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Win some, lose some

Every cloud, it seems, has a silver lining. In Britannia’s case, the clouds built up in recent times when Neville Richardson, chief executive of the Britannia, had to oversee a senior management re-shuffle when Gerald Gregory, managing director of Britannia Capital Investments, was replac-ed by group finance director Phil Lee.

Then there were the troubles at the society’s specialist lending subsidiary Platform, which is likely to see around 65 staff lose their jobs. Even the annual results didn’t look too hot. True, the society was still in profit but that was down year-on-year while many of its peers were doing rather better.

But after those dark clouds came a glint of silver – not only has Britannia achieved the number two slot in the Sunday Times 20 Best Big Companies to Work for 2008 Awards but Richardson has won the paper’s Best for Leadership Award and came third overall in the Inspired by the Boss category, just behind Ernst & Young and Goldman Sachs.

The Sunday Times said Rich-ardson had a simple philosophy that won him the Best for Leadership Award. It’s in his remark: “It’s not my responsibility to think for 5,000 people but it’s my responsibility to create an environment where 5,000 people can think”.

The Sunday Times added: “The company conducts an internal survey twice a year to measure how effective its communication is and staff seem to understand Britannia’s strategy and agree that management is taking the business in the right direction, saying they are excited where they are going.”

Let’s hope the chosen 65 at Platform share that view.

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