Non-execs on the board of Equitable Life were concerned that the mutual did
not have a finance director, it emerged yesterday.
David Wilson, currently being questioned in the society’s multi-billion pound
court case against former directors and auditors at the High Court, said that he
had asked Roy Ranson, Equitable’s former chief actuary and managing director,
why the society did not have a full-time finance director.
‘This [was] a business where – unlike most businesses, which would have a
designer, an engineer, production director, sales director, finance director,
there would be all these disciplines – in Equitable, in effect, the only
discipline was actuarial, plus sales, which in the latter time of my time on the
board did not warrant a directorship. So it is an entirely different concept to
what one has experienced elsewhere,’ Wilson told the court.
Wilson said that he had been comfortable with the information Ranson had
provided, just confused as to why Equitable had not had a full-time FD: ‘it was
just a strange concept to me to have the actuaries arguing all matters finance.’
Wilson raised the matter in 1995 one year into his five years as a non-exec
at the mutual. Issues about Equitable’s guaranteed annuity rate problems arose
in 1998, with the society closing to new members in 2000 amidst financial
Wilson said Ranson’s reply was simply to say that ‘that really was not for
In time, Wilson said the issue went away: ‘ I think I probably, as time went
on, became more comfortable that these guys really did – you know, were sort of
experts in actuarial matters, and experts in finance as well.’
The case continues.
Does Darwin's theory apply to taxation? Colin ponders...
The EC has been instructed to draft a European Union (EU) directive authorising an EU financial transaction tax, which would apply to ten of the EU’s 28 member states
Accountancy watchdog the FRC has dropped its investigation into the former chief financial officer of Tesco, nearly two years after the supermarket was engulfed in an accounting scandal
Colin imagines how Apple's logo might change in the wake of the EC's ruling over its Irish tax arrangements