Share indices in the week to 18 October 2002
Pity the poor soul who becomes Amey’s next finance director.

The job has claimed two scalps this year and such is the nature of the post that only those with nerves of steel and necks of brass should apply.

The first man in the hot seat was David Miller, but he quit in August describing his £280,000-a-year job as “shitty”.

Next in was Michael Kayser but he took one look at the books and was off five weeks later. Rumours that he left the building screaming “I’m an Amey FD, let me out of here” are unconfirmed.

Kayser’s sudden departure last Wednesday stunned the City and resulted in Amey’s shares dropping to 26p, the thinking being that Kayser must not have liked what he found when he started going through the numbers. It has also raised questions about the reliability of Amey’s interim results, released last month.

The first job for the new victim, sorry, financial director, will be to convince the City that it should believe what it reads. Given the debacle of recent months, that will take some doing.

Of course, the bean counter will receive a handsome salary – but given Amey’s woes, will it be enough to tempt the respected and experienced player the company needs?