[Pounds Sterling]15m Is Already Lost and More Prestige Roles Could Slip from His Grasp

The Evening Standard (London, England), May 2, 2007 | Go to article overview

[Pounds Sterling]15m Is Already Lost and More Prestige Roles Could Slip from His Grasp


LORD BROWNE'S plans for a glittering and gilded retirement after a career at the pinnacle of British business have been shattered by his exposure as a liar.

With the [pounds sterling]15 million of BP benefits already lost, and other lucrative directorships and investment opportunities now unlikely to materialise, the financial cost of his fall can be measured in tens of millions of pounds.

But more importantly, perhaps, he will lose out on most, if not all, of the prestigious public posts he would have been offered. Lord Browne could have expected to become master of a Cambridge college and take his pick of the slew of other distinguished public appointments likely to have been passed his way.

The man who was once Europe's most admired business leader would almost certainly have been approached about an influential role in government. Instead he will now be wondering how many in his existing portfolio of titles and directorships he will be able to keep.

Since 1999 he has been a non-executive director at Goldman Sachs, a bank that likes to keep its reputation so spotlessly clean that the merest whiff of personal impropriety is normally career-ending.

Ominously the investment bank was not giving Lord Browne its support yesterday.

In the City and on Wall Street, most observers were giving the former BP chief little chance of holding onto his board position.

He has also been chairman of the advisory board of private equity group Apax since late last year.

Again, this post is thought to be in severe doubt.

Among more honorific titles, he is president of the Royal Academy of Engineering and president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, where he followed in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough and Professor Robert Winston. …

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