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Life after death for Adam Applegarth

Former Northern Rock boss Adam Applegarth would appear to have risen from the dead with news that he has been recruited by a US private equity firm, his first appearance since receiving a controversial £760,000 payoff from Northern Rock. Applegarth has been keeping something of a low profile although it now appears as though he is back on the market and looking for new challenges.

Applegarth was widely condemned for the so-called "high risk" business model adopted by Northern Rock despite the fact that the company was regularly monitored by the Bank of England and was never called to task over its supposed high-risk policy. It is well-known that the company used money markets to fund the vast majority of its mortgage liquidity, using mortgage agreements as collateral, thereby putting the company at risk if, as happened during the recession, money markets froze.

When you consider Northern Rock now owes the UK taxpayer in excess of £20 billion, while Adam Applegarth has been demonised again by the UK government, perhaps questions should have been asked of the Bank of England and the FSA?

It is highly unlikely that Applegarth will reappear in the UK in any prominent position in the short to medium term although no doubt companies will be asking for his advice in the longer term. He may have been made mistakes, he may have paid the price but ultimately he took Northern Rock into the top league of UK banking before its spectacular collapse!

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