Baroness Noakes named big City player

Lady Noakes, who once admitted her role model was Margaret Thatcher, has a CV that can’t fail to impress.

In addition to her former presidency at the ICAEW, she is a partner at Big Five firm KPMG, and a governor of London Business School.

And if this were not enough, Masters also found time last year to head up an audit of the BBC.

Lady Noakes, who once confessed the rumour that she may have a fierce reputation was ‘probably justified’, appeared above the head of the corporation of London, Judith Mayhew, and Pearson’s ‘first lady of the FTSE’ Marjorie Scardino.

Higher up the list of super-achieving businesswomen is Claire Furse, who was recently appointed to head up the London Stock Exchange. She slots in at number five on the list.

Furse’s credentials would be the envy of most of her male counterparts. The 43-year-old Canadian has headed up the derivatives division at French bank Credit Lyonnais Rouse and been managing director at Swiss Bank UBS (now UBS Warburg), where she ran its debt futures business.

During most of the 1990s Furse sat on the board of Liffe, the London financial futures exchange, going on to hold the position of deputy chairman from 1997 to 1999. To top things off Furse is fluent in Dutch, Spanish, French and German.

Another notable high-profile entry is Kathleen O’Donovan, who is ranked 18th. She was the first female director of a FTSE-100 company at the ripe old age of 34, when she joined BTR as its finance director in 1991.

Currently she is the CFO at automation giant Invensys, where she showed she was one tough cookie in the negotiating stakes, netting a salary 50% higher than the average remuneration for male directors.

Oh, and she also a non-executive director at the Bank of England.

Helen Alexander, chief executive of the Economist Group, topped the list.


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