Robinson Hambro
Robinson Hambro: Board Search and Chairman Advisory

Karina's Column

An insider’s view on the City of London and beyond

Robinson Hambro letter in the FT


More candidates for the bloodbath

I’d like to draw your attention to a letter Robinson Hambro published in the Financial Times on the 9th July 2012. It was in response to an article from an outstanding FT columnist who, in an access of Robespierre-like rage, had called for the heads of investment bankers to roll. Robespierre’s reign of terror during the French Revolution was regrettable. So was columnist John Gapper’s suggestion.

Dear Sir,
I was struck with awe at the bloodthirsty implications of John Gapper’s article calling for the heads of former investment bankers who now run universal banks because “they may be honourable individuals but, as a group, they symbolise the relentless ascendancy of the securities trading floor.”

Following Gapper’s logic, I look forward to seeing many more heads roll, not least his. For as a member of the press he may have been individually honourable but, as part of a group, he symbolises the relentless ascendancy of hacking and exploitative journalism. I would join him in having mine chopped off, for as the principal of a board search firm I may be an honourable individual but, as a group, head-hunters symbolise a failure to people boards with directors capable of stopping the rot.

The same treatment should surely be meted out to policemen, politicians, royalty and members of any group or institution that has failed to uphold moral standards.

Surely, though, shouting like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, “Off with their heads!” and ending up with a blood bath is not quite the FT way?

Karina Robinson
Robinson Hambro Ltd

catherine phelps