The Punt: New Grafton appointment
Builders' merchant Grafton has announced a new board appointment. Paul Hampden Smith will became a non-executive director as of yesterday and has also joined the audit and risk, and nomination committees, of the board.
The 54-year-old is a chartered accountant and was group finance director of UK timber and builders merchant Travis Perkins from the mid-1990s until his retirement in February 2013.
He joined the Travis Perkins Group in 1988 and held a number of senior financial positions prior to his appointment as group finance director.
He has plenty of board experience, having been a non-executive director, chairman of the audit committee and member of the nomination and remuneration committees of UK residential property developer Bellway, Pendragon and Clipper Logistics and was previously a non-executive director of Redrow and DX Services.
He couldn't have picked a better day to take up the role, with Grafton's share price up more than 5pc yesterday morning on the back of a solid set of results.
CRH shoots for the stars
CRH executives might be great at running the international business, but the glamorous lights of Hollywood are probably not going to beckon any time soon.
Chief executive Albert Manifold told investors and analysts in London yesterday that he had a 15-minute video he'd like to show them.
It kicked off with a slightly uncomfortable Manifold clad in a high-vis vest, before he introduced other members of the senior executive team, who also appeared to be a bit uneasy in front of the camera.
Manifold walked purposefully through a rugged quarry backdrop - this time donning a hard hat - before handing over to the boss of CRH's Americas Materials business, Randy Lake. The video also starred Keith Haas, the head of CRH's Americas Products division; Marc St Nicolaas, the managing director of Europe Distribution; and Ken McKnight, the managing director of heavyside/lightside in Europe. None is likely to ever grace the red carpet of Cannes or Hollywood Boulevard.
Chief financial officer Maeve Carton, who was co-presenting at the results, was lucky enough to escape having to make her screen debut.