Was Odgers right to hire Johnny Cameron?

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As we reported at the weekend, Odgers Berndtson has rescued former RBS investment banking chief Johnny Cameron from the wilderness, and appointed him as an advisor to its board business.

Consequently, it emerged yesterday that Odgers has lost the mandate to find a new chief executive

for UKFI, the body which manages the government's stakes in RBS and other bailed out banks.

Instead, the contract's gone to Spencer Stuart, which filled operational vacancies at UKFI earlier in the year, and doesn't have Cameron on its books.

Odgers blames the change on UKFI, which it says believed the situation was "inappropriate." UKFI says the two organisations reached a 'mutual agreement.'

Whichever is the case, the addition of Cameron may work out in the long run for Odgers. Educated at Harrow and Oxford, and with a background at McKinsey, Natwest and Kleinwort Benson, Cameron's said to be more personable than Fred Goodwin, and very well connected.

"He's an incredibly well networked and well respected person in financial services and has been unfairly vilified," says one person close to the situation. "This is just a bit of grandstanding on behalf of the government."

Spencer Stuart may also stand to gain comparatively little from the addition of the UKFI mandate: rumour has it that the government body pays relatively low fees. Spencer Stuart declined to comment on how much it's charging.

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