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Buckley's chance to end an era

Buckley's chance to end an era

The reign of the Buckley family at stockbroker PhillipCapital has come to an end, with the resignation of chief executive Jonathan Buckley on Friday.

He follows father Peter, who resigned as chairman late last year, and brother James, a director and fund manager who left in February.

Jonathan Buckley has been with the company for more than 15, years, serving as boss back when the company was known as Intersuisse and keeping the head job when the company became Octa Phillip after merging with struggling Macquarie Bank wannabe Austock in 2011.

His autodefenestration is believed to be linked to a round of cost-cutting at the broker, which like the entire financial services sector has been struggling with a moribund market. Singapore's PhillipCapital, which backed Intersuisse, has progressively increased its hold on the Australian company to the point where it now owns 97.5 per cent. The local group took its parent's name last year.

Buckley, who has been with the business for 15 years, said goodbye to senior staff on Friday afternoon and an email was circulated to all staff on Monday morning.

Staff have been told he "departed to pursue other opportunities".

"PhillipCapital is grateful to Jonathan for his many years dedicated service as the head of corporate and more recently as CEO across Intersuisse and Phillip Capital Australia," a spokesman told CBD. He said the company planned to expand its contracts for difference and foreign exchange businesses in Australia.

See Kiong has been named interim CEO.

Wining about tax

It's not quite on the scale of the bet between economists Rory Robertson and Steve Keen over house prices which saw the loser walk from Canberra to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, but The Australian's contributing economics editor Judith Sloan may soon have to part with a bottle of wine. In a St James Ethics Centre debate on the topic "Should the Wealthy Pay More Tax?" on July 8, she said it would raise little money even if they did.

The tape records her saying: "I've worked it out; think about the top 1 per cent. If you impose a 75 per cent average tax rate, OK not a marginal tax rate, this is horrendous, this is what caused the people in France to flee to Russia and Belgium. You would only raise between $20 and $30 million dollars. It's just peanuts, right?"

Richard Dennis, of the Australia Institute, thought the estimate was low. "I would like to make a little bet with Judith," he said. "Increasing the tax rate to 75 per cent for the top 1 per cent will raise a bucket load more cash than $20 million, a bucket load more than $30 million. There is a nice bottle of wine in it for Judith."

The contributing economics editor can be heard accepting the bet.

Dennis reckons lifting just the marginal rate to 75 per cent would raise an extra $12.6 billion. He is hoping it's a good bottle.

All that glitters

Congratulations to mining junior Sovereign Gold, which has managed to compare a gold project out the back of Wagga Wagga to the world's tallest building, the majestic Burj Khalifa in sunny Dubai. Sovereign reckons its drilling has discovered "a continuous mineralisation" 886 metres in length - a little longer than the 830-metre building is tall.

CBD hopes the "strong sericite-sulphide mineralisation" turns out to have as much gold in it as adorns the patrons of the Burj Khalifa's Armani hotel.

Rudds a winner

And congratulations also to Canberra's Rudds Consulting Engineers, which on Friday night picked up a Telstra small business award for its energy neutral head office and work on green buildings across the nation's capital.

The company appears unrelated to that other famous Rudd, PM Kevin, whom disgruntled ALP types complain isn't at all fond of consulting. On the other hand, he does engineer a mean coup.

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