Thursday, December 31, 1998 Published at 00:13 GMT
Car bosses earn top honours
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Alexander Trotman, chairman and chief executive of the Ford Motor company until the end of 1998, has been honoured with a peerage in the New Year Honours list. A string of other business leaders have also been honoured with knighthoods.
He has been with Ford all his working life, starting off as a trainee with Ford UK in 1955. By 1967 he had become director of car product planning of Ford Europe and soon went to company headquarters in the United States.
In 1979 he returned to Europe as vice-president of European Trucks operations. He continued to steadily climb up the company ladder, was named president of Ford Asia Pacific in 1983, president of Ford Europe in 1984 and became chairman of European operations in 1988.
In 1993 he was appointed chairman and chief executive of the Ford Motor Company. He was responsible for a fundamental overhaul of the company, streamlining and co-ordinating its operations around the world. In 1999 he will be succeeded by a member of the original family William Clay Ford Jr.
Another motor industry representative to be honoured is Ian Gibson, vice president of Nissan Europe and chief executive of Nissan Motor Manufacturing in the UK, who has been made a Knights Bachelor.
Under his leadership Nissan's operation in Sunderland became the car factory with the highest productivity in Europe. He is a member of the government's Competitiveness Advisory Group.
Another knighthood goes to John Kemp-Welch, the chairman of the London Stock Exchange for his services to financial regulation and financial services. It is the culmination of his 43-year career in finance.
Born in 1936 and a graduate of Winchester College, he joined Hoare & Co. in 1954 for his first job in the City. His next employer Cazenove & Co kept him for 35 years until he became the chairman of London's stockmarket.
He was one the bankers orchestrating the merger plans of the London Stock Exchange and Germany's Deutsche Börse in Frankfurt.
Dr George Ross Matthewson, the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland group, will receive a knighthood as well.
Under his leadership his bank extended the Direct Line insurance business and he is honoured for services to economic development and to banking.
Other business leaders who were awarded knighthoods are: