June 22, 2012

Give Bankstone News the faintest whiff of an opportunity to step down and review our options and we’ll seize it with both hands. How delighted our near-namesake Arron Banks must then have been to be permitted exactly such an opportunity this week by Bristol-based Brightside Group.

Bankstone News readers will doubtless agree that here are few things in life more satisfying than reflecting at leisure upon one’s options, but market rumours suggest AB – who still owns 15.24% of the firm – may have something a little less contemplative in mind.

Unsubstantiated reports indicating that he left the building muttering a line made famous by California’s first Austrian-born Governor might appear to support such a line of conjecture.

For now though, Brightside’s former Insurance Broking Director Marty Holman has stepped up on to the CEO podium thingy so recently stepped down from by the departing Bankster.

A “source close to the broker” was quoted by Insurance Age this week describing Holman as “a safe pair of hands”, but, as with former Arsenal keeper Davey Semen, Bankstone News feels certain there is far more to him than that.

For some mysterious reason, Marty “Hands” Holman has felt it necessary to brief the press on how he and Banksy don’t hate each others’ guts. There is “no animosity in the relationship” he told Insurance Age. In fact, Hands is “looking forward” to working with Banko in his role as chief exec of the inauspiciously named Southern Rock, a “large provider” to Brightside.

Responding to suggestions that Bankski will soon return, backed by private equity, with a bid to delist Brightside, Hands Holman said: “We are a plc company and therefore anyone can look at putting together a bid to place in front of shareholders.” Would he be surprised if this happened? “Anybody who knows Arron would not be surprised by that, and I’m certainly not,” he told the paper.

“If anyone comes forward with a bid that then goes to the shareholders that they are happy to take my job”, he went on to tell Insurance Age, “is to manage that, run with it and continue to run the business.”

So running is high on Hands’ agenda, but so, it seems, is sitting: “The opportunity to be sitting at the top and steering the company and guiding it is great. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Should be a thrilling ride!


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