Mr Bond. I’ve been expecting you…
James Bond has survived 50 years of metal-teethed baddies, shark-infested pools and machine toting goons. Sir John Bond survived HSBC, Vodafone and Xtrata. But yesterday the angry shareholders finally got their man.
Anyone who has dealt with Sir John personally knows how charming, intelligent and urbane he can be. His conversation sweeps from high finance to high peaks – his daughter is a mountaineer. He can calm down almost any situation and in his time has quelled rampaging executives and angry shareholders, not least when he saw off rebel investors in Vodafone at least twice.
But in the Xstrata-Glencore deal he bit off more than he could chew. In trying to satisfy the financial demands of Mick Davis, who felt that he deserved to get a pay day approaching the multi-millions made by Glencore senior executives, he misjudged the zeitgeist.
Maybe it is a changing of the guard. Sir John is most definitely from the old school of senior bankers and executives who buy their suits from Saville Row and their ties from Hermes, who never have a hair out of place and always feel that problems can be dealt with via a quiet word.
This time there was no going back.
“Do you expect me to talk?”
“No, Mr Bond. We expect you to resign.”