OBITUARY: SIR DEREK WANLESS
SIR Derek Wanless, a former chief executive of Nat West and director of Northern Rock at the time of its collapse, has died aged 67. Wanless, the son of a storeman at a Tyneside cement works, was born on 29 September 1947. His talent as an arithmetician saw him win a scholarship to Newcastle’s Royal Grammar School. He took a Saturday job at his local Nat West branch, which gave him a bursary to read maths at King’s College, Cambridge, where he took a first. He joined the bank upon graduation and was quickly identified as a rising star. By 1992 he was chief executive, but he struggled to make his mark at the bank and was often overruled by its board. A series of errors saw him leave the top job in 1999. He then took a variety of City posts, including the chairmanship of Northumbrian Water. Like other directors of Northern Rock, he was censured following its collapse. He is survived by his wife, Vera West, and their two sons and four daughters.