The phrase a "safe pair of hands" is one of those half compliments. It is the star batsmen and bowlers, after all, who win the game, not the wicket keepers. But in business there is something to be said for an executive who has no pretensions to rock star status and knows that business is 90% perspiration.

Iain Williamson, Old Mutual’s current CEO, has often been described as one of the business world’s wicket keepers. He has none of the mercurial brilliance of his former colleague, Paul Hanratty, who now runs Sanlam. But then, Mutual already has a rock star in its chair, Trevor Manuel. When Peter Moyo was Old Mutual’s CEO it was clear that there was no room for two bulls in the pen, and Moyo resigned on the grounds of a conflict of interest, which the Old Mutual board knew about all along...

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