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Andrew Garner

Chairman and founder, Garner International

Andrew Garner: rates Horby's
move as his most satisfying job

Meet Andrew Garner, founder of blue-chip executive search firm Garner International and secret weapon of HBOS.

When Bank of Scotland lost out to Royal Bank of Scotland for NatWest three years ago, few foresaw that a later merger with Halifax to form HBOS would create one of the most successful UK bank groups.

Commentators focused on a management triumvirate of chief executive James Crosby plus Andy Hornby and Phil Hodkinson, who respectively run HBOS's retail and insurance and investment businesses. Few people asked how the team came together. That's where Garner comes in.

In 1994 he recruited Crosby for mortgage bank Halifax. Five years later he brought in Hornby from Asda. Hornby was running the UK supermarket chain's clothing business at the time. In 2001 Garner recruited Hodkinson into the merged HBOS. Garner has also recruited several key HBOS executives just below board level.

After 20 years in executive search, Garner rates Hornby's move as his most satisfying job. "To recruit a 31-year-old onto the board of a FTSE plc was fascinating," he says.

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