RBS: Strachan released after a ten–year stretch

Jeff Reade's memory honoured by new award. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Jeff Reade's memory honoured by new award. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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Royal Bank of Scotland’s deputy head of media relations Michael Strachan has not had the easiest of jobs in recent years, with the firm rarely out of the public gaze.

After almost ten years with the bank through what must rank as some of the most turbulent times in its long history, he will be hoping things are quieter at fledgling rival Tesco Bank, where he will take up the top communications job in the autumn. He will work for chief executive Benny Higgins who, ironically, has applied for the RBS job.

Whispers are now circling about what further change there may be in the RBS comms team when the new chief executive comes in.

He or she may want to appoint new advisers and there is a suspicion the role will be even more London-based. Outgoing boss Stephen Hester, who lives in Oxfordshire and London, is an occasional visitor to Edinburgh.

McPherson on the move

ANOTHER comms mover is Lesley McPherson who ran the PR operation at Edinburgh pensions firm Aegon and is joining City of Edinburgh Council. She has been working for the Association of British Insurers in London since leaving Aegon last year and will head up the council’s comms team from 29 July. At Aegon she worked for a time with Scott White who recently left Royal London.

Hug-a-banker campaign is not all that it seems

Traders at foreign exchange specialist Caxton FX are taking on the job no PR firm wants: rehabilitating Britain’s bankers in the eyes of the public.

The team caused a stir on the streets of the City when they took to the pavements brandishing placards urging people to hug passing bankers. But it has emerged the guerrilla campaign against banker-bashing is nothing but a cruel joke at the expense of the much-derided financial types. Caxton, a relatively recent start up that has used alternative finance to establish itself, says it “has a lot of reason to thank the banks” – its business is based on beating their rates.

Big cheeses seeking prizes

ISLE of Mull cheddar creator Jeff Reade may have passed away in April but the British Cheese Awards are keeping his memory alive by launching a prize in his honour.

The Jeff Reade Memorial Trophy for the Best Scottish Cheese will be awarded on Friday 6 September in Oxfordshire.

More than 80 Scottish cheeses are expected to enter the competition.

Organiser Juliet Harbutt said: “It is important to recognise the local heroes in the cheese world as it is a tough, relentless business; most cheesemakers work long hours, milk their owns cows and often feel very isolated.”