On this distinctively average day in an undistinguished summer we in the NTI newsroom thought you might like to do some catching up in the constant exercise of comparing yourself with others. Are you living in the 'best area'? Do you have the right number of kids? Are you as green as next door's lawn?
As always, we are here to help. Having worked almost as hard at school and uni as your nearest rival you can rest easy in the knowledge that average annual pay for partners at PwC jumped only by a quarter last year to £868,000. The Big Four company's profits increased by just 25 per cent, hitting £1.2 billion for the 12 months to June 2021 and revenues rose by 2 per cent to £4.45 billion. This relative under-performance came in a year when, in common with all of the top four, PwC are in the process of separating the management of their audit and consulting arms as part of industry-wide reforms to reduce conflicts of interest and improve quality and competition.
It is such a relief, isn't it? Suddenly it is all right to be average. I know Neil is hugely cheered not to be lagging behind in the income stakes, especially having invested so heavily this year in anti-Covid ponchos and herbal remedies for the team at NTI, as well as glutinously adding to his Prince Andrew ceremonial mug collection. However, for those of you who don't quite measure up, we do have some news upon which you might like to reflect.
Are you as bad (and ridiculous) as Lisa Crawshaw, formerly a director of Scunthorpe-based family haulage firm C&C Transport? She admitted to stealing over £1.7 million from the business, using the money to buy horses and equestrian equipment. At her sentencing at Grimsby Crown Court earlier this year, Crawshaw said she found buying horses “more addictive than drugs”. We know, it's a shocker, isn't it? Horses and equestrians in Grimsby.
The news doesn't stop there. There have been nine year bans for two directors whose London store sold musical instruments at a time it was insolvent, and failed to pass sales proceeds on to clients. Astonishingly, they fiddled and encouraged others to fiddle as they were fiddling. Heinous or what?
Regular patriots to this screen will know that the NTI newsroom refuse to name names and enter mudpools of swirling gossip, but on this occasion we are prepared to hint that Fred Patrick Onn, from southeast London and Andrew Thomson, of Whaley Bridge in Derby, were the directors of Bright Film & TV Casting and traded the company until April 2020, when it entered Liquidation and an Insolvency Service investigation into the directors’ conduct began. It is reported that top level enquiries, some under the umbrella of ... 'a Government agency', revealed that from July 2019 until April 2020, whilst the company was insolvent, Top Wind Limited sold at least 20 musical instruments, but the proceeds, which totalled more than £33,000, were not passed to the owners.
At least 30 customers had submitted claims in respect of instruments sold, totalling almost £50,000, but only one was prepared to write a song to dedicate to the actions of the directors. David Brooks, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: "Musicians trusted Fred Onn and Andrew Thomson with the sale of their instruments, believing they would act reputably. Instead, these directors took on sales knowing that Top Wind Limited was insolvent and keeping the funds they should have passed onto their clients."
An NTI newsroom journalist approached Onn and Thomson for comment, but they refused to blow their own trumpet.