BusinessPeople In BusinessOn the money

On the money

We shouldn’t be surprised that Sir Digby Jones is shunning the path trodden by his predecessors when he leaves his post as director-general of the Confederation of British Industry this summer. He has never been the most conventional of business leaders

While Adair Turner and Sir John Banham opted for the Square Mile’s more
traditional boardrooms (and, in the now Lord Turner’s case, trying to scare us
all into saving for retirement), the ferociously patriotic Sir Digby will
continue to serve as one of UK plc’s greatest cheerleaders.

His new role, lunching Deloitte’s biggest clients, will suit his Union Jack
cufflinks
to a tee.

Of course, the world of the accountancy practice is not entirely unfamiliar
to Sir Digby, who joined the CBI from KPMG in 1999.

But even if he had never sat in on a client pitch in his life you wouldn’t
bet against him putting more experienced colleagues to shame.

For our Digby has never been short of self-belief. You only have to think
back to his first appearances in a CBI shirt six and half years ago.

He may have looked more than a little unnerved before a phalanx of press
photographers for the first time, but within hours of his appointment, he was
holding his own on The Today Programme. He has continued in the same
vein
ever since.

So don’t worry about Sir Digby holding his own when he sits down to advise
his new CEO John Connolly on making Deloitte the number one professional
services firm in
the UK.

No, the real challenge falls to Richard Lambert, the former editor of the
Financial Times, who will be attempting to fill Sir Digby’s shoes at the CBI.

Damian Wild is group editor in chief at Accountancy Age

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