Tookey has been doing the role in an acting capacity since the promotion of
predecessor Helen Weir. He has effectively handled the job through the crisis
which saw the government invest heavily in Lloyds, among other, banks to help
ensure it continues to function. Could he have imagined being at the centre of
such a storm when Weir moved on in April this year, several months before
Lehman’s crashed so spectacularly sending the banks and government desperately
seeking a way out of the mire.
Tookey’s CEO, Eric Daniels, praised him for his ‘immense contribution’ during
‘a period of unprecedented turmoil in global financial services’.
I’ll say. There could not have been a group FD anywhere with that on their
CV. It makes you wonder what Lloyds would have done if they felt they needed
someone else. Where would you look? Who would want it?
Tookey’s in a particularly intriguing position as he is not only at the heart
of managing Lloyds recapitalisation, but also dealing with the government and
the takeover of HBOS, a measure not entirely met with joy by the analysts.
That sounds more like a job for two people, not a single man. Such a large
takeover presents a vast volume of work while the recapitalisation must present
similar challenges. At this time, more than any other, people will be relying on
the accuracy of the accounts and Tookey will be responsible for making sure they
So what kind of person does that take? The only thing that can be certain is
that you’d have to be able to be able to soak up pressure like a sponge because,
as things stand, there is little sign of it easing off.
Gavin Hinks is editor of Accountancy Age
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