The man charged with the key task of reviewing corporate governance in Britain has been a skilled dealmaker, a champion of Warburg - that close-run failure - and an influential investor. The right stuff, then, to stiffen City morality? Or is he a bit too trusting, dangerously old-fashioned even?
Derek Higgs is about to tread in illustrious footsteps. Nearly a decade ago, Sir Adrian Cadbury produced a groundbreaking report on corporate governance, which launched the Cadbury Code. That prompted lots of new rules and regulations on how boards should operate and how companies should be run. Early next year, Higgs is set to produce an updated Government-sponsored report on corporate governance, explaining how Britain can be saved from its own Enron or WorldCom.
The Higgs Code? It doesn't have quite the same grand, chocolaty ring to it as the Cadbury Code, yet if Higgs gets it right, it could turn out to be just as influential. In the past year the world has switched from celebratory to introspective capitalism. In 2000, people just wanted to talk about how great the system was. Now they just want to talk about how to fix it. His timing is good.