Hansom: Funny business

Hansom new 2008

Interserve’s finance director is good for a laugh – and the share price deal he got for himself certainly gives him something to smile about

Hansom new 2008

No laughing matter

Gallows humour doubtless prompted Interserve’s head bean counter Mark Whiteling to share a joke with analysts at last week’s 2017 results presentation in London. Before setting about explaining the firm’s £244m pre-tax loss, the New Zealand-born finance director chirpily quipped: “You see before you a faded shell of the person I was six months ago,” perhaps referring to happier times before he joined the firm last October. The City types guffawed appreciatively, but then Whiteling delved into the numbers and the joke didn’t seem funny any more.

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