Taking Stock – Tomkins’ Lever has no fear of the future.

Ken Lever, finance director at embattled conglomerate Tomkins, no doubt has a lot on his plate, what with a bit of shennanigans over ‘corporate excesses’ and the odd investigation or two by Big Five accountancy firms.

But it seems Mr Lever is not one to shy away from worthy out-of-the-office activities.

TS revealed two weeks ago that he is due to give a talk entitled Concentrating on the future – not the past at a forthcoming IBC conference. Apt, perhaps, given the circumstances.

But there’s more. The energetic finance director has also been on an English ICA steering committee which has just published a paper on reporting future financial information – grandly described by the institute as ‘leading corporate reporting into the future’.

One of the aims of the paper is, we are informed, to try and reduce concerns company directors have about making predictions about the future. Some of our business leaders, the paper argues, fear they will be hung out to dry if the reality doesn’t turn out to be quite as good as the forecast, which is reducing their enthusiasm for saying anything at all about what lays around the corner.

So will Lever lead by example and make confident predictions that Ernst & Young, currently investigating the ‘excesses’ at Tomkins, will give the company a clean bill of health? TS suspects not.

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