News in Brief – 8 October

Tories seek accountants

A campaign to recruit more accountants as Tory party candidates for Westminster was launched at its party conference in Bournemouth by former public-service minister Lord Freeman. Speaking at a meeting of the Society of Conservative Accountants, he said he was advising the party on candidate selection, adding: ‘We are trying to introduce good business practices into what is a difficult process.’

Creditors shun Deloittes’ pot Creditors of failed Lloyd’s re-insurer Chancellor have failed to claim #28m recovered by administrator Deloitte & Touche. Chancellor collapsed owing #1bn in 1992, but having agreed a 10% dividend with the group’s creditors’ committee, few creditors have made claims.

Jefri appeal ruling due KPMG was expecting an Appeal Court decision by the end of the week on whether its bid to overturn the recent High Court ruling banning it from assisting the Brunei Investment Agency in its investigation of Prince Jefri has succeeded. The firm appealed against a High Court ruling, which said KPMG’s Chinese walls could leak, allowing confidential information gathered while working for the prince to reach its other client, the BIA.

Prescott calls for bug pledge Deputy prime minister John Prescott has told local authorities to pledge to get on with preparing for the year-2000 bug dilemma. He said the failure of key systems could be ‘horrendous’. The Local Government Association has distributed a circular to councils, along with police, fire and passenger transport authorities, outlining how to prepare for the bug.

CIMA man heads Philips CIMA fellow David Jordan has been appointed chairman and managing director of Philips Electronics UK. Currently Philips’ UK finance director, Jordan will take over his new responsibilities on 15 October from Richard de Lange, who has been appointed chairman and managing director of Philips Electronics Netherlands.

ManU FD bid incentive Manchester United Football Club FD David Gill has been offered a package of incentives to remain in his post as part of the #623.4m takeover bid by BSkyB. If Gill leaves before the end of June 2000, he will receive twice the total of his salary, the average of his bonuses for the past two years before his departure and the value of his benefits excluding share options for his final year.

EC clear on intra-EU VAT The European Commission has clarified how VAT and excise duties will apply to sales of goods made on intra-EU air and ferry journeys after the abolition of duty free on 30 June next year. Goods will be subject to excise at the rate of the EU member state where they are loaded, and to VAT at the rate in the member state of departure, the commission said.

New executive at Safferys Saffery Champness has appointed a non-accountant to the new post of executive partner. Philip Hall’s role will encompass human resources, marketing, IT and administration.

S&W joins Nexia network Top 20 firm Smith & Williamson last week filled the hole in the Nexia International network created by the departure of Mazars Neville Russell. The firm’s managing director, Gareth Pearce, will sit on the Nexia board, which ranks as the world’s 12th largest accountancy network.

Golf Masters winner Norfolk’s Ralph Brindle, finance director of paintbrush maker Hamilton Acorn, turned in a spectacular two-over-par performance to clinch the 1998 Accountancy Age Golf Masters at the Forest of Arden course on 1 October. The 37-year old pipped David Auger, FD of Garner Group.

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