund manager was a flight risk, according to The Times.
They were appealing against a decision on Monday that Mr Madoff could remain under 24-hour house arrest at his Manhattan penthouse despite breaking bail conditions that banned him from transferring assets.
Mr Madoff and his wife, Ruth, sent more than $1 million (£685,000) of valuables to friends and relatives over Christmas.
Government prosecutors argued that this indicated that Mr Madoff was at risk of fleeing the country before he could be tried on fraud charges.
Contact: John Bakie, Tel: 020 7484 9805, e-mail: [email protected]IFAonline
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